I’m a sucker for anything roses, and the idea of rose + Earl Grey seemed interesting to me. It works with lavender so why not rose?
The roses sure make the tea look pretty. :-) The contrast between the dark tea and the pinky/red rose petals is lovely. It reminds me a little of a fancy dress for a little girl, dark velvet with tiny pink rosettes.
I don’t smell rose in the sample pouch, though. This makes me wonder whether that means the rose is decorative only? I just finished trying the Upton Earl Grey Blue Flower where that was true, so I suppose it is possible. I do smell bergamot in the dry tea, and I do smell something else, but I can’t identify it.
I think I may be getting some rose fragrance in the aroma of the tea, but perhaps it is just wishful thinking. The bergamot isn’t at all strong. The tea smells mild and slightly sweet.
As I drink, I get a rose note in the aroma. It isn’t very strong at all, but it is pretty. It is harder to identify in the taste, but I do believe it is there around the edges of the sip. I had expected it to be stronger, but now I’m thinking maybe the reason it isn’t is because it wouldn’t work that way? When I tease out the rose in the aroma and the flavor, I can also get a hint of how easy it would be for a stronger rose to overpower everything else at work in this tea, and how having to increase the bergamot would lead to escalating the rose flavor and so on until the end result was mutual assured destruction.
So it’s subtle. But I think it is because it has to be, not because of a failing in the blend. As with the Upton Chocolate Earl Grey, I really like the idea of this tea. The question I need to answer for myself is whether for my own palate it’s too subtle to be worth it, and I’m not ready to answer that yet. Even as I write this, I’m tasting the rose a little more as the tea cools, and the more I taste it, the more the answer leans toward yes.