It feels like a tea bomb got dropped on my house this morning. Two of the three Black Friday/Cyber Monday tea orders I made got delivered this morning before I left for work (and the mail truck never comes before 2pm, which is doubly odd), and I stopped at the post office to pick up my big box of samples from Teavivre. SO MUCH TEA. And I still have two packages coming.
So I guess I’m back to trying new teas after my foray back into my staple stash, though I might try to mix it up a bit more day to day. Most of the teas I ordered were oolongs, but I needed a black morning tea. Fortunately I also got a sample of this Earl Grey with my order from thepuriTea. Side note: I got three free samples with my order, but one of them doesn’t have a label! Mystery tea. :)
First a note on packaging: I’m not the biggest fan of thepuriTea’s sample packaging, which consists of a small heat sealed pouch inside of a little cardboard pack. The problem is that the pouch just barely contains the tea, so when you cut it open you almost have to find somewhere else to put the tea because it’s very difficult to close back up, and the pouches aren’t completely sealed at each end; when I opened one of the cardboard packs, little balls of oolong came bouncing out, having escaped from their pouch!
Anyway, on to the tea. The brewed tea smells like an Earl Grey, which isn’t surprising, but it also isn’t quite your typical Earl. I can’t quite place the aromas, except to say that I think it’s an unfamiliar black tea base coming through (apparently Fujianese, which yes I’m not really familiar with). The flavor is pretty similar to the aroma, though the cup seems a touch weak to me; it’s not bitter at all, so I think I will try to steep it longer next time. This isn’t a strongly bergamotty tea, so people who like a lighter bergamot in their Earl Grey are likely to enjoy this one. I’d liken it to the Harney Earl Greys in level of bergamot, but I like this tea base better than the one Harney uses, so it works out well for me. The level of the bergamot and the complexity of the tea base make it sometimes seem like the bergamot disappears entirely as a distinct entity and is merely a facet of plain a black tea. Definitely very well blended, though not quite my style since I tend to prefer a stronger bergamot.