This is the first ‘smoky’ Earl Grey that I’ve tasted. Much like other recent trends in more exotic flavors of Earl Grey, such as Cream Earl Grey and Russian Earl Grey, Smoky Earl Grey is a very unique yet fabulous ‘twist’ on the standard Earl Grey.
‘Smoky’ Earl Greys start with a smoky Chinese black tea, much like (actually almost exactly like) Lapsang Souchong, then flavored with bergamot, the citrus-like flavor that is the essence of an Earl Grey tea.
This creates an especially interesting flavor combination with the deeply smoky black tea blended with a brighter citrus note. However, Kusmi manages to pull this off effortlessly, with a definite balance to the flavors that prevent it from being…..yechy. Instead this is a musky yet refreshing tea that I love waking up to on cold mornings!
Kusmi Tea describes this tea as:
Smoky black tea from China flavored with natural essences of bergamot.
Tasting advice: delicious plain or slightly sweetened.
TEA PROFILE PREPARATION Origin: China Time of day: afternoon Main flavor: citrus with a smoky note Ideal water temperature: 85°C – 90°C Quantity needed: 0,1 oz. Recommended brewing time: 3-4 min
This tea is best served hot, not chilled, and plain without any sugar or milk. Although as they note, a little sweetener actually brings out the citrus notes a bit more, and gives it a lot more depth and intricacy.
As my favorite type of tea is Earl Grey, and I also love smoky teas such as Lapsang Souchong, I really appreciate this tea, as I suspected I would when I selected it from Kusmi. However, it’s a very unique taste and not for everyone – imagine a deep black tea that smells and tastes fresh from the campfire, then turn that into an Earl Grey. Perhaps an acquired taste, but one that this reviewer has definitely acquired. Give this one a try on cold or rainy evenings!