Review of Earl Grey Supreme (Teabags)

7 of 104 of 53 of 569 of 100
Very GoodGoodReasonable

Like the other standard tea bags from H&S, the tea is chopped very fine. Dry, it smells strongly of the bergamot oil, but there's also a maltiness from the tea. It's not strong, but it's a step up from many Earl Grey teas.

Adding the water unexpectedly mutes the aroma. The citrus fades to the background and the tea, though mild, smells malty and earthy, a bit like damp autumn leaves.

The flavor of this tea is quite rich. The citrus fades quickly to a toasted, bitter caramel sweetness at the back of the tongue. The flavor is quite deep and dark, reminding me of coffee and toasted hazelnuts. The blend tastes of Chinese teas, but I'm having trouble picking out specific flavors. The H&S website says that this one contains oolong teas and silver needle white, which I can believe. The roasted flavor is characteristic of dark oolongs and though I don't specifically taste the silver needle, it probably lightens the flavor and adds sweetness. I don't taste many familiar black tea flavors, but there may be some Ceylon or Fujian black teas behind the blend.

As the tea cools a little, I begin to taste a little more bitterness, but it's fleeting. The initial punch is still bergamot, but the finish is complex and dark caramel. There's a little smokiness that's emerging.

This blend is definitely interesting and I don't think I've tasted anything else quite like it. It's good even though my preference typically runs toward brighter teas. I'd bet that anyone that habitually drinks either dark oolongs or coffee would enjoy this tea much more than I do. I also expect that the roasted flavors would bring out the richness of added milk, something again that I don't drink with my tea.

H&S sells this on their website at $6.50 for 20 tea bags. That's about twice the price of typical grocery store brands, but in this case, I think you get what you pay for.

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