Managed to get a free sample of this tea at the food expo in Hong Kong, and I honestly wasn’t expecting too much since I’m generally not a fan of earl greys or of Japanese green tea. Yet somehow whenever I have low expectations they always seem to get blown out of the water.
The tea bag came in a sealed foil pack, with instructions to steep in about 500ml of cold water for about 2 hours before serving. 2 hours struck me as a little short since I generally cold brew for 6 hours or more but I figured I’d follow the instructions and I was glad that I did.
The tea came out looking like it does on the website, a clear lime green liquid that looks utterly refreshing especially with the condensation forming on a glass. Upon first sip you get the familiar taste of Japanese green tea, but with noticeably less bitterness because of the cold steep. The interesting thing is that the bergamot flavor came to the fore just as some slight bitterness started to emerge from the green tea.
I’m not sure if I got this right in terms of brewing or tasting, but to me it seemed like the citrus bergamot flavor blunted the bitterness and allowed more of the sweetness of the green tea to come out. Overall the combination made for a very refreshing drink that I gulped down pretty quickly.
In general I don’t seem to like earl grey teas because I often find the bergamot overpowers the taste of the tea. But this tea avoided that completely and had a great balance between citrus bergamot and sweet yet slightly bitter japanese green tea flavor.
Definitely a pleasant surprise which on the one hand motivates me to look for other well balanced earl greys, and on the other hand slightly bums me out since I can’t seem to find Catherine Tea here in Hong Kong! Looks like I’ll have to wait until a friend heads to Japan before I get another fix of this wonderful twist on earl grey.