Updated to add the number of this tea in Upton’s catalog as I was confused initially. In the Upton Earl Grey sampler it is named “Organic Earl Grey Lavender” but it has the same catalog number as Lavender Earl Grey (which also has a mark showing it is organic). So mystery solved, at least to my satisfaction.
This blend smells great dry. I love the smell of lavender, and that is the main thing I smell. It’s a deep, full lavender smell, which may be somewhat intensified by citrus. But I don’t smell bergamot here, or tea, really, for that matter. The addition of water tones down the lavender in the aroma, and seems to bring out a mild citrus note and a sweet black tea one.
The flavor is very nice, not too strong on the bergamot (which is how I like it) and the lavender is nicely balanced. The tea base is mild and unobtrusive.
It’s something I’d definitely drink again, though given the choice of a single Lavender Earl Grey, I’d pick the Samovar. The main reason is the tea base. The Samovar’s is delicious with a lot of character and depth. It’s far more present, but not in a distracting way; the lavender and bergamot are still clearly there. The Samovar is built more like a three-legged stool, where each of the three main components is equally important to the flavor. In the Upton the tea plays more of a foundation role, and the stars are two non-tea flavorings.
I just noticed that this was labeled no. 2 in the Upton Earl Grey sampler. Eeek, I’d better backtrack and taste no. 1!