386 Tasting Notes
I don’t like flavoured teas.
I like rooibos even less.
But something about the Berlin Christmas markets, and the snowy weather, and the fact that I love Ronnefeldt tea, and the fact that I haven’t been able to find it outside of Germany, and the fact that this-tea-was-on-sale, and the fact that it smelled oh so very nice, and the fact that since the label was in German I didn’t notice that it was a rooibos until I opened the bag at home today and made myself a cup – all this resulted in me buying a 100g bag of this tea.
And it’s lovely. It doesn’t taste like rooibos or honeybush, nor does it have the chemical taste, or the sickening sweetness, or the overpowering vanilla/hibiscus/other-cheap-additives smell and taste that flavoured teas and herbal infusions tend to have.
It tastes exactly as if you had just made a lovely batch of sugar cookies, and while they were still piping hot and made the house smell like all that is good in the world, you somehow managed to melt them into a tea. This tea is sweet, but not overly sweet, and it is begging to be coupled with a batch of homemade cookies, or a really good cake. A great way to cheer yourself up in this miserable weather.
This is an East Frisian tea that I bought in KaDeVe in Berlin (one of several, since I wanted to try East Frisian tea, and maybe even recreate the East Frisian tea ceremony). It’s a blend of CTC Assams, which means a lot of dust in the bag, but also a lot of kick in your tea. It is a surprisingly good blend, of surprisingly good quality, and I have been thoroughly enjoying it these past few days. The tea brews a dark red, and takes milk and sugar beautifully. I did not have sugar crystals or cream for the East Frisian tea ceremony, so I didn’t have a chance to taste it in the traditional way that it is consumed, but this tea takes to milk like no other tea that I have tried. No English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast or Assam that I have tasted has its tastes enhanced so much by milk – the maltiness of the tea seems to bloom under its influence, and all bitterness and astringency disappears with it. For the pittance that it cost, this tea is surprisingly one of the tastiest teas that I currently own.
Was in Berlin for about a week, and was quick to restock on this fantastic Earl Grey (2×100g packets, for those interested). My current supply was at an all time low, and I made a celebratory round of it at work this evening, to general joy and content. Nothing like wrapping your hands around a hot cup of tea on a cold and dark afternoon.
Best Earl Grey that I own – hands down. If you can get your hands on some – do.
Sipdown of a sample from the wonderful Terri!
I’m just back from a week in Berlin, and it seems that I have brought winter back with me: it is finally cold and rainy in Tel Aviv. When I say cold, I of course mean relatively cold – it’s 14 degrees outside. Nevertheless, I took the opportunity to drink three cups of tea this evening. This is the final cup, a delicate golden yellow Darjeeling, with fine, long, greyish green leaves that become a peaceful olive green when married with hot water.
You nose is greeted with a gentle citrus scent, and you expect great things from this tea.
And then you are disappointed. This tea is not astringent, but when brewed as recommended turns bitter, and bites you back. It can’t take milk, so I resorted to sugar to ease down the taste.
It does not sparkle as a good Darj does, and the lovely, sweet and elusive muscatel of a really good Darjeeling is nowhere to be found. It tastes more like a green tea, than a beautiful Darj, and so it went down sorely disappointing.
Terri – I completely agree with your Haiku – not a favourite, to say the least.
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.