Oh man. This started off so well. I picked up a sample last time I made an order, because usually I love unusual variations on Earl Grey.
The dry leaves smell like bergamot, of course, but also like… firewood, and black pepper. All good things, in my book. Once it’s brewed, I think the bergamot gets lost a little behind the woodsiness of it. But the goji and the bergamot blend together really well — it’s hard to tell where one scent ends and the other starts. And somehow every time I pick it up, I smell something different. I’m still getting a pretty strong black pepper note. Maybe that’s from the frankincense resin?
And it tastes… a little disappointing, actually. The first sip was all earl grey with black pepper. I was looking forward to how the flavors would unfold… but it’s just very peppery, with a sour note from the goji berry (and I guess from the tangyness of the autumn tieguanyin) that I’m not sure I like. It’s even more disappointing because I really like the autumn tieguanyin, but it’s getting lost in all the other flavors.
All in all, I can see how it might appeal to someone… but it’s not for me. Maybe in the future I should stick to fruity or floral earl greys. I hope I like the laoshan one more…