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BLEND: 2 parts A&D Earl Grey, 1 part A&D Caravan. 1TB tea for 500mL water, bare. (Water just off the boil; I find Earl Grey tastes better that way.)

I’ve been mulling over a blend of A&D’s Earl Grey and Carvan for some time. I even open both tins side by side and inhale. I’ve been wary of experimenting with blend ratios, only because I have a limited amount of both teas and really like them — especially, to my surprise, the Earl Grey. And A&D’s Caravan is a very bright Caravan blend, not just crappy stale black tea doused in liqud smoke and then laid out to dry. (I’ve drunk Caravans which taste like that.) Both the Eargl Grey and the Caravan seem to lean very much to the China tea end of the spectrum, so the tea bases, at least shouldn’t clash.

Liquor: dark copper.

Aroma: bergamot and smoke, big surprise there.

At 3 minutes of steeping: Top notes of citrus and bergamot, with a savoury, almost salty bite. Smoky finish. Wish I’d upped the Caravn j4st a bit — maybe a equal parts, but I want a marriage here, not a brawl.

At 5 minutes of steeping: more depth, more ‘ting’ from the Earl Grey and more ‘tang’ from the Caravan. Sharp and smoky finish. Hot toast with a bitter marmalade would go soooo well with this.

Conclusion: A really good wake-me-up-after-lunch tea. Will try equal parts next time.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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