drank Grand Earl Grey by Octavia Tea
4030 tasting notes

This sample was in my package from Roswell Strange. I was curious as to what the “Grand” part of the title was referring to, as the ingredients list only black tea and bergamot oil. Turns out, they think their Yunnan base tea is “exceptional”. Hmm, not sure I would agree there, the leaves are small and dark. So basically it’s a plain Earl Grey, got it. The bergamot smells pretty strong in the dry leaf, which isn’t a good sign for me as I like my Earl Grey teas milder.

The steeped tea smells like bergamot, but it’s not terribly strong. Ugh, yeah this one is not for me. For some reason it came out a little bit bitter, even though I only steeped for 3 minutes. And the bergamot is very perfumey and floral, and it’s quite strong. I find that I generally don’t enjoy plain Earl Grey teas, it needs something like vanilla, cream, or other citrus/fruit flavors. So I won’t rate this since it’s not my jam. :)

Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Floral, Perfume

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Hi, I’m Cameron!

I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

- May Sipdowns: 21
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 34

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots depending on the season.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

I tend to reach for fruitier flavors rather than desserty ones these days, but I do have favorites from both categories. Willing to try anything once! There are a few ingredients/flavors that aren’t generally my jam, such as coconut, rose, lavender, and chocolate flavoring. But I also have teas that I love with some of those things, too! :)

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:


Austin, Texas



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