Though I continue to protest that I can’t add tea swaps to my already horrendous schedule, that I’m trying to simplify my life rather than complicate it more, etc., Rabs prevailed upon me to accept her generous offer of a sample of this. The sample came in a lovely heat sealed ziplock, gold on one side and clear on the other, with a charming label indicating the name of the tea, the company, and steeping temperature and time, in a quaint old-timey font that looks like what my old Smith Corona used to produce. Really well done, looks more professional in its packaging than some samples I’ve received from companies!
I didn’t know until now that this was another of those mixed green and black teas that tend to drive me nuts. But fortunately I don’t have to guess at the steeping time and temp because Rabs has taken the guess work out for me.
This is a visually pretty tea, a lot of rose petals adding color to the mix. In the packet it smells really flowery and I totally get the adjective “frou-frou” to describe this. The mixture of rose and jasmine is a really nice one, with the components of each scent blending together to create some third scent with aspects of both but something unto itself as well. There’s a green tea aromatic aura more than an actual smell. I’m made aware of the green tea’s presence but it’s not obvious. And there is a black tea strength around the edges. I don’t get Earl Grey but I’ve discovered sometimes it comes out in the steeping even if I can’t smell it in the dry leaves. Really, this smell is mostly flowers.
My first attempt at making this, in the Breville, didn’t come out right. I am gradually learning that the measuring spoon provided with the Breville is not at all to be trusted with mixtures that include things other than relatively small tea leaves. Even though I clearly made it weaker than it ought to be, it had a really lovely jasmine/rose aroma and a pleasant, mild taste. There’s even a hint of Earl Grey.
Second try: Stronger, more flavorful, as expected. Very nice flavor. Nice enough that I want to spend more time with it as I ended up having to get on a phone call for work and didn’t get to savor my second try as much as I would have liked. I’m not sure I’m getting as much Earl Grey as I’d like even now, but that’s what experimentation is for — and besides, there are some teas styled as Earl Greys that don’t taste like them and that I like just fine.
Believe it or not, this one is enough to make me break with my decision not to order black/green mixes.
Rating is provisional for now. I can see it going up with more experience, though.