As I sit here, sipping this tea, I am trying to recall where I had heard of this new tea company. I think I had read somewhere that Steven Smith, the master of teas who made his mark by blending at Tazo Tea, had struck out on his own and started his own company. I just can’t remember where I read it, at the moment.
I felt drawn to this tea because I could appreciate the passion Steven Smith has for tea. I was confident that this would be exceptional tea. And I am not disappointed.
The fragrance of bergamot is one of my favorites, and this tea is very strongly scented. The aroma of citrus-y bergamot fills the air upon opening the package, and it’s absolutely delightful!
The flavor is just as delightful as the aroma. It is well flavored with the bergamot: it is not too strong, nor is it so softly flavored that I cannot taste it. It has a pleasant, citrus flavor with light floral notes, and does not carry that perfume-y flavor that sometimes accompanies Earl Grey teas. A perfectly smooth Earl Grey tea!
It is apparent the dedication that Steven Smith has for high quality teas by the tea leaves used in this blend. The leaves are large and brew a beautiful, dark, coppery color with a medium body. The flavor is bright and robust, but not so robust that it overpowers the bergamot. There is a nice, malty tone to the overall cup, adding some depth to the flavor. A very well crafted tea, indeed!
Steven Smith has this to say about his Blend No. 55:
About this Tea
A flavor somewhat superior to traditional Earl Grey. Fragrant Ceylon Dimbulla and Uva are artfully combined with select teas from India’s Assam valley, then scented with the essence of bergamot from the realm of Reggio Calabria, Italy.
Ceylon Dimbulla, Uva and Indian Assam full leaf teas and natural bergamot essence.
For best flavor, bring freshly drawn filtered water to a boil. Steep five minutes. If possible, play a little opera softly in the background.
OK, I didn’t play opera as I brewed the tea. Sorry, but that just isn’t the way I roll. I’m much more the Guns N’ Roses type.
This tea is a remarkable Earl Grey, one of the very best I’ve tasted. I would highly recommend it to all Earl Grey fans out there, as well as those who find some Earl Grey teas to be a little too off-putting because of their perfume-like taste. I think you may find that this Earl Grey is much more suitable. As for me, I think that this Earl Grey is absolutely delightful, even without the opera!