But, there is one more tea to cover and for that I need the help of my Earl Grey obsessed fiance:
I will admit, I approached this review with some trepidation.
For one, there’s almost eleven months to go until my “traditional” feature on this blog. Amanda wants me to feature more, but I’ll level with you – I’m not sure what I can offer to you guys here. I can enjoy a good cup of tea, and I can REALLY enjoy a low-quality cup of tea, but I don’t have her poetic sense of taste, or her mental library of every sensory experience she’s ever had.
For another, tea crystals. I mean, what? It’s a really strange way of preparing the stuff, and whilst I can see the advantages in some abstract sense (less clean-up than leaves without the problems of bags), I wouldn’t want to sacrifice taste to avoid a little cleanup. Even more concerning – tea crystals have very little smell when unsteeped, so it was impossible for this tea to pass my basic Early Grey test of making people cough.
But never let it be said that I’m not a game sort of Tea Barbarian – I tried a cup. With some measure of trepidation, mind: even fully steeped, at had a very faint aroma, and I was expecting a few bland sips, followed by a heated internal debate about whether to finish the mug or pour it out.
Boy, was I in for a surprise.
The tea has a shockingly rich and balanced taste. The deepness of tea leaves, set off with the sharpness of citrus, without either one getting overpowering or making the other taste bitter. There wasn’t a lot of nuance to its taste, but nuance is largely wasted on me, anyway – I like a rich flavor which is fulfilling in itself and pairs well with any meal I might be having, and this delivered. In short, somehow these crystals managed to be a perfect Earl Grey – in fact, I would happily rank it among my four or five favorites I’ve ever tried! Crystals or no, coughing or no, it’s an excellent tea in a surprising yet convenient package. I can recommend it wholeheartedly.
(I also tried the other two of these teas. It seems like that “lack of nuance” preference of mine may be important here – both were fine, and I didn’t actively dislike them, but they didn’t make the same strong impression that the Earl did, even accounting for my own Earl-oriented preferences.)