Leaf Type: Black
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When it comes to Earl Grey teas, there are a couple of things that I consider “standard” … that is, things that I expect from an Earl Grey. The first thing I expect is a distinct dry leaf aroma. I should smell the bergamot! The second thing I want is for that aroma to carry over into the brewed tea. I still want to smell the bergamot! Finally, and most importantly, I want a great taste: I want a good black tea base and I want to taste the bergamot. I love a good strong flavor of bergamot but I’ve also found many teas that have a softer flavor of bergamot and I have enjoyed those as well. As long as I get GOOD bergamot – not soapy or cologne-ish – then I’m a happy sipper.
Well, when I opened the pouch that held the tea bag of this Earl Grey Tea from Tea of Life, I didn’t get a strong, distinct bergamot aroma. Needless to say, I was disappointed.
The brewed tea has a stronger bergamot fragrance (although when compared to next to no bergamot aroma, it shouldn’t be difficult to have a stronger fragrance, right?) so I’m happy about that. It’s that unmistakable scent of bergamot. I love it.
The flavor: It’s good. The bergamot flavor is definitely there, and it doesn’t taste soapy or like I’m drinking fragrance de Uncle Albert. It’s not as strong as some Earl Grey teas I’ve tasted, but it’s a clear, well-defined bergamot note.
And the black tea is brisk and smooth. I’m really liking the black tea base because it’s not astringent. It’s really quite smooth and it’s a good, solid flavor. Nicely round.
Overall, this Earl Grey is a winner. I’m quite impressed with it, really, especially considering that A) this is a bagged tea; and B) I was rather disappointed with it when I took that first whiff and didn’t smell bergamot; and C) did I mention that this is a bagged tea? Like I said, impressive!