Leaf Type: Black (Darjeeling)
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Summery and delicious, this is a blend of premium first flush FTGFOP-1 Darjeelings, freeze-dried blueberries, marigold petals and organic flavors. You are not going to miss out on this one. Trust me.
Learn more about this blend here.
OK … so I love a good Earl Grey. Bergamot – as long as it’s done correctly – I love it. And I like blueberry flavored tea and I enjoy a good Darjeeling. So everything about this blend says that this should be a winner, right?
Not so much.
When the tea is hot, it ends up tasting a bit like a mouthful of blueberry flavored perfume. Not really my favorite thing to drink. So, I pushed the cup aside and hoped that some cool time would allow the flavors to develop in a pleasant sort of way. I kept my fingers crossed and decided to play a game of Mahjong while I waited.
The game is over now and I lost. I’m hoping that the tea isn’t as big a fail as the game was.
Now that the tea is a little cooler (not cold, it’s still quite warm but it’s not fresh from the teapot hot now) it doesn’t taste quite as bad as it did with my first two sips. The bergamot has become less perfume-y tasting and now tastes more like the Italian citrus fruit than Uncle Harvey’s aftershave. And the blueberry comes through nicely. I find myself … hmm … I’m not quite comfortable using the word “enjoying” given how much I really was put off by the first couple of sips, so I guess I’ll say I don’t hate the way the citrus notes and the blueberry play together in this cup.
The Darjeeling is pleasant. At this cooler temperature, the tea tastes a little fuller in body than some of the Darjeeling teas that I had been tasting earlier this year with the first flush, like perhaps this might be a blend rather than a single estate. It makes a pleasing base.
Overall, once the tea has cooled, this is not terrible. It’s drinkable. It doesn’t taste so much like perfume anymore.
But it certainly doesn’t qualify as a favorite from 52Teas. As much as I am a fan of 52Teas – and I am, they’re one of my favorite companies for unique flavored teas! – I really think they should steer clear of Earl Grey/bergamot teas (and jasmine teas as well, unless they source teas that have already been scented with jasmine essence – but don’t use that wretched jasmine flavoring oil!) because these are two flavors that 52Teas seems to have difficulty capturing in a proper way. They just come out tasting very chemical and perfume-ish and just … well, icky.
You know I adore you, Frank, but, please stop with the Earl Grey blends. You’ve made some pretty decent ones that I’ve liked, but most that I’ve tried have turned out to be rather disappointing.
Then again, maybe I’m just an Earl Grey snob. My husband would tell you that is what the issue is. It isn’t that Frank doesn’t make good Earl Grey, it’s that I’ve raised the bar too high for Earl Grey because I’m a tea snob. Yep. That’s what he’d say.
Then again … what does my husband know about it? He doesn’t even drink tea! He might know trivial things like … math (math is evil) and stuff like that, but when it comes to things that REALLY matter (like tea) … he’d be lost without me.