Soul Good Organic Oolong from Tea Leaf Co.

SoulGoodOolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea Leaf Co. 

Tea Description:

A perfect cup of all natural apple cider to warm you up this autumn and winter.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The last couple of weeks have been crazy and the next week is going to be even more so – so it’s nice to have a tea like this Soul Good Organic Oolong from Tea Leaf Co. to help me collect myself and find a sense of calm.  Tea is delightful like that – I love how I can sip it and it helps to de-stress me.

And what a delightful tea this is!

Even though it’s not autumn or winter – I am enjoying this cup of “apple cider” tea.  It’s pleasantly sweet with a nice essence of apple and warm spices.  And even though these flavors are prominent, they don’t overwhelm the sweet Oolong tea which appears to be a Tie Guan Yin based on the little green pellets of tea that I saw when I was measuring out the tea.

And the flavor and texture suggests a Tie Guan Yin tea to me.  It’s sweet and has a soft, slightly creamy mouthfeel.  There’s a light, buttery flavor to the tea that melds quite beautifully with the notes of apple and the spices.

The ginger is really nice – it’s warm and peppery without being too spicy.  Generally when I think “apple cider,” I think of cinnamon flavor but I like that ginger is the star of this show – I’m really enjoying how nicely the apple and ginger taste together.

And the apple is wonderful here – it’s a strong flavor.  My own experience with tea blending has taught me that apple can be a difficult flavor to nail but Tea Leaf Co. has nailed it here!  It’s sweet and apple-y and authentic!  This tastes very true-to-the-fruit!

A really lovely tea – and while it does have a very autumnal flavor to it, this is something I can see myself enjoying year round!

Barista’s Matcha Tea from My Matcha Life

BaristaMatchaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green (Matcha)

Where to Buy: My Matcha Life

Tea Description:

Barista’s Matcha tea is a great tasting matcha without the premium price. Perfect for those who enjoy the unique matcha tea flavor and experience but don’t always want to buy a premium ceremonial matcha, especially when mixing with other ingredients. Drink Barista’s Matcha tea on its own as a traditional matcha tea with hot water or, ideally, just add Barista’s Matcha tea to your lattes, smoothies and blender drinks. And enjoy!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a day or two since I had a bowl of Matcha so the arrival of this Barista’s Matcha Tea from My Matcha Life was timely!  Oh, sure, I have some Matcha on hand (always!) but I’m happy to try something new to me.

For my first sampling of this Matcha, I prepared it hot in my chawan.  I scooped out a couple of chashaku scoops of Matcha into my sifter and sifted the Matcha into my chawan.  Then I added water heated to 160°F and whisked until the powder was completely incorporated in the liquid.

How much water?  I’ve been making Matcha for so long that I just eyeball it, but the amount of hot water should be 2 – 3 ounces to every 1/2 teaspoon of Matcha powder.  You can adjust this to your own liking, of course!

And this Matcha is delicious!  The dry powder was a bright green.  Not quite as bright and vivid as a top-quality ceremonial Matcha would be, but it’s not that drab green either.  It’s a nice color.

The tea froths up nicely.  Most of the froth disappears pretty quickly, but I still had some frothy bubbles on the surface up until my last sip.  Not a lot … but some.

I did notice that the tea didn’t stay sustained in the liquid for very long.  Because this is a ‘barista’ Matcha, this is a Matcha that is intended for (and better suited for) smoothies and blended drinks like that.  But it is tasty enough to serve as a good everyday Matcha!

It has a smooth, buttery flavor.  Even though the Matcha didn’t stay incorporated, after I re-whisked the tea, I didn’t pick up on a gritty or chalky texture and that earns extra points in my book!

It’s a really beautifully sweet Matcha – no bitter tones which I do often experience with some “not ceremonial” quality Matcha so that also earns extra points with me.

For my second tasting of this Matcha, I decided to try it with my new and latest obsession – Maple Water!  YUM!  Seriously yum.  If you haven’t tried maple water + Matcha – you must!

I’ve spent some time perusing the My Matcha Life website and they have just about everything that a Matcha beginner needs to get started in their journey with Matcha!  They don’t have a chashaku (this is a bamboo scoop used to scoop out Matcha) but you can use a 1/2 a teaspoon measuring spoon!  And this Barista Matcha is a really good Matcha – it is one I’d recommend to those beginners as a starting Matcha!

2005 Changtai Yun Pu Zhi Dian “Top of the Clouds” Sheng Pu-erh from Crimson Lotus Tea

2005-Changtai-Yun-Pu-Zhi-DianTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Crimson Lotus Tea

Tea Description:

This is a very special puerh prepared by the Yunnan Changtai Tea Industry Group. The blenders who work for Changtai are true masters of their craft. The leaves in this puerh are a blend of 15 mountains, Spring picked in 2005. The name for this cake “Yun Pu Zhi Dian” means “Top of the Clouds”. Since Yunnan means “Southern Clouds” this name has a double meaning. It refers to the heavenly experience and also that this puerh contains the best from Yunnan.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve often thought of pu-erh as a cooler weather type of tea because it’s a tea that I prefer to be served hot.  As the tea cools, I find that the flavors begin to mute and become lost.

And yes, I do drink hot tea even in the summer months, in fact, I drink more hot tea than I do iced tea in the summer months, but, I don’t drink as much hot tea in the summer as I do in the cooler months.

2005-Changtai-Yun-Pu-Zhi-Dian2So when I drink a pu-erh, I’m often reminded of the cooler days of autumn and winter, but as I sip this 2005 Changtai Yun Pu Zhi Dian “Top of the Clouds” Sheng Pu-erh from Crimson Lotus Tea, the tea seems to be evoking thoughts of late spring and early summer.

Perhaps it’s the lovely notes of fruit that develop throughout the infusions, starting off with a soft hint of apricot and in later infusions, I notice that the sweet apricot notes are accentuated with a contrasting sour note of tart apple.

Perhaps it’s the lovely background note of flower that seems to bring to mind thoughts of floral aromas filling the air in the spring.  Or maybe it’s the delicate woodsy notes and hints of vegetative earthy tones that remind me of the trees as signs of their springtime foliage begin to grow.

This tea is beautifully smooth and sweet with notes of fruit and honey.  In the earliest infusions, the fruit notes are strongest, but as I continue to steep, the honey develops and the fruit begins to wane somewhat.

Meanwhile, the woodsy notes are developing.  These aren’t musty wood notes, but clean, vibrant woodsy tones.   The tea has a sweetness to it that is balanced with the aforementioned notes of sour apple.

I’ve only just been introduced to this company – Crimson Lotus – but I am quite impressed with this tea.  They specialize in Pu-erh teas.  Those new to Pu-erh will find this a fantastic resource of teas that are good ‘starting out’ Pu-erh (and since they specialize in Pu-erh, they’ll be a great resource of knowledge for you too!)  And for those of you who are more experienced with Pu-erh, I think you’ll find that Crimson Lotus has an amazing selection of intriguing teas.

As for me, I highly recommend this Top of the Clouds Sheng!  It’s delightful!

Milky Jinxuan High Mountain Oolong from Oollo Tea

MilkyJinxuanTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Oollo Tea

Tea Description:

The true milky Jinxuan oolong tea with natural cream milk accent and luscious texture. The Alishan family farms tea trees that were bought from our family in 1990. They practice zero pesticide natural farming.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s no big secret that I absolutely adore a good Milky Oolong tea.  This Milky Jinxuan High Mountain Oolong from Oollo Tea is one of the very best I’ve tried thus far.  It’s so delightfully sweet and creamy but the creaminess isn’t heavy.  It’s not overwhelming my palate.

I love the texture to this first cup (infusions 1, 2 & 3 – yes three infusions in one cup, I’m using a smaller gaiwan today), it’s very silky and softly creamy.  Smooth!

The flavor is sweet with notes of orchid.  It’s not sharply floral because the creamy buttery taste helps soften the floral taste without overpowering this delightful flowery essence.  It’s not bitter or astringent.  It’s just … lovely.  Oh so delightful.

My second cup (infusions 4 – 6) still has some of that silky texture, although much of the milky taste has waned.  This is much more floral than the first cup.  It’s sweet with spun sugar notes.  I taste light vegetal notes to this too.  I am also tasting a light nutty flavor that almost tastes “popcorn” like to me.  As the tea cools slightly, some of the creamy notes seem to develop so it’s not completely without that milky note.

My third cup (infusions 7 – 9) was softer in flavor than the second.  Not as creamy as either the first or second cup, but still beautifully floral with more nutty flavors and even a hint of peach can be detected!  I still get that light, spun-sugar type of flavor that I really like.

What a lovely tea!

Mango Kiwi Green Tea from 52Teas

52teas-Mango-KiwiTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Here’s a lovely organic Ceylon (Sri Lankan) green tea blended with freeze dried mango and kiwi and organic mango and kiwi flavors. It’s a little tart, a little sweet and all refreshing.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about 52Teas’ subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

My review of this Mango Kiwi Green Tea may just be my last “SororiTea Sisters” review of a tea from 52Teas.  In just a few days, my daughter takes over the business side of things with 52Teas and I become the mad tea artist!  And since I’ll be crafting all the teas for 52Teas as of June 1st, I wouldn’t feel right about writing a critical review about the teas that I create.  It just wouldn’t be ethical, you know?  I’m excited and nervous, it’s a huge step for us but I believe it’s a step in the right direction.

So this review is a little bittersweet with an emphasis on the sweet, but I will miss writing reviews!

To brew this tea, I used my Breville One-Touch.  I measured 2 bamboo scoops into the basket and poured 500ml of freshly filtered water into the kettle.  Then I set the temperature for 180°F and the timer for 2 minutes.  And a few minutes later, I have TEA!

Yummy tea!  Just like the description above says, this is a little sweet and a little tart.  I like that it’s neither too sweet nor too tart, though.  The sip starts out sweet with notes of mango.  The mango seems to be the strongest flavor in the cup, with the kiwi playing in the background.  At the finish of the sip, I start to notice the tart notes and those tarty flavors tickle on my tongue in the aftertaste.

The green tea is light and fresh tasting.  It has hints of grass and a delicate buttery taste.  It’s not bitter or astringent.  The vegetal notes of this tea aren’t particularly strong.  It’s a very soft, pleasant green tea.  This is the kind of green tea I’d recommend to someone who thinks they don’t like green tea because it tastes like vegetables.  This … doesn’t taste like vegetables!  It’s just delicate and lovely.

A really nice tea!  A good tea to have in the cupboard now as the weather is getting warmer because it tastes GREAT iced!

Mother’s Day Fun with Litehouse Foods

Information:

Where to Buy: Where Litehouse Foods are sold.

Description:

Because Taste Matters

Taster’s Review:

Recently, LiberTeas asked if anybody was interested in doing a review on Litehouse Foods product line in conjunction with Mother’s Day.  I jumped instantly at the opportunity. My mom is a huge foodie! She is an amazing little chef and baker in her own right.  My childhood memories are flooded with happy times with family members and there was something fantastic to munch on.  My mom was thrilled to participate and so was my dad.  We had a ton of incredible spices and dressings to play with.

MothersDay1We started the day out with making up some dip.  Salmon dip.  Salmon dip with these amazing freeze dried spices that Litehouse Foods provided.  My mom gave me a face when she saw the jar and I told her that all she needed to do was add water.  She was a good team player and went with it. it I think she is addicted to them now.  Litehouse Foods has an array of different freeze dried spices from cilantro to ginger.  All you do is add water to the spices and Viola! You have instant fresh spices. The taste fresh too.  Just like you bought them fresh from the local market.MothersDay2

Salmon Dip

1-can pink salmon

1 pk cream cheese

pinch of garlic powder (or to taste)

Litehouse Foods Freeze Dried Chives- 2 tablespoons (or to taste)

Litehouse Foods Freeze Dried Dill- 3 tablespoons (or to taste)

We took a can of pink salmon, a package of cream cheese, Litehouse Food Chives, Litehouse Food’s Dill, and garlic powder.  Mix all of it up in a bowl.  We basically added the spices in to taste.  Wowza! The dip turned out so good.  Rich and creamy with a hint of tang from the dill and chives. The dill and chive spices tasted so fresh and bright.

MothersDay2Since we used so much cream cheese, the salmon flavor was very light and subtle.  Such a delightful treat to start our day with.  We all said we could see this being a spread that you could put on break for finger sandwiches.  Since I have an issue with carbs, we stuck to this being a dip instead.

I think my dad single handedly took down half of this dip.  We dipped veggies and crackers into this delight.  Yum!MothersDay10

We also opened Litehouse Foods’ Cucumber Dill Dip.  We are the family that always has the veggie tray at these festivies.  My mom ate half of this dip on her own with carrot sticks.  She proclaimed this to be the best veggie dip ever.  And she has always been a lover of the Ranch Packet dip.

Next, we made my Buffalo Chicken Street Tacos. A recipe I can come up with one day for dinner.

1 can of Buffalo Chicken (I get mine from Costco)

1 can of corn-drained

1 can of diced tomatoes-drained

1 green pepper-diced

1 pkg of taco seasoning

MothersDay4Dump all ingredients into a pan or combine all into a crock pot for ease.  If you want the mixture spicy, add in some red pepper flakes or jalapenos. Warm up the mixture and allow the ingredients to simmer together.

Take either soft tortillas or hard shell shells and pour some of the mixture in.  Add in any kind of cheese you would use for tacos.

Since this is Buffalo Chicken, I was hit with “inspiration” for this dish and thought, Litehouse Foods has my favorite Blue Cheese dressing- Chunky Bleu Cheese.  The best part of this dressing, it is Gluten Free! I try to go as Gluten Free as possible.  So, after we made up the tacos, we added in some of the dressing instead of using a salsa or sour cream.  Oh mama! Were these ever delicious! We gobbled them down like you wouldn’t believe!   The creamy blue cheese dressing calmed the spices in the mixture just a bit and brought out an amazing buffalo chicken flavor.MothersDay6

We are huge salad eaters at our family functions.  One of my aunt’s duties each get together is to bring the salad. She was so excited to see an Litehouse Foods’ Organic Ranch dressing.  She adored it! She said it was rich and tangy with an incredible texture.  All she could say was Yum !Yum! A Yum!

MothersDay7To end our Mother’s Day luncheon with a dessert my mom makes with crushed pineapple, chunks of angel food cake, layered like a parfait with sliced strawberries on top.  It is a MUST for my family.  My 9 year old destroys a bowl full in a matter of seconds.   Too add a bit of a fresh twist, we added in a couple of pinches of Litehouse Foods Mint.  When we received the Litehouse Foods box a few days before Mother’s Day, I was the most excited and looking forward to was trying this freeze dried spice out.  I couldn’t wait to add the mint into teas, dessert, yogurts, smoothies, and possibly an adult beverage or two.  One bite of this dessert and it was this fantastic array of flavors. . the sweetness of the pineapple and strawberries and the fresh mint compounded with the vanilla sponge cake. . just so good! We all were in heaven.

MothersDay8We had a great time with the Litehouse Foods and spices, dips and dressings.  I can honestly say that I have bought Litehouse Foods products in the past and have enjoyed them. But for one reason or another, just never seemed to pick those products up again.  I can say after this Mother’s Day luncheon, Litehouse Foods has renewed customers out of us.  I am dying now to pick up the Cilantro and other herbs they offer.  And I can say without any kind of hesitation that I will never run out of this Bleu Cheese dressing.  Thank you Litehouse Foods for giving my mom and I a fantastic lunch!! We appreciated the products and can’t wait to get our hands on more!MothersDay9

When we got back home from my parents, my boyfriend handed me a bag and said “Happy Mother’s Day”.  He gave me the most thoughtful gift I have ever received! I just had to share.

Mango Party Coffee Leaf Tea from Wize Monkey

MangoPartyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Coffee Leaf Tea

Where to Buy:  Wize Monkey

Tea Description:

Juicy mangoes all up in your boca.

Stay tuned for the official release of our mango flavour.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

You might remember back in November when I reviewed the Armando’s Original Blend Coffee Leaf Tea from Wize Monkey.  I enjoyed that ‘tea’ – it was different from anything else that I had tried but similar in taste to Guayusa.

Well, the guys at Wize Monkey sent me some more samples to try, and this is the first one I’m trying:  Mango Party Coffee Leaf Tea.  The website says that this flavor is “coming soon” and I’m not sure exactly what that means, but if the idea of mango flavored coffee leaf tea intrigues you, keep your eye on the website for when it becomes available.

This is a bagged ‘tea’ but I appreciated that the bag is an unbleached bag and there’s plenty of room for leaf expansion.  I put a bag in my teacup and added 8 ounces of water heated to 195°F.  Then I let it steep for 4 minutes.

Wow!  Mango!

The mango flavor is very prominent and I really like the way it marries with the flavor of the coffee leaf.   It has a deliciously juicy, fruity flavor and the coffee leaf has a buttery flavor that I didn’t really pick up on when I tried the original coffee leaf tea in November.  I think that the mango brings out the very best in the coffee leaf!

The overall flavor is smooth, buttery and MANGO!  Really nice!  This is something I’d be happy to drink again and again!  Two thumbs up!

Anxi Tie Guan Yin Oolong from Nan Nuo Shan

AnxiTieGuanYinTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Nan Nuo Shan

Tea Description:

This tea is produced in Gande, a village famous for the complexity of its Tie Guan Yin tea.  Clear and fragrant, it possesses a mild flowery taste and a milky texture.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mmm!  In an effort to get all the reviews finished that I want to get finished before May 31st, I’ll be writing about a lot more Oolongs!  No complaints from me!  I love Oolong!

And this Anxi Tie Guan Yin Oolong from Nan Nuo Shan is so delightful.  Sweet and floral with a beautifully silky texture!  It’s smooth from start to finish.

My first cup (infusions 1 – 3 … smaller gaiwan!) has very little astringency.  I do notice a slight drying sensation toward the tail.  Mostly what I notice is the sweet honey-like flavor that is accentuated with the soft, creamy texture and the lovely floral notes that evoke thoughts of orchid.  No sharpness with this first cup – it has an almost vanilla-y flavor to it.  Sweet, creamy and luscious!

And that cup was GONE before I could finish writing about it – that’s how delightful it tastes!

My second cup was stronger in flavor than the first.  The creamy notes have waned and I’m not picking up on as much of the vanilla flavors that I noticed in the first cup.  It’s still quite delicious but definitely different than the first cup.  The floral notes are more pronounced now.  I still get that lovely honey-like sweetness.  The texture isn’t as silky as the first cup but I’m still noticing very little astringency here.

This cup seems to be more rounded – it’s not as sweet as the first – it’s more balanced between sweet and savory elements.

My third cup (infusions 7 – 9) was still really flavorful, even after so many infusions!  That’s one thing you’ve got to love about Oolong tea – they deliver on the flavor and on mileage!  They keep on steeping!

The cup was not quite as strong as the second cup.  The floral notes were softer than the second cup, but stronger than the first.  I still get that delicious honeyed note and I’m starting to pick up on the faintest notes of fruit now.  Apple!  Sweet and even hints of tart that provide a palate-pleasing roundness of flavor.

A really nice Tie Guan Yin, one of the nicest I’ve ever had!  I have been so impressed with the teas that I’ve tried from Nan Nuo Shan these teas are of exceptional quality … seriously, if you haven’t tried anything from them yet, I recommend them highly!

Cha Ginza: Roasted Matcha Green Tea from Yunomi

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Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Yunomi.us

Tea Description:

Have you ever heard of matcha that is roasted? This extremely rare Roasted Matcha is sold only in the Cha-Ginza store located in Tokyo, but we will be offering this to the Yunomi.us tea lovers!

The unforgettable taste of roasted matcha attracts many people that have tasted this at the Cha-Ginza tea room. The process of making a good-tasting roasted matcha is difficult, but the Uogashi Meicha factory was able to make this into a great tasting matcha.  Because it is so rare, roasted matcha is hard to find even in Japan.

Taster’s Review:

After reading about the brick and mortar store in the heart of Tokyo on the Yunomi website, Cha Ginza is now on my bucketlist of tea shops to visit before I keel over in my old age.

This Roasted Matcha from Cha Ginza is the most unique matcha I have ever encountered. The brilliant green powder is the same color as young spring grass. The roasted element is intense. There is still an element of extreme freshness underlying the roasted scent. I was so confused at first, I felt like I was sniffing a high-quality hojicha instead! But no, my nose was simple mistaken.Cha-Ginza Matcha

I whipped this up in my large black chawan to share with my fella. I used 1 and 1/2 scoops using my chashaku, and made a paste using a smidge of warm water. Whisking with my chasen with more water, I made a nice brilliant green froth to share with my mildly impressed boyfriend.

At first sip we were hooked. It had a great full-bodied roasted flavor, and the fresh green marine vegetal notes still very present. It reminds me of wakame or nori. This tea has really got that whole umami thing down. It’s also the smoothest match I have ever encountered. It even has a hint of sweetness that rounds out the intensity of the roast. It’s also a plus that there is virtually no smokiness to this tea. I think that I would not have enjoyed it as much if there was even a small element of smoke.

While this is not a tea to begin your matcha journey with, I would highly recommend this tea for those who have had plenty of good match experiences and wanted to try something unique and high quality.

Everest Earl Grey from Nepali Tea Traders

Everest_Earl_GreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

This is perfect Spring afternoon Earl Grey. The black tea is light and works to create an elegant blend. With the added sweet orange peel, fragrant bergamot and a touch of Bourbon vanilla bean from Madagascar, this is delicious with or without milk or sugar.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

25% of profits from our Nepal teas will be donated to the ‘Nepali Tea’ Restoration Fund for earthquake relief.  Learn more here.

Taster’s Review:

Yay!  Earl Grey!  I was so happy to find this Everest Earl Grey from Nepali Tea Traders in this month’s box from Amoda Tea because it’s a tea that I’ve wanted to try for a while now.  I mean, hey, if it’s Earl Grey – you know I want to try it!

To steep this tea, I used my Kati Tumbler.  At first, I was going to use my Breville One-Touch and use the entire contents of the sampler package that Amoda Tea sends in their monthly box, but, I decided that I wanted to have two separate occasions where I could enjoy this tea so I used my Kati Tumbler, measured a bamboo scoop of tea into the basket and poured 12 ounces of boiling water into the tumbler.  Then I let it steep for 3 minutes.

One tip about this tea:  let it cool a bit.  I find that the flavors emerge when the tea has cooled a little – the tea isn’t cold, not even what I’d call lukewarm, but it’s not piping hot.  It’s somewhere between the lukewarm and piping hot.  Not quite “hot” … it’s a pleasantly drinkable temperature.

The first sip or two was a little less than what I wanted in terms of flavor, to be honest.  Then I let it cool a bit.  (Check out the previous paragraph!)  Once the temperature dropped to the “pleasantly drinkable temperature” the flavors came forward.

The black tea is the strongest flavor I taste here – but it’s not a really powerful or aggressive tasting black tea.  It’s on the mellow side.  Smooth, rich but not overly robust.  As the description above suggests, it makes a nice afternoon cuppa.

Then I taste orange and vanilla notes.  Not bergamot orange, but orange.  It’s bright and a really refreshing orange taste.  The vanilla is soft and not quite as creamy as I expected it to be.  It’s more like a sweet accent rather than the creamy accent that I usually experience from an “Earl Grey Creme” type of tea.

I pick up on the bergamot by mid-sip.  It’s not quite as tangy as I normally experience from a bergamot flavored tea.  At least, not until the aftertaste.  In the aftertaste, I get that bergamot tangy note.  During the sip, I notice a sweet, flavorful citrus-y note with a distinct “bergamot-y” type of flavor.

While the bergamot is ‘distinct’ – it’s not as profound a bergamot flavor as I have experienced with other Earl Grey teas.  This is the Earl Grey tea for someone who typically finds a strong bergamot presence to be a bit too much for them, because this bergamot is rather subdued.   Distinct but subtle in it’s approach.

Overall, this is a really tasty tea.  Is it my favorite Earl Grey tea?  No, not by a long shot and if I were rating it according to my Earl Grey standards, it would probably end up with one or two stars on a five star rating scale.  But, I think that the tea itself is worthy of at least a couple stars on it’s own.  This isn’t a tea that would be part of my Earl Grey collection – but I would definitely enjoy having it as part of my overall tea collection.