Sample package label:
“Fusion Teas, Premium Earl Grey
1 tsp. per 8 oz. water @ 203*
Steep 2-3 min. Sweeten to taste
Ingredients: premium black tea with bergamot
Black Tea Collection”
“This soft, highly aromatic bergamot black tea is of the highest quality. The excellent basis of Ceylon and Yunnan is perfectly in tune with the flavoring. A light and pleasant smokey nuance accompanies the typical bergamot citrus flavor. Experience a top-class Earl Grey Tea
Ingredients: Ceylon and Yunnan Black Tea with Bergamot.
1.5 tsp., 203*, 2-3 min.”
Technique: Tea mug with Finum brew basket. 1 Teavana tsp. (2.5 g – My Weigh Durascale D2 660), 8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 26 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 203*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA thermometer/timer. No sweeteners, milk or cream were added.
Introduction: The typical Earl Grey tea has a 100% Ceylon base. Some Ceylon teas used in E.G. can be quite astringent. This E.G. is different in that it also includes Yunnan tea.
Most E.G. teas are also light- to medium-bodied. While my wife loves the aroma and flavor of a well-balanced EG, she typically does not find them to be strong enough. To compensate, she will increase the amount of tea leaves and/or the brewing time. However, you can only increase those two parameters so much.
Fragrance: This black tea has that wonderful classic EG bergamot fragrance.
Dry leaf: Uniform moderate length, dark brown leaves.
Liquor: Clear & coppery
2-min.: Medium bodied – I’ll give it another minute.
3-min.: The subtle aroma follows the character of the dry leaf’s classic bergamot fragrance. The flavor definitely follows both the fragrance and aroma. This full-bodied E.G. is expertly balanced. The bergamot does not overshadow the base black teas. There was no hint of tartness. The addition of Yunnan provided a very smooth sip as there was no bitterness. There was a mild drying effect on the finish of the sip, which slowly developed into a mild sense of astringency as I finished the cup.
I then tried 1.5 tsp. (3.8 g – My Weigh Durascale D2 660) / 8 oz. / 203 F / 2 min.
Using 1.5 tsp. provided a very full-bodied cup of E.G. with and an enhanced aroma at only two minutes. The sorter brewing time also reduced the astringency. How to have your cake and eat it too! (However, you’ll use up your Premium E.G. stash faster.) The mild drying effect on the finish of the sip was still present.
Lastly, we tried: 1.5 tsp. / 8 oz. / 195 F / 2 min. Now we’re talking! – Very smooth, rich, and strong without any bitterness or astringency.
Impression: This is a smooth, very well-balanced, full-bodied Earl Grey with a pleasing bergamot fragrance that does not overshadow the Ceylon/Yunnan base tea.
My wife enjoyed this E.G. enough to have four cups. She very much enjoyed the fragrance of the dry leaves. To her sense of smell, the aroma was not as strong as the fragrance. The flavor to her was not as bright as her regular classic EG. She also appreciated Fusion’s attractive high quality packaging.
Suggestions: We’d like to suggest a greater percentage of this very fine Yunnan in the base tea may further minimize any astringency and just a little more bergamot for a brighter flavor.
Thanks to Thomas Egbert of FusionTeas for kindly providing this free very generous sample.