Back to this one to do a proper, unrushed tasting.

I’ll be drinking it out of my new, very cute, tiny bubble cup from DAVIDSTea (one of my tea ware purchases from my excursion yesterday).

I wrote my first note about a DAVIDSTea tea yesterday and was so excited to share in the fun with all of you who drink them a lot, and wouldn’t you know it, it never showed up on my dashboard and apparently got buried during the dashboard freeze yesterday. It’s there in my tea log, though. Does this happen to anyone else when the freezes occur? Anyway, I feel compelled to repeat that I did not buy any tea except for the cup I bought to drink in the store. Lockdown is still in effect and I managed to resist and get out with only a couple of tea ware items. Bubble cups, yay!

In the tin, this smells very floral. I get a lot of rose, a little lavender and really no rosemary at all. It’s so pretty to look at with the different colors and all the little buds and petals.

The rosemary comes out in the steeped aroma and it is the most prominent scent I get. The floral notes are present, but for the most part seem subsumed to the savory one. Though if I sit with the aroma long enough, I am able to smell a really nice rose and a lavender undercurrent that, from time to time, trades places with the rosemary.

The tea looks a reddish mahogany color in the little bubble cup.

Hot, this is much less of a single-note savory tea than I experienced when I drank it cool.
In fact, I wouldn’t say it’s savory at all contrary to my initial experience. I’d say it’s floral, with a light spice to it that presents as a cooling sensation in the sip with more rosemary in the aftertaste.

Where is the bergamot in all of this? I’m not tasting it. It’s possible it’s there among the floral mélange, but I can’t isolate it. The other S&V Earl I had was also light on the bergamot, so this isn’t surprising to me. I am beginning to suspect that bergamot is the first flavor/scent to go when an Earl ages and given that these were not removed from their original paper bag packaging, it’s possible the bergamot has flown the coop.

That said, this is a really unique flavor and I’m intrigued enough to want to try with a fresher sample. I can’t give it high marks for meeting the basic criteria of an Earl Grey because of the lack of bergamot, but I am putting it on the list to occupy one of the anterooms in the pantheon at least temporarily.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became less appealing to me — but I still enjoy nicely done blends where the base doesn’t taste like hamster cage chips. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation. These days, I’ve been drinking primarily green tea during weekdays after my first cup of coffee. On weekends, I’ve been drinking only tea.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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