340 Tasting Notes
Someone brought us a caddy of this to work, having been to London and knowing that me and my cubicle colleague love tea, he thought that this would be a nice gift. It is, although I wish he’d asked before buying – there are better and more interesting teas to be had in London than this one. Even Whittard has better blends. BTW, this is the second Earl Grey tea caddy that people have brought us as gifts (the first one being a tiny Ahmad Tea earl grey shaped like a red telephone booth).
First thing’s first- this tea came in a dark blue caddy that is both beautiful and practical.
Once you open the caddy you are assaulted by an overpowering scent of BERGAMOT. If there’s a kind of demon that finds bergamot as offensive as vampires supposedly find garlic, then he would run for his life once the caddy was opened. This is an in your face, “I’m an Earl Grey TEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAH!” kind of tea. I was a little bit scared of brewing it, but the guys really wanted a taste, so I reluctantly brewed a cup.
This tea has a definite Ceylon base, and if there was a Chinese tea in the mix, it didn’t come through. It’s a strong, hearty tea, with a strong but thankfully not overpowering bergamot flavour. It still ranks last among the Earl Greys that I’ve tried, but at least it’s drinkable. If you like strong flavours, this is for you. I’d rather have Twinnings Earl Grey for about half the price than this tea.
Sweet sweet sweet sip down. What can I say that hasn’t been said? This Yunnan black is almost like a rich chocolate cake full of surprises (small clusters of brown sugar crunching in your mouth, a sudden zing of a really good coffee, a hint of citrus, and a recollection of that great baked sweet potato that you had for lunch). I’m very sorry that I’m out :(
This is becoming an office favourite (in place of my F&M Keemun, that has run out and I haven’t had time to replace), with a fruity sparkly presence that reminds me of a bubbly, bouncy young woman. This tea can actually stand milk, but it really mutes it down, and that’s a shame. Not a tea for relaxing, but a tea for getting up and hugging people and doing great good things in the world.
Got the guys in the office to try white tea for the first time. Win! This is a rather strong flavoured Bai Mu Dan, with a pronounced cucumber taste that is very refreshing and makes me want to cold brew it. It brews a light golden green, and is a great introduction to white teas. Naturally sweet and requires no sweetener (and milk will absolutely kill it). Yum
This tea wins the “prettiest package” awards without even trying. I was instantly attracted to it in the F&M store, and even though it was expensive and I was over-budget, I bought it. Was it worth it? It’s a very good afternoon tea, well behaved (as a gentleman should be), and yet unique enough to make me want to spend more time with it before I rate it. It will be somewhere in the 80-90s, I just haven’t nailed it yet. But if you are looking for a Christmas gift for your favourite tea-drinker, then look no further. This is bound to impress and delight.