2201 Tasting Notes
I bought this tea with a groupon deal just at the beginning of the time when I decided I really should be drinking more tea (aka, the beginning of my recent tea addiction). I knew I liked Earl Greys, I was clueless enough to completely not notice that this was a rooibos and not a black tea when I ordered it (I knew the difference, I just blithely assumed that all Earl Greys would be black tea). So I was suprised when I opened the tin to find rooibos leaves!
In any case, despite my slight disappointment that this wasn’t a black tea, I do really enjoy it. The bergamot is well rounded and prominent but not overbearing, and the rooibos makes a very pleasant base tea. It’s great for when I want an Earl Grey without caffeine in the evening. I think next time I might brew it even longer to make it stronger, since rooibos has the benefit of not getting bitter.
I love this tea so much. I randomly picked up a “tagalong” tin of it at the Tower of London when I visited last fall, before my recent tea obsession even took hold. I figured, I like tea, and this is The blend of the Tower, so why not? When I got home and tried it, it blew me away. Fruity and honeyed, with an underlying lovely bergamot flavor… it’s basically my number one tea at this point.
I was thrilled to find out that I wouldn’t need to go to the Tower of London, or even order from London, to replenish this tea. It actually took me a while to drink through my tagalong because I didn’t want the tea to end. I recently bought a whole tin of it from Harney (and I think I might have gotten the last one, because right afterward it was out of stock!), and I’m in heaven. Today I’m drinking it out of my Tower of London tea cup that features the famous ravens with little royal guard outfits on. Perfect cup of tea!
I have a number of chamomile tea samples, including this one from the CTF, at home that I don’t usually get around to drinking because I rarely drink tea at home. (I keep and drink almost all of my tea at work at this point). I don’t yet have a tea pot I really like at home either, but I need a relaxing tea tonight, so I busted out a tiny pot and used this sample tea sachet.
I’m not usually a chamomile drinker but I find it pleasant and it’s growing on me as I drink it. At first I get a taste of hay, which resolves itself into a flavor of honey and faint sweetness in the tea. Overall I have to say I have enjoyed this cup and that it has definitely relaxed me.
Still working my way through my CTF samples. I’m not usually an English Breakfast person, but I picked up a sample anyway to try.
This one brewed up a reddish brown mahogany color, with the distinct aroma that definitely says English Breakfast to me. The flavor isn’t super powerful, probably because I only steeped it for 3 minutes, but it’s light and pleasant, and nicely rounded. Steeped longer it would likely become a more robust tea. I enjoyed this cup, but I’m not likely to get more, more because EBs still aren’t really my thing than its not a pleasant tea.
Another purchase from the CTF. The dried leaves have a super pungent bergamot aroma, which made me a little nervous because I was afraid it might brew up bitter tasting to me.
I went ahead and only brewed it 3 minutes, not the 5 as instructed, and I think it was a good move. The liquor is a deep-dark reddish brown and the aroma is of bergamot and… something else I can’t place. Perhaps its the base teas coming through. It’s not unpleasant, and I feel like if I knew more about straight black teas I might be able to pin it down. Surprisingly the bergamot isn’t overwhelming in the aroma, but is the main flavor in the taste. I got no bitterness in this cup, just a nice strong flavor. I enjoy this Earl Grey, and look forward to drinking through the cannister I got at the show!
I got a sample of this tea at the Coffee and Tea Festival last weekend. I tried a little at the event, and thought it was unique and pretty tasty, I was excited to try a whole cup.
The sample didn’t come with any instructions, but I looked on their website and noticed that the instructions said to use one tea bag in 8 oz of water, steeped in boiling water for 4-6 minutes. I already started steeping the sachet I got in 12 oz of water, so I went ahead and left it in for 6 minutes.
The tea brewed up with a dark yellowish liquor, with an aroma that featured the spices with a leafy-green-grassy notes behind it. The taste… well, I wish I had brewed it in less water, or had another sachet! The flavor was overall kind of weak. I could faintly taste the spice, but not much behind it. It was mild and inoffensive, but not very exciting. My next sample will definitely get less water!
Another Coffee and Tea Festival aquisition, this time a sample from the goodie bag. I love Jasmine tea, so I was pleased to see it in there!
This tea brewed up to have an orangey-yellow liquor, and a lovely jasmine smell. Unfortunately the jasmine flavor is not as strong in the drink itself, though it gets better as it cools slightly. My baseline comparison for jasmine teas is an unlabeled jasmine green I brought back from China 5 years ago, and it’s still overwhelmingly pungently jasmine when brewed. I enjoyed this cup, but I think I’d search elsewhere if I needed to replenish my jasmine tea stash.
Another tea I picked up at the Coffee and Tea festival. I had always wanted to try this one, and they were sampling it there when I made it to the booth. It really is fantastic, and I had to pick up a tin!
I got distracted this morning and accidentally steeped this cup of tea for 11 minutes! Yikes! I decided I’d try it anyway, and was pleasantly surprised to find no bitterness whatsoever. The cinnamon obviously takes the forefront here, but the sweet clove is a big player, adding a hint of natural sweetness and flavor. The oversteeping produced a dark mahogany liquor and the aroma is very spicy, though the taste is decidedly less spicy. That’s ok for me, though, because cinnamon can get overly spicy and caustic pretty quickly. This tea is just pure cinnamon bliss!
Just got back from the NYC Coffee and Tea festival with a tin of this; I’m totally in love. I’ve been testing a sample pack I got from Harney, so I already knew I really enjoyed this tea. The tin is full of sachets, and it somewhat confirms my suspicion that I’m for some reason having issues brewing non-bitter black tea from Harney’s loose tea, but when I get it in a sachet I can steep it for 4-5 minutes and end up with no bitterness, just awesome flavor.
Anyway, this tea has a fantastic aroma. The bergamot is delicate and just gives a slighty fruity hint, overlain with hints of vanilla and caramel. I get some berry notes, definitely as it cools, but not cherry or strawberry so much as black currant. All in all this is definitely one of my favorite teas.
I am on the search for my perfect Earl Grey, but I’m not quite sure what defines that yet! I’ve enjoyed Earl Grey tea bags (Twining’s, Stash) with no care as to steeping time or anything, yet many of the loose leaf Earl Grey’s I’ve tried have been too bitter for me, and lacking the “right” flavor. I’m not sure if the bitterness I’m tasting is from the tea or the bergamot, but somethings amiss.
Anyway, the first time I brewed this Earl Grey I found it bitter (too long steeping); this time, at three minutes, I enjoy it more, but still a lingering bitterness dampens my enjoyment. The citrusy notes of the bergamot come through nicely. Perhaps I’ll drop it to two minutes next time.