After the fail that was Linea Natura’s Orange Sencha, this has pleasantly surprised me. It’s not a black earl grey, so I feel like it would be lazy of me to criticise it by saying “It’s just not a black!” But that’s the thing—it’s a good approximation of a black earl grey, but it’s really its own thing. I’m trying to find a way to describe it, but basically, it’s a combination of the taste of rooibos and the citrusy taste of earl grey, and that’s kind of all there is to it (I’m not saying that in a negative way.)
The flavour of this tea is actually better than I thought it’d be, but a notable downside to it is that it just isn’t delivering that assertive, deep flavour that black tea can. The upside is that it’s 2am and I know it’s not going to ruin my chance of being able to sleep at some point. The tea actually tastes a tiny bit lemony, particularly in the aftertaste, which makes me think of iced tea (and makes me think this could really make a good one, maybe benefitting from the added lightness of rooibos as opposed to black tea.) Alternatively, it may seem that way to me because the other earl grey I have isn’t quite a straight-up one, containing flowers as well as the bergamot flavouring, so when I think I know the taste of earl grey, my ideas about it might be a little different to other peoples’. Also, the lemony kind of taste could also just be the way the bergamot combines with rooibos. Maybe the lighter flavour of rooibos showcases the flavour of the bergamot in a different way. In any case (taste-wise), I’d describe it as about 70% rooibos, 20% bergamot, 10% lemon. I haven’t really thought about this until now, since the last time I drank rooibos I didn’t have Steepster yet, but it’s a little bit difficult to describe the taste of rooibos. To me, it’s a bit like the second steeping of a black tea, or a watered down black tea, but the aroma and taste has something different that’s hard to really put my finger on.
Also, I think this tea would go really nicely with something peachy, like peach juice or something.
Anyway, this is good tea. It’s certainly not as good as my black earl grey, but it’s good all the same.