79

Back to this one to do a proper, unrushed tasting.

I’ll be drinking it out of my new, very cute, tiny bubble cup from DAVIDSTea (one of my tea ware purchases from my excursion yesterday).

I wrote my first note about a DAVIDSTea tea yesterday and was so excited to share in the fun with all of you who drink them a lot, and wouldn’t you know it, it never showed up on my dashboard and apparently got buried during the dashboard freeze yesterday. It’s there in my tea log, though. Does this happen to anyone else when the freezes occur? Anyway, I feel compelled to repeat that I did not buy any tea except for the cup I bought to drink in the store. Lockdown is still in effect and I managed to resist and get out with only a couple of tea ware items. Bubble cups, yay!

In the tin, this smells very floral. I get a lot of rose, a little lavender and really no rosemary at all. It’s so pretty to look at with the different colors and all the little buds and petals.

The rosemary comes out in the steeped aroma and it is the most prominent scent I get. The floral notes are present, but for the most part seem subsumed to the savory one. Though if I sit with the aroma long enough, I am able to smell a really nice rose and a lavender undercurrent that, from time to time, trades places with the rosemary.

The tea looks a reddish mahogany color in the little bubble cup.

Hot, this is much less of a single-note savory tea than I experienced when I drank it cool.
In fact, I wouldn’t say it’s savory at all contrary to my initial experience. I’d say it’s floral, with a light spice to it that presents as a cooling sensation in the sip with more rosemary in the aftertaste.

Where is the bergamot in all of this? I’m not tasting it. It’s possible it’s there among the floral mélange, but I can’t isolate it. The other S&V Earl I had was also light on the bergamot, so this isn’t surprising to me. I am beginning to suspect that bergamot is the first flavor/scent to go when an Earl ages and given that these were not removed from their original paper bag packaging, it’s possible the bergamot has flown the coop.

That said, this is a really unique flavor and I’m intrigued enough to want to try with a fresher sample. I can’t give it high marks for meeting the basic criteria of an Earl Grey because of the lack of bergamot, but I am putting it on the list to occupy one of the anterooms in the pantheon at least temporarily.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML

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Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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