95

Okay, so I am “archiving” at work. This basically means putting stuff in boxes, and is possibly the most boring job known to man. I’ve just made myself a cup of this in a vain attempt to try and make it more bearable.For some reason, this is one of the more pleantiful teas among my stash. I have it both loose and bagged — today’s version is loose.

On opening the packet, I’m greeted with the strong smell of bergamot, and a floral undertone from the cornflowers. It instantly transports me, in mind, to a sunnier place. Just one reason why this was such a good choice of tea for a rainy day while tasked with a mind-numbing job.

Anyhow, I brewed this for three minutes in boiling water. The leaves are so pretty at this stage — darker brown, red-brown, and pale green, with the blue of the cornflowers scattered amongst. The scent is a much more delicate version of the packet — lightly floral and citrussy, with the classic notes of darjeeling just detectable. I don’t think I’ve ever come across another earl grey made with a darjeeling base, actually — which is probabky why, when I first tried this tea a couple of years back, I really didn’t like it. Those days are gone, thankfully, and this is now one of my favourite earl grey varieties.

I usually drink this with milk, but I have none, so today it’s as it comes. I’d brew it a little stronger usually, too, but I’m not one for a really overpowering bergamot flavour, so I’ve been careful. The liquor is a medium red-brown. To taste, this is just as you’d expect. Light, refreshing, delicately floral, with a sweetness from the darjeeling that just comes out in the aftertaste. It’s not at all drying on the palate, as I’ve found some darjeelings, just beautifully smooth and fragrant. It belongs in a sunnier place, and I can’t help but be cheered by its optimistic vibe. I really love to drink this iced in the summer, but it’s also great as a warming, mood-lifting drink in the winter. Maybe sunnier climes aren’t that far away, after all.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Hi :) I’m Sarah, 26, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’ve also never really tried pu’erh, and that’s something I’m just starting to explore.

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.

Location

Norfolk, UK

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