Back to Earl Grey for the time being, I have been working on a two ounce package of this tea for a little while now. I am always surprised (though I don’t know why) that every vendor’s Earl Grey offers something a little different. For example, the Earl Greys I have had from Adagio are smooth with a tart citrus kick, the Earl Greys I have had from Simpson and Vail are toasty and balanced, and the Earl Grey I recently tried from Rishi was sweet and spicy. At some point, I need to round up a bunch of the Earl Greys I have tried and/or rated and do a shootout to see which one(s) I prefer. Compared to the others I have tried, this one is earthy and somewhat leathery with a tart citrus punch.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves display a lovely aroma of earth and bergamot and show a pretty blue-grey. After infusion, lovely aromas of caramel, leather, chocolate, toast, malt, honey, earth, and bergamot are evident. In the mouth, I can detect notes of caramel, leather, honey, toast, chocolate, and malt up front with tart bergamot, earth, tobacco, and must flavors becoming more prominent from mid-palate on through the fade. The finish is tart and earthy, with slight toast, chocolate, tobacco, honey, and caramel notes underpinning the dominant bergamot and earth flavors.

To me, this Earl Grey seems a little busier and more assertive in terms of character than some of the others I have recently consumed. I like that. Actually, I really admire it. I love blends with a lot of character and this one certainly fits the bill. If you are a fan of heavier, more complex Earl Grey blends, give this one a try if you have not already done so.

Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Chocolate, Earth, Honey, Leather, Malt, Musty, Toast, Tobacco

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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