When I opened the tin, I got fresh, crips bergamot. Brewed this up, and the bergamot is warmer now, mixed with tea and jasmine. Not getting much smoke in the scent.

First sip is bergamot first followed by jasmine. Not particularly smoky, though the base seems solid. I thought I smelt smoke when I walked into the kitchen to pick this up, but it was just my toast popping.

I think I’m getting a nuance of smoke in the aftertaste, though it might be a bite from the other flavours in the tea. It is a bit disappointing, I was hoping for a smokier blend (hmm, if not a lapsang or caravan base, why not keemun and bergamot…?). But it’s still a solid earl grey (even if I’m not a huge fan of jasmine in my earl).

I broke my promise not to buy any new teas until I’d slimmed down my cupboard. I picked up this after I’d crashed a new teashop that opened nearby (about 4-5 months ago) but which I hadn’t heard about until now (makes me feel out of the loop). It’s actually a very incredible little teashop (a lot of teashops have been popping up after Davids came to town—I like to refer to it as the “DavidsTEA Boom”—but this was a very modern-with-traditional-values shop. Gaiwans and yixings as far as the eye can see (which isn’t far because it’s a rather small space, but).

Both myself and the guy working the counter at the time were excited for this encounter. I guess more on that once I get around to reviewing the teas I picked up there.

As for this one. Harney and Sons likes to be deliciously subtle, they’re good at balance, and this is balanced, and definitely fills the craving for earl grey that I’ve been having recently. Fills that void in my earl greyless cupboard.

But I do wish it were a tad smokier. Maybe it’s there and the jasmine’s covering it. Hm.

Also’d like to try more earls with China bases.

Edit: As it’s cooled, I’ve been picking up a more prominent smoke in the base. Once it reached room temperature it was considerably more smoky; wish I could have enjoyed it more, but I had to rush out the door to class.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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A tea-drinking transgendered Canadian, currently in the third year of university, majoring in geology (yes, “rocks and things”). I take most of my tea made straight into a mug, although occasionally if I’m not in a hurry (this isn’t often), I’ll have time to sit down with a pot or with the full gongfu set. It’s the highlight of a good day if I have time for a pot.

My notes and reviews will often sound dis-jointed, repetitive and confused, as I tend not to work on them as a whole, but rather add notes as I sip without rereading what I’ve already typed.

I take my tea straight, with the exception of chais (or matcha); very rarely, I’ll sweeten things the Russian way. I also have a soft spot for earl greys.

I keep a teatra.de blog for reviewing and rambling about tea books/publications.

And I’m a Doctor Who fanatic (Jon Pertwee, if you were wondering).

“But you should never turn down tea, when it’s offered. It’s impolite, and impoliteness is how wars start.” ~Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann


BC, Canada



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