Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tiger Spring Tea
Bergamot oil from the citrus fruit grown in the Calabria district in Italy had become popular in the 18th and 19th centuries as a flavouring for gin and snuff. It was brought to Joseph Banks attention who is known to have experimented with flavourings. He is credited with adding it to tea, and it was most likely given the name Earl Grey, since he was the popular Prime Minister of the time. Our Real Earl Grey is scented using natural bergamot oil, rather than the synthetic scents commonly used. As a result it has a more citrusy nose and palate.
Learn more about this tea here.
As most of our regular readers are probably well aware of by now, I am a HUGE fan of Earl Grey. So whenever I get a new Earl Grey to try, I’m excited. And whenever I find an Earl Grey that I absolutely love … I find myself not only elated, but also somewhat confused. Why? Because I have a few “favorite” Earl Grey teas, and it seems that this list of favorites is expanding at a continual rate!
This Real Earl Grey from Tiger Spring Tea has earned a spot in my ever-growing list of favorite Earl Grey teas. From what I can glean from the Tiger Spring Tea website, the tea seems to be one that was grown in Kenya, which explains the robust black tea flavor that I taste. It is rich and well-rounded, providing a taste that is strong and smooth, with hints of smokiness in the background that offer an interesting dimension to the overall cup.
But as with any Earl Grey, the important factor is not the tea (although a high quality black tea base IS essential, and Tiger Spring certainly has not overlooked this) but the BERGAMOT. Here, the bergamot tastes very natural. There is a freshness to it, like freshly squeezed citrus juice. It is sweet … it seems to be sweeter than I usually notice with bergamot, and this sweetness offers a pleasing contrast with the tangy notes of the Italian fruit. I also notice that the natural floral notes of the bergamot are different here too.
I usually also notice floral notes with bergamot as well, and I do taste them here too, but, again, it’s different with this Earl Grey. The floral tones are not as noteworthy during the sip, which seems to focus on the sweet yet sour notes of the fruit, but in the aftertaste, which has a lingering floral note that is quite lovely. No soapy/perfume-y tastes here, just vibrant bergamot flavor.
Another favorite for the list!