Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Pipers Loose Leaf Tea
Made with the finest China teas including a large portion of white tips (the most prized leaf of the plant) and blended with the highest quality Sicilian oil of bergamot available.
Learn more about this tea here.
This is the last of the four teas that Pipers Loose Leaf sent to me, and it would appear that I saved the best for last. I liked a couple of the teas that they sent me and I really enjoyed the Red Grey that I tried which kind of surprised me because I don’t usually think I’ll enjoy a ‘rooibos’ Earl Grey. That one was quite nice.
But this Earl Grey Tea from Pipers Loose Leaf Tea is the best one that I tried from them. First of all, the dry leaf! It’s beautiful! The leaves are whole and large. They’re chocolate brown and wiry and there are several ‘white tips’ in there too. Beautiful. The aroma is strong and distinctly bergamot and you know that I loved that.
To brew the tea, I used my Breville One-Touch and measured 2 bamboo scoops of the tea into the basket. Then I added 500ml of water to the kettle and set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and the temperature for 205°F.
No real reason for choosing 205° over the boiling temperature of 212°F except that I felt more comfortable using a slightly lower temperature with all the white tips in the tea. I don’t know that the slightly lower temperature would make all that much difference, and really, there were probably 4 white tips that were among the many chocolate brown leaves in the basket, so I doubt that their presence in the basket would have deemed necessary a slightly lower temperature. But I also didn’t figure that seven degrees below boiling would have made all that much difference to the ability of the black leaves to release their flavor fully. So I just went with my gut and my gut told me to use 205°F. So that’s what I did.
Nice. The bergamot flavor is a bit on the subtle side. The aroma was quite strong and led me to think that this would be a very bergamot-y cup. Don’t get me wrong, the bergamot is THERE and it’s quite wonderful. It’s just a bit softer than the dry leaf aroma would led me to believe it would be.
What makes this particular tea so nice is the way the black tea comes through. It’s a rich, malty black tea. It has a pleasantly thick texture to it and it has a solid, full flavor. Nicely round. And really quite smooth! There is very little astringency to this, even as I focus on trying to find the astringency to this tea, I find very little. Just a very slight dry note toward the finish. It’s so very slight that when I take the sip, I don’t notice it unless I am trying to find it. A smooth, robust delivery from start to finish.
The bergamot is softer, as I mentioned, but it’s a pleasant sweet-tangy citrus taste. It’s bright and invigorating. I know that Earl Grey is a popular tea to go ‘latte’ with, but I don’t know that I’d suggest doing that with this particular Earl Grey, because I think that the milk or cream might overwhelm the bergamot flavor. I find that the bergamot develops as I continue to sip and now that I’m just past the halfway point in my cup, the flavor is stronger than when I first started.
It’s still not as strong as some of the more boldly flavored bergamot teas I’ve had in the past, and not quite as strong as the aforementioned Red Grey that I tasted a few days ago. But, even though that Red Grey was stronger – bergamot wise – I find myself still preferring this tea to that one because I like the way the bergamot plays with the black tea notes here.
This is lovely. My adoration of a good Earl Grey is no secret by now, I’m sure! And this is a good one. I don’t know that it would be able to eek it’s way into my ‘top 3’ or even my top 5. But, I’m enjoying it and I’d be happy to drink it again.