The Earl of Harlem Ambessa Tea from Harney & Sons


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Harney & Sons

Tea Description:

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.

Taster’s Review:

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.


Co-Founder/Co-Creator of SororiTea Sisters, Mad Tea Artist at 52Teas
Anne (aka the Mad Tea Artist) has celebrated her 29th birthday for many years now. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her hubby and her youngest daughter. Her oldest daughter is married and has bestowed Anne with the proud title of "Gramma" and her grandson is about the cutest boy you ever did see.

Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!

Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!

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