This ended up being the only tea I purchased at the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival. Not much really grabbed me this time, and the one other company I might have bought tea from (and an adorable little gaiwan-teapot-thing) was chinese, so I held off because of my impending travels. When I tried a sample of this tea, though, I was pretty impressed. So creamy and vanilla-y! Even though I already have a bunch of a cream Earl Grey winging it’s way to me from the Tea Spot, I bought a tin of this and justified it because it is in sachets… traveling EGC!
Now to taste it under my steeping conditions (which for this first cup were boiling water for 3 minutes). The tea in the sachets smells very vanilla and cream, at a level where there is just about a caramel note to them. And of course the bright bergamot. The aroma of the steeped tea has calmed down a bit, but retains about the same balance of notes.
The flavor is a little odd. I mean, it’s not bad; there’s no bitterness or astringency to the blend, but the main part of the sip is just… flat. Like there’s very little there. There is a lovely vanilla-creamy aftertaste, but not much going on in the main part of the sip. Maybe I need to steep longer, or maybe one sachet was not enough for my 12oz mug (but that does seem to line up with their steeping recommendations on the website). Actually I apparently brewed it hotter than they recommend, so maybe that’s having an effect.
… Take two, this time brewed at 195°F for 4 minutes. I just couldn’t let my experience be dictated by that cup when I remembered it differently. This one actually wasn’t as good because the bergamot is more astringent and the lovely vanilla creaminess seems to have fled! I guess more leaf at my previous parameters is next. Ugh, I hate it when I can’t replicate a tasting experience that was so much better, even when following the steeping instructions a company gives.
… Take three, this time original steeping parameters in an 8oz mug instead of a 12oz. I checked, the sachet is 2tsp of tea, which should be for 12oz according to their instructions. Closer but not quite it! There is more flavor overall, including the bergamot and the vanilla. So close, but yet so far away! I’m going to have to stop these permutations now because my taste buds are getting overwhelmed by built-up astringency, but hopefully I can try it again later.