Tea of the morning…..
I have been eyeing this tea for a long time. While overseas ordering from Fortnum was a complete bust, I was able to purchase this one in person at Williams-Sonoma. I guess my curiosity won out over my feelings about the poor experience of ordering directly from them. I am very much willing to try any Earl as long as it is easy to obtain. I just happened to be at the mall this past weekend, so it was not even a special trip. I also picked up some sachets of Harney Organic English Breakfast for travel. I only travel with bagged tea anymore as the rest of the gear is kind of cumbersome. Yes, I have gone soft. Gone are the days of hardcore brewing no matter where I am. Convenience wins out most of the time.
The main reason why this tea intrigued me so was that it was a China black base. In reading the package it calls the base a “predominantly China blend”. I was kind of surprised at the leaf size. It seems pretty smallish like a BOP or even smaller. They are very dark and the smell of bergamot is bright and citrusy. The first pot I made had quite a bit of dust (now wet) in the bottom of my cup, meaning that it made it out of the infuser and then escaped the teapot. I guess I am not super pleased about the leaf quality for the price I paid. In the US it is about $16 for 125g. Lupicia is a much better value, but the shipping kills it for me since their Earl Grey is pretty much the only tea I would rebuy from there right now.
As for taste, it is very good. The tea base does make a rich cup of tea. The bergamot reads a little less bright than Lupicia, but not as musty (sorry about that descriptor, but I can’t think of a better way to describe it) as some Earls. I do like the packaging. Not sure if it would make the rebuy list, yet, but I am glad I finally got around to trying it. It is a good, solid cup of tea. (Rating started at 87)
Usual teapot method.
Edit to add: All of the dust in the bottom of my cup makes it pretty bitter by the end of the pot. I will drink this, but not replace it. Glad I tried it, though. (Rating took a serious hit by the end of the pot. Since the tea I brewed was measured from the top of the tin, I am pretty sure this is as good as it gets. Dust will be worse by the bottom of the tin.)