I brew unflavored teas more frequently than the flavored ones. So does my family, relatives and friends. I have no idea why it’s like that. Maybe some of them are too “chemical”. A decade ago, I bought a box of Earl Grey with a lot of curiosity. Yet, it smelled so strange that I couldn’t finish a cup of it.
I have tried the bagged Earl Grey produced by Ahmad Tea recently. Bagged teas have been normal for years. Yes, it is convenient to brew with bagged teas. But I also think that it is a double-edged sword that the dry-leaf analysis becomes unfeasible and the leisure of enjoying loose leaves “dancing” is missed. You win some, you lose some.
Ahmad Tea describes the tea as:
A subtle blend of oriental teas scented with the elegant fragrance of bergamot. A favourite English beverage usually served without milk.
Ingredients: Blended tea, bergamot flavouring
Blended and packed in England
The leaf’s aroma is striking that you don’t even need to open the box nor the bag. It is an acid scent and very close to Huamei (the Chinese preserved plum, sour, pickled in sugar, salt, and herbs. 话梅 in Chinese). The liquid is even but not very bright. The fragrance of bergamot and peel is strong and is shaper than that of Chenpi Pu-erh. Possessing the refreshing bergamot fragrance plus the Black Tea aroma, this Earl Grey is energetic and pleasantly awakening.
I slurped the tea which in turn sprayed the nasal passage. And then you can tell the tea is brisk enough to deliver multi-sensations. It was, no doubt, the flavor of bergamot (lemon-leaf like) came in the first place and followed by the pungency of the black tea. Having a lingering aftertaste on the palate for hours is always my favorite part. I must get a cup of it for my doom and gloom morning.
I brewed the tea twice and the second brew was equally amusing. After cutting the bergamot flavor in half, the details of the black tea stood out. The tea became sweeter and smoother while the aroma turned into more floral-like. It was indeed a nice journey traveling from Presto to Andante.
If Earl Grey is still popular nowadays, there must be things to be appreciated and reasons for its persistence. How do you find it, mate?