Though this tea isn’t specifically labeled as an Earl Grey, its flavoring is oil of bergamot, which is the defining characteristic of an Earl Grey tea – so I am classifying it as an Earl Grey. It’s quite mild – the bergamot aroma is very faint in the dry leaves, and only slightly stronger in the brewed tea. The tea brews up nice and dark, reasonably full-bodied and strong without being aggressive or bitter.
The bergamot flavor is mild, and although the description of the tea does not include vanilla, I seem to get a bit of a vanilla aroma and a slight creaminess of taste which reminds me of the “Cream” Earl Greys, which have vanilla or vanilla bean flavor added.
Harney describes this tea as:
Mike spent years in Paris and found his wife Brigitte there. So his ties to the City of Light are strong. He has enjoyed many a pot of tea at the famous Paris tea shops. So in homage to Paris, he has created this blend reminiscent of one of the most popular blends in Paris. It is a fruity Black Tea with a hint of lemony Bergamot.
Sugar is nice in this tea – makes it taste creamier. If you like milk in your tea, it would taste well here; while milk doesn’t agree with stronger bergamot flavors, in my opinion, it does do OK with a milder bergamot such as this. I tried icing the tea, too: the bergamot flavor and aroma disappear entirely, and it becomes pronouncedly vanilla-ish. Not bad – quite nice, actually, but very different from its taste and aroma as a hot tea. Iced or hot, because of the vanilla note, you wouldn’t want to add sour lemon to this, but a slice of a nice sweet orange tastes great with it.