When I first saw the name of this one, I came up short. Whaaaaat? That’s an odd name for tea, thought I. Then….oh! Old World Haarlem! So Dutch tea which means probably a little smoky with bergamot added! This made my mouth water, because honestly I have become a little disenchanted with some of my Earls and just don’t enjoy bergamot as much as I used to. The thought of bergamot with smoke, though….now I was drooling!
These are sachets, so I used my biggest mug, which isn’t very big by big mug standards but was about the right size for this. There MUST be some oolong in this (is that right, Russel?) because I have never seen black tea alone swell this much in a sachet. This is one DARK cup of tea! And oh joy, joy! This is a nice, fresh take on Earl that is definitely worth having on shelf.
The black tea base makes itself known very well, and it is a good base, too! I passed the cup around for all the teens to sniff. “Honeysuckle? Bread! Maybe a little chocolate? A little grain!”
I gave it a good, solid slurp like Michael talks about in his book. Is that the bergamot, or is there a little lemony Ceylon in this, too?
I drank mine plain, but this could easily handle milk and sugar if that was your bent. Don’t overlook this as just another Earl Grey. If you like Earl Grey tea, I think this one is with trying. I bet it would be great iced, too!
Edited to add: I decided to try it with sugar since that is how my daughter’s bf will probably drink it and I plan to send him some. I don’t usually add sugar, and personally I liked this better without it. The citrus and floral flavors are enough!
Then I iced the remaining sweet tea and…..OH YES! Very nice!
Further edited to add! – so I was wrong! I said the name perplexed me because I couldn’t think of a flavor that would be identified with Harlem in New York, so I decided it must be Haarlem and the famous smoky Dutch tea this was referring to. Well, it is probably both! The chef who designed this blend has a restaurant in Harlem! Definitely look up his bio. He seems like an amazing young man with an amazing life. Born in Ethiopa, contracted tuberculosis along with his sister and mother, adopted (his sister, too) after his mother died of the disease and raised in Sweden, taught to cook by what must have been an amazing grandmother, studied culinary arts in Sweden and France, and now has a restaurant in New York. These blends are even more special to me now, seeing all the things that each flavor encompasses for him! Bravo to your blends and your spirit! How inspiring!