5 Tasting Notes
I was surprised by the quality and taste of this tea, keeping in mind it costs less than 6€/100g. I find it very similar to more expensive Lapsang Souchongs (e.g. the Fortnum&Mason Lapsang Souchong which is about twice the price). It says to only steep for two minutes, but with Lapsang Souchongs, I like leaving the leaves in the water for a whole lot longer – often I don’t even take them out of the kettle at all. Even then it won’t turn bitter or tangy, a quality that I haven’t had with Lapsang Souchongs in a similar price range. I am quite impressed by this one
Flavors: Campfire, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
I have had smoked teas before, but they were a bit bland and there was just this one aroma that overshadowed all others. This one is different. The smell of the brewed tea is that of a light camp fire with a lot of sweetness, but its taste is only mildly smoky. It’s not like a liquid ham sandwich, but more like fruit that were dried by a fire and that took up a little smoke. I find that very pleasant. People often recommend to steep lapsang souchong only for a few seconds to a minute or two and to do that several times. I think this tea also allows for longer steeping times, as it does not really get bitter, even after 10 minutes and longer (I just leave the leafs in the pot, so the tea develops). Given the quality and heritage of this tea it is a true bargain and worth trying.
PS: It was the favourite of Sir Winston Churchill. It is therefore a drink that truly stands for Britain.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Scotch, Smoke, Sweet, Wood
I am not sure whether this technically still counts as an Earl Grey. If it does, then it is an unusual one. Not only is this tea flavoured with bergamot oil, but also with neroli oil (a Sicilian bitter orange). The strength of this flavouring gives the tea almost an artificial scent and taste despite the company’s claims of the flavouring consisting of natural oils. The tea is characterized by this sweet citrus aroma which differs from everything I have perceived before. I am certain that this aroma is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is definitely worth trying. The leaves are rather large-sized and almost pitch black when dry.
Considering the price, this tea isn’t really a bargain, but for those who like it, this tea is worth its money. Those who are open for less traditional tastes should consider having a cup as well.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy