Wow. Seriously, wow. Talk about truth in advertising. This is very extra bergamot-y. Like, beat me over the head with bergamot. From the dry leaves to the steeped tea to the breath I exhaled after each sip – this tea is rolling in bergamot. I drank this with sugar and half & half and the bergamot totally drowned out both of those flavors (and any tea flavor there might have been, too). In a way, all that bergamot was good because the fumes flowing through my sinuses did open up my stuffy nose but at the same time, it was so bergamot-y that I felt a bit like a bergamot-breathing dragon after each sip.
Taste-wise, it’s not as rough as I would expect such a heavily (heavily) flavored tea to be. (Maybe it is just me but sometimes flavored teas seem to have a lot of rough edges to their texture. This one didn’t have that – it was a nice smooth, almost silky texture.) But the bergamot flavor was so strong that had to brace myself for each sip. I put in a teaspoon of sugar but I really felt it needed more to balance out a somewhat harsh endnote that seemed flavoring-related. I found myself wincing as I made each swallow, bracing myself for that weird endnote and the bergamot whoosh that would expand and fill my mouth (and my sinuses… and my car) after each sip.
And speaking of that endnote, it was a taste I couldn’t fully identify but that made me think of charcoal or ashes. Not burnt or smoky but something sort of… acrid but not quite. It’s a flavor I’m cool with when it is coupled with a delightful smoke whoosh but without the smoke, it’s just kind of awkward. Maybe another teaspoon or two of sugar would cancel that note out but I really don’t want to use that much sugar in my morning teas. Some dryness was left behind on the top of my tongue that again seemed more flavoring-related than tea-related (in other words, I don’t think the tea was astringent so much as the bergamot adding some astringency to it).
I will admit, I did drink this cup very quickly – but it was more of a “let’s soldier through and finish this off so I can chew some gum” than “ooh, this is so tasty, I can’t stop sipping.” I’m hoping the husband likes this so I can pass it all off to him. This tea is just too much for me.