Smoky Earl Grey Tea from New Mexico Tea Company


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  New Mexico Tea Company

Tea Description:

An interesting twist on the traditional Earl Grey, this tea is made with Chinese Lapsang Souchong to add a savory smoothness to the citrus notes of Bergamot. Best in the afternoon, and suggested without milk.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve tasted many variations on the classic Earl Grey tea, but, of the many different takes on the favorite, I can’t recall having a Smoky Earl Grey Tea like this one from New Mexico Tea Company.  I may have had one or two other smoky Earl Grey teas with a strong smoky essence like this tea possesses … but they were apparently not very memorable because they’re not coming to mind at the moment.

But this Smoky Earl Grey is memorable.  As I’ve attested in the past, I’m not a big fan of the smoky teas … and I used to shy away from Lapsang Souchong tea because the smoky quality tends to be a bit too much for me.  I have since learned better ways of infusing a smoky tea, and this has lead me to have a more enjoyable experience with the heavily smoked teas.  And I am glad that I’m able to bring that brewing knowledge to the teapot for this Smoky Earl Grey, because I’m really liking the result.  It is indeed smoky, but, the smoke does not interfere with the tangy/sweet quality of the bergamot.  Instead, they intermingle quite nicely … and create a rather unique, delicious flavor that I’m enjoying quite a bit.

The key is to “reawaken” the leaves … or do a pre-rinse of the leaves when you steep a Lapsang Souchong.  Pour just under boiling water on the leaves, allow them to infuse for 15 seconds, and then strain the leaves and they’re ready to brew!  I then brewed the leaves for 3 minutes.  This produced a flavorful cup that is smoky … but not overwhelmingly so.  The level of smoke does not overpower the flavor of the bergamot.  The bergamot tastes sweeter in the presence of the smoky characteristics of the tea … I notice more of the sweeter notes of the citrus fruit than I might experience with a traditional Earl Grey.

A very enjoyable cuppa – if you’re a fan of Earl Grey … you should try this interesting twist on the classic!

French Blend from New Mexico Tea Company

frenchblendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black & Green Tea Blend

Where to Buy:  New Mexico Tea Company

Tea Description:

This French blend has a bright coppery colour, and Ooh-la-la floral notes from ‘crème de la vanille’, Jasmine and Lavender deliciously blended with flavorful Ceylons, pungent Assams and malty Kenyas. Truly a unique and wonderful tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

As I mentioned in one of my reviews for the 12 Days of Christmas countdown with Della Terra Teas, I also hosted a swap on Steepster using the 12 Days of Christmas theme.  Basically, participants were to select a tea that would seem inspired by the lyrics of the song, The 12 Days of Christmas.  I got Day 3:  Three French Hens, and this is one of three teas that I selected to send out to the participants of this swap.  (The participants didn’t have to send more than one tea, I chose three teas for a couple of reasons, 1)  I couldn’t narrow down my choices to just one, and 2) since I had day three, I thought three teas just seemed to work within that theme … I sent them three “French” teas.)

And as I mentioned above, this is one of the three teas I selected.  I chose this tea for a couple of reasons, first, the tea had a blended base of green and black teas, and since the other two teas I was selecting both had black tea bases, I thought the green tea would offer a bit of variation from the others.  Second, I wanted a blend with lavender in it, and this tea has it.  Third, I like the fact that there are other floral notes to this tea – specifically, jasmine and rose.

I am really happy with this choice.  Since it was both a black and a green tea, I chose a lower water temperature (180°F) and steeped it for three minutes.  The first couple of sips were rather astringent, but after allowing the cup to cool a couple of minutes, I found that the astringency waned.  There is still some dry astringency to this, but it is actually quite nice, as it seems to cleanse the palate a bit.

This is a beautifully floral tea.  It is exotically sweet with the notes of jasmine, rose and lavender, and there is a underlying creaminess to it too thanks to the vanilla tones.  The base of black and green teas seems to be a goo choice for this blend, the black tea offers a bit of earthiness and a pleasantly rich flavor with hints of malt and even the faintest wine-like quality, while the green tea lightens the cup a bit so that the black tea doesn’t taste too heavy nor does it overwhelm the flavors of the flowers … or the vanilla for that matter.

A very enjoyable cup.  I like the way everything is balanced.  I can taste each element of this tea:  I taste the black and the green tea, and that doesn’t always happen with blended teas such as this; I taste the vanilla, the jasmine, the rose, and of course, the lavender.  These floral elements meld together so nicely, they don’t seem to compete with one another, instead, they work together to create a very luxurious tasting cup … like something you might sip at a French cafe while taking in the scenery.

Coconut Dream from New Mexico Tea Co.

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  New Mexico Tea Co.

Tea Description:

A full bodied tea that complements the coconut beautifully. A little milk helps bring out the coconut flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!  Do you like coconut?  If you do, you’ve GOT to try this tea.

Seriously, this is one of the best coconut flavored black teas I think I’ve ever tasted.  The flavor is so very true to the fruit.

The aroma of the dry leaf does smell a little … artificial.  It has a sort of coconut candy kind of scent to it, it is sweet and coconut-y smelling … it doesn’t really smell chemical or anything, but the sweet notes give it a more confectionery fragrance.  But, I am glad that the artificial notes end with the aroma … because the flavor is sensational.

The black tea base is – according to the label on the package – an Organic Korakundah estate black tea which means it’s a Nilgiri base.  A good choice, in my opinion, because the result is a rich, robust, full-flavored tea that offers a very enjoyable, solid background of flavor … but without being too intrusive on the flavor of the coconut.  Instead, the rich, somewhat malty notes of the Nilgiri enhance the coconut tones, making it taste thicker and creamier.

The coconut flavor here is strong and very coconut-y.  As I said before – it is very true to the fruit.  This tastes like TRUE coconut.  Sweet and creamy and very yummy..  It is sweet, but it doesn’t taste “candy sweet.”  Quite simply, it tastes like coconut.

This is one of the better coconut teas that I’ve tasted, and one that I’d recommend to those looking for the ideal coconut tea.