This is the best Earl Grey I’ve ever tasted.
Okay, let’s back up for a second. How did I acquire this EG? takgoti sent me a ridiculously huge tea swap box. And I mean, ridiculously huge. The box is wider than me. And bigger than my head. There were 29 teas in there. 29! CRAZY. All beautifully wrapped and numbered and perfect. It’s enough to make you swoon. I nearly did. In fact, I teared up a little bit at the generosity, but that’s besides the point.
So, takgoti is always pimping Samovar. It’s like she’s their poster girl, or something! I say this with all the affection in the world, but if you don’t know that Samovar is takgoti’s absolute favorite tea company, you haven’t been on Steepster long enough.
After being dazed and confused for the wonderfulness for a day or so, I decided to dive right in and start with what she labeled #1: Earl Grey. Now, I have a very stormy relationship with the Earl. We’ve had… issues in the past, needless to say. But takgoti said that this is her favorite, so I went right along with it!
The leaves are definitely a lot longer and thicker than what I’ve seen of EGs. Normally the tea tends to be an afterthought of the bergamot, and in most EGs, the bergamot is so overpowering it’s ridiculous. Let me tell you though, the smell of Samovar’s blend is mouth-watering. Even more delicious-smelling than EGB by Adagio. In fact, a lot more interesting, because I can just smell the black tea underneath it. Flowery citrus mixed with… hints of cocoa? That’s what I’m getting.
Anyway, I steeped this up (and was surprised at the low water temperature and short steep time, but I wasn’t about to deviate), and the resulting cup was a pretty dark, coppery color. The wet leaves actually smell more like tea than bergamot! Super-surprised on that front. And the cup itself? A pleasant mix of the two.
On first sip, I sighed and gave the tea a mental thumbs-up. Then I gave it a literal thumbs-up when I took a picture of myself drinking it and sent it to takgoti. For once, I can actually taste BLACK TEA. And it’s delicious and yummy black tea, with all sorts of subtleties and hints of something more. The base here is really very good. I’m getting some cocoa, and some tart notes.
The bergamot here is phenomenal. It’s the perfect pitch of citrus and floral, refreshing but not overpowering. FINALLY. I don’t feel like I’m drinking perfume straight from a bottle! It tastes fresh and satisfying. I’m not gagging after each and every sip!
I still don’t think I’m an EG convert. I don’t think I could ever drink EG once a day, or even maybe once a week. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m never going to absolutely love it. It’ll always be middle-of-the-road for me, and that’s okay.
But I’d never, ever refuse a cup of Samovar’s blend. It’s delicious. Is it the strongest EG? No. If you’re into stronger stuff, try Adagio’s Earl Grey Bravo. Which frankly, the taste of makes me want to vomit a little. But if you like subtle Earl Grey that actually tastes like tea and has an authentic, refreshing and delicious bergamot note, then buy Samovar’s creation.
Seriously, I cannot thank takgoti enough for showing me that yes, Earl Grey CAN taste good. It just has to be super-awesome EG from a great company. Let’s hope that the rest of Samovar’s catalog is just as impressive as this, and I LOVE TAKGOTI SHE IS AMAZING.
That is all.