Review of Waterfront Blend

10 of 104 of 55 of 588 of 100

This product is named after Vancouver's Waterfront Hotel, which commissioned Murchie's to produce it for tea service there starting in the 1990s. Buoyed by the success Murchie's has had with their somewhat similar, jasmine-flavored #10 Blend, over many decades of production in general, and in my mouth in particular, I ordered a small 10-pack of this intriguing prospect. Not only is it a green/black blend (which takes guts and skill to pull off successfully), but is advertised as lightly flavored with both jasmine and bergamot—essentially an Earl Grey (black) combined with a jasmine green. That's unusual! I'll try just about anything once.

Actually, I'll happily try this nine more times, then order some in the future. Aromatically, the dry bag gives off an almost perfect balance of bergamot and jasmine, enough that the combination makes a fascinating and pleasant scent somewhat unlike either. In-cup scent is slightly more jasmine-dominant, but still well-balanced. The taste experience was more skewed still, yet still pleasant: definite jasmine-dominance up-front, but transitioning to bergamot with some jasmine in the aftertaste. The base teas are rich and full-bodied too, neither canceling nor dominating the other.

If the taste were as balanced as the dry-bag scent, I'd rank this as one of the best bagged teas I've ever tried, and near the top score. [They also offer a loose version.] Regardless, this was straight-up delicious, and a worthy companion or rival to their #10 Blend. I think it's a bit better iced than hot, too—and it's very good hot. I let half the tea cool down and chilled it, and came away most impressed. Somebody there has known how to blend green and black teas as an art form. [EDIT: Having had a couple more, I'll add: this can get rather bitter if left steeping more than about 4–5 minutes. So don't forget to pull that bag after about 2–3.]

As for value, any high-quality tea sold from Canada will remain a great deal with currency-exchange rates as they've been for most of the last decade or more, especially if you order enough overall for free shipping. We usually make one or two big "Murchie's runs" a year via their website.

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