In the container, this has a recognizable and pronounced smell of bergamot, and something else that is… odd. It’s a sort of minerally, metallic smell that I haven’t noticed in tea before. I see a few cornflowers dotting the dark brown leaves.
The web site says the tea is from Sri Lanka, which is the only clue as to the type of tea base this is. It doesn’t have the color I’ve seen in most Ceylons, though. That reddish, russet color is only barely there. It brews lighter than other Ceylons I’ve had. The tea’s aroma strikes me as bakey on first sniff, like too much baking powder in the muffins. Not a good sign. As I sniff longer, I’m getting something else. Potato? At first I thought it was sweet potato, but it really isn’t. It’s the sharpish, earthy smell of raw potato. Oh, and some bergamot, too.
The flavor is strange as well. It’s got a mentholly feel to the after sip, which must be from the bergamot oil, and it tastes a little potato-y, with a tad of starchy sweetness at the finish. The feel of the tea is soft to the mouth. The metallic, minerally smell is consistent with the potato-y taste, at least for me. Raw potatoes smell like that to me. There is a citrus note, but it’s not strong.
It’s more Earl Grey-like than the Kusmi, but it’s such a strange flavor that I’m not sure what to make of it. From the fragrance of the dry leaves I wasn’t expecting to like this, and I’m not sure I do. I don’t have an active dislike for it, though. I’m going to give it a slightly higher rating than the Kusmi for being truer to the Earl Grey genre, but this is not likely to become a favorite.