Wow! This is a bold and very aggressive Earl Grey!
Just open the lid of the jar and you will smell what I mean. I can’t compare the aroma and flavor to bergamot, having never experience the fruit outside of tea, but I might suggest that the strength of the bergamot is overwhelming if this tea isn’t brewed with some care. The Rishi tea company suggests that this be brewed with 8 oz. of water to one teaspoon of tea, I suggest an increase of water in that ratio. I also suggest brewing for a shorter time, for three minutes as opposed to four.
This tea is, for my taste, almost undrinkable without adornment. I recommend both milk and sweetener, even half and half. This softens the aggressive tone of the tea, but never really mellows it out. I wouldn’t recommend lemon, lime, or any additional citrus flavors that some find traditional to an Earl Grey as they will only serve to intensify (by means of complimenting) the already intense bergamot.
I have tried mixing this tea with others: Lapsang, a Kenyan black (whose specifics I have forgotten),an Assam, and anything else I could find at the bottoms of my loose tea containers. This tea quickly overpowered all but the Lapsang, to which it was a strong addition but not wonderful – sort of off kilter.
With such a seemingly negative review, why such a generous rating number? Surprisingly it makes a great iced tea if brought to the desired drinking temperature slowly and adorned with a simple syrup (yes, it was worth the time to prepare the syrup ahead of time) The tea became remarkably invigorating and refreshing. I used old cold tea (not iced) as part of a braising fluid (along with beef stock and a little BBQ sauce) for some pork tenderloins on a lark and I think it has a lot of potential as a cooking aid.
This tea was given to me as a gift, and I don’t think that I would buy it myself, as I prefer a somewhat milder Earl-Grey flavor.