The tea – both dry leaves and post-steeping liquid – smells like bergamot candy. It’s got the citrusy sharpness of bergamot, but it is cuddled on all sides by a very sweet cake-icing-like vanilla smell. I would like a candle in this flavor please. It smells delish.
Usually, I take flavored teas with sugar and half & half, but today since I have the time I had this one straight. At first sip, I didn’t really get much taste, just a little hint of tartness at the end. But as I continued to sip, the taste seemed to build in my mouth – first the vanilla sweetness and then the edgier bergamot (which I’m pretty sure is the tart taste at the end of the sip I had at first – as I continued to sip, the vanilla smoothed out the edges of this tart endnote).
One thing that I don’t really taste, however, is tea. The added flavorings are nice – not impressive but nice (I’m a fan of anything that reminds me of icing) – but the overall taste just feels like it is missing something. And I’m pretty sure that something is the taste of tea. If I had to guess, I’d say this is a fairly meh Ceylon but that’s only because it doesn’t really taste like much of anything and that lack of taste is something I associate with not-very-special Ceylons. That could just be prejudice against Ceylons speaking. Anyway, towards the end of the cup, there was some astringency that left my mouth feeling a bit dry and that was the closest to “tea” that I really got out of it.
I’ll going to hold off on rating this until I have a chance to try it with additives – I have a feeling the bergamot and vanilla will really make me happy with sugar and half & half mixed in. Especially since any time I use additives, I’m not really expecting or looking for any strong tea flavor.