Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Harney & Sons
This new take on an old classic adds an air of mystery to the traditional Earl Grey. Citrusy layers, bergamot and floral aromas mingle with lingering smoky base notes for a rich and fragrant finish.
Learn more about this tea here.
Of the four teas in the new Ambessa Tea Line from Harney & Sons, you know that the one I had to try was this: The Earl of Harlem! I do love Earl Grey, and I was excited to try chef Marcus Samuelsson’s interpretation of one of my favorite teas, especially after reading a comment from one of our readers who suggested that this one be the next from the Ambessa Tea line that I try.
It should come as no big surprise to my readers that the one big drawback to this new line of teas is that they are only available in sachet form. I am not a big fan of Harney & Sons teas in sachet form, as I have noticed a difference in taste between the teas packaged in sachets versus the same tea in loose leaf form (most notably – the Hot Cinnamon Spice).
That complaint aside, I am really enjoying this Earl of Harlem tea! The description above describes the base of this tea as a smoky tea base, and while it does have a smoky profile, I appreciate that it is not an overwhelming smoky note. It’s a softer smoky taste that doesn’t compete with the citrus-y bergamot.
I like that the bergamot is strong here, but not overdone. It has a pleasant tangy, fruity note to it, with hints of floral tones in the background … without tasting perfume-ish. The smoky tones of the black tea base give this a more masculine character, and I get the “Earl of Harlem” connection – or at least, I get an interpretation of it – as it evokes thoughts of a smoky jazz club in the 20’s and 30’s in Harlem.
The tea has a very smooth, compelling flavor. The black tea is rich, earthy, and possesses a gentle, smoky tone. The bergamot is has a tart, zesty flavor with a hint of exotic sweetness. Whispers of floral tones drift off in the background. A really delightful spin on my beloved Earl Grey – Chef Samuelsson does my suave gentleman proud with this tea.