This sample was part of my Earl Grey exploration, which has included Harney’s Earl Grey Supreme, a lavender EG, an EG cream, Harney’s Viennese EG (a Darjeeling base), and this tea (Chinese Mutan White with bergamot).

This tasted almost like a lemony-flavored white, but there was still a light bitterness from the bergamot. Very floral without becoming perfumey. A nice roundness to the body. Rather smooth, especially considering that I find bergamot somewhat harsh. Next time I would try 160°F with the intention of pushing back the bergamot, though this definitely works for me at 176°F also.

By the third cup the bright lemon-like tasted faded, allowing more of the bitterness of the bergamot to come through; but the full body and buttery texture were still wonderfully enjoyable. To quiet the bitterness, I added some sugar to my last couple steeps, and sure, it was good, though the lesson I took from it was that although I found lots to enjoy in this cup, bergamot is just not so appealing to me at the moment.

As I wrote in my note about Viennese EG, these two teas surprised me in the same two ways: by being surprisingly successful in their blends and by teaching me that I am currently not much of a fan of bergamot. Softened with some milk or cream, sure. But I just don’t see adding milk to Darjeeling or white tea. And there is plenty to appreciate just as they are. I must applaud Harney’s blenders, since the many, many Harney flavored teas I’ve tried have all — yes, I think I can say all — have struck me as rather well done.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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