So, I took my own advice and brewed fresh tea. The tea is darker this time with a warm scent that reminds me of caramel. It tastes better too, though I wouldn’t say that the vanilla is as prominent as I would like. The Earl Grey is there, but not as strong as I would like. The citrus notes are stronger, now that I can taste the tea. I did wonder how the added citrus would affect the taste. I don’t know if I like this addition or not. It’s not the best vanilla earl grey I’ve tasted, but it would probably add more depth to whatever you decided to add it to. It does taste more like orange than bergamot.
Taste: 7 (It does have the vanilla and Earl Grey elements there, but the orange peel seems to be the predominant flavor. That’s not necessarily what I want in my Earl Grey, but it’s not like it doesn’t meld with the other flavors. I do think the taste balances out as it cools, giving it a stronger flavor. I might have to try it iced.)
Tea Leaf: 6 (It doesn’t match the picture. It’s a lot more dust than I would expect, and not what I would call whole leaf. It looks cut like what you would get in a tea bag. the cornflower and orange peel are there, but not in big pieces.)
Smell: 7 (Prior to steeping, I didn’t really get much of an Earl Grey vibe off of it, and it didn’t really smell like vanilla. Since those are the two things that I would look for, I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t noticeable. Brewed, it has a caramel smell, which could be the mix of vanilla and creme.
Would I drink it again: 7 (I think it would be great mixed. I’m getting a sample of it in the mail, and I don’t think I would buy it immediately, but if I had it in the closet, I would drink it. It’s good to share with friends who are on the fence about tea.)
How it compares to similar teas: 5 (It doesn’t beat out any of the competitors, unless you include the bagged varieties. It’s good for what it is, but I’ll buy my cream earl grey teas elsewhere, and reserve this for blends.)
Would I recommend it to others: Yes +5 / No 0
Total: (37×2) 74
(Still working on this rating thing. I should stop rating them simply based on the smily faces at the bottom…)
Flavors: Bergamot, Earl Grey, Orange, Vanilla