Soooooo… I don’t think this is an Earl Grey.
Like, if you were a customer who wasn’t used to ‘variant’ Earl Greys and you ordered this expecting a slightly more lemony version of your standard EG (which is kind of how the tea is described) I think you would be very disappointed with what you had received. Now, to be fair to Firebelly, there is bergamot peel in this blend so it’s not completely abandoned the standard EG ingredient composition – it’s just hard to taste with everything else going on. Firebelly doesn’t use flavouring or oils in their blends though – it’s one of the reasons some of the blends taste a bit more ‘flat’ than what a lot of people would be used to. So, not incorporating bergamot oil into an Earl Grey blend would make it very challenging to present something that would taste ‘normal’ to the average person.
So ignoring the fact this is present as an Earl Grey… it’s a good tea.
It tastes really citrusy but distinctly lemon leaning. I get a lot of the lemon thyme from the flavour and it’s very soothing and refreshing. Lemon thyme isn’t an ingredient you’ll see really anywhere in commercial tea blends and Firebelly has used it a couple of their blends. It’s delicious. Not really savory like a ‘regular’ thyme would be, and creates this punchy citrus top note that works in a similar way to what a good lemon oil might come across as if used sparingly. There’s also juniper in the blend which adds a nice gentle pine-y undertone and compliments the lemon myrtle and lemon thyme perfectly. Were it a bit more aggressive in the blend you might think ‘gin’ because there’s a pretty botanical vibe to this tea already. I’d personally love more juniper, but this is a nice restrained amount.
Definitely an interesting tea! …but not an Earl Grey.