95 Tasting Notes
Many thanks to Jillian for this :D
I can definitely tell this has an oolong base. The deep amber liquor has a woodsy, citrus flavor with a bit of a…ginger kick? There’s no ginger listed in the ingredients though. Interesting. And if I didn’t know this was supposed to be grapefruit I don’t think I would have been able to tell. Overall, a nice oolong with a bit of a surprise in store for those who don’t read tea reviews XD
1st infusion: 2 minutes, boiling water
Despite the reviews here I was still rather surprised at the lightness/delicateness of this for a black tea. The deep red liquor was lightly malty, woodsy, and a tad fruity.
2nd infusion: 2 1/2 minutes, boiling water
The color is only slightly lighter but the flavor is much lighter and the fruity note has vanished.
A nice tea but not something I can’t live without.
Third time’s the charm. I used less leaf and did a shorter steep time and what do you know, Earl Grey really can be drinkable! No offense meant to people who love Earl Grey tea, I’ve just never managed to find a good cup of it before (plus the amount of bergamot in the Twinnings bags makes me sneeze). The bergamot here, however, was pleasant, not overwhelming.
I think I am officially impressed. I’m not an Earl Grey convert by any stretch of the imagination but this variety at least I can manage.
When I need something that goes with anything I reach for this tea, just as I did this morning. The deep amber-red liquor has a medium-full body that tastes of tea. No, really. It tastes like regular, comforting, no strings attached, black TEA. No bells or whistles, no apologies. It is what it is and sometimes you just need a cup of something that won’t tease or hide behind itself.
Back-logging from this morning.
So, I stopped at the Bar Harbor Tea Co shop on my way home from work last night (huzzah! I don’t have to pay shipping for this stuff! Na na na-na na. Ahem…) with the intent of picking up a Bodum travel tea press. I got the press but figured I’d pick up a new tea while I was there. I had smelled this one during my last visit (to pick up a new tin of the chocolate chai) and had been amazed at how much like the native blueberries this smelled. So I snagged a small tin.
Now for those of you who have not spent time in Maine or the Maritime provinces of Canada, there are two kinds of blueberries. Most of you are likely familiar with the big, plump, bursting-with-juice blueberries commonly found in the grocery store. Those are called highbush blueberries. What we have here in Maine is called the lowbush blueberry. The plants grow right down flush with the ground, no taller than 15" and usually more like 5"-10", and the leaves and berries are smaller than those of the highbush berries. But what Maine blueberries lack in size they greatly make up for in flavor. No highbush berry can compare to the sweet/tart/juicy fruits of the lowbush blueberry that grows wild in the acidic soil of the region. Yes, wild. While there are indeed fields where these berries grow and are harvested they grew there naturally, with no human hand to plant them, no field equipment to water them.
It is of course the flavor of the native, lowbush wild blueberry that is used in this tea. The bright, red-amber liquor is redolent with the aroma and flavor of these berries, even more strongly in the aftertaste. And I would love to know what variety of black tea was used as a base for this as the steeped leaves are quite colorful. Large, though broken, and green, but with red-brown veins and stems.
And writing this has made me want another cup of this tea!
Back-logging from Sunday.
I over-steeped this. Never over-steep Earl Grey, it tastes horrendous. I’m going to hold off rating until I can give this another try with a 4 minute infusion. Who knows, with such a quality base tea it might actually get me to like Earl Grey…I suspect not though. I’ve smelled it countless times, drank it twice, and Earl Grey just does not seem to be my cup of tea.*
*Pun FULLY intended >:D
Back-logging from Monday.
1st infusion: 4 minutes
Color is a deep red-brown and it tastes very much like the unsweetened iced tea you get at restaurants…and that’s WITH a teaspoon of sugar. I think 4 minutes is too long for the 1st steep. Otherwise it tastes malty and woodsy.
2nd infusion: 2 3/4 minutes
The color is only slightly lighter but the taste is much better. Sweet, malty, woodsy. should have done the 1st steep at this amount of time.
3rd infusion: 3 minutes
Color is golden-brown. Flavor is malty, woodsy, and a bit peachy.
4th infusion: 4 minutes
Color is a dull brown, lighter than previous. The flavor is lighter as well, the woodsy tone has mellowed to something more like loam.