Saturday, August 24, 2013

Silky Earl Grey by Teajo Teas

Steam rising from Silky Earl Grey by Teajo Teas

Seller DescriptionThis aromatic black tea is made with pure bergamot extract and safflower. If you are a fan of this classic tea, you will love our blend. The black tea in this blend is single estate and originates from a garden in Assam, a region known for producing high quality, full-bodied tea.
Ingredients: Broken leaf black tea, bergamot oil, lemon peel, safflower and cacao.
Directions: 1 tablespoon for 3 minutes, 8oz water at 212°F

Dry leaves of Silky Earl Grey
Teaware: Steeped in 16oz glass infuser mug
Measured dry: 2 teaspoons
Water Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 3 minutes
Additives: 4 teaspoons of raw sugar

This is simply glorious. By now you know that I don't throw that around lightly, but this tea... wow. I'm trying to be impartial - this was a complimentary sample after all - but I'm actually having a really difficult time with this one. It's going to be very hard for me not to just rave about it. I knew I was in for something special when my eyes rolled up at the dry smell of the tea. It is just pregnant with pungent bergamot, embraced with a clean and fresh Assam base, and holds just the slightest hint of licorice.

Once I opened the package and met those gorgeous leaves, I was pretty sure that a love affair with this tea was about to begin. They look like glistening pieces of chewy black licorice, nearly good enough to eat!

Steeped Silky Earl Grey
Now not every tea that smells amazing translates well into the cup, but this defies the odds. It gets better. It's fresh, smooth and nuanced, and with each sip I keep discovering more layers. I might pick out a slight licorice, a tiny note of mint or vanilla with one sip, and the faintest hint of cocoa in the next. 

Now, there is some mild astringency, but nothing that took away from my enjoyment. Even then, it was quickly solved but a small dash of milk. Then it keeps on going, as this tea also holds up fairly well on the second steep. The flavors are not nearly as strong or nuanced, but it is still better than many of the first-steep Earl Greys I've tried during this project.

In addition to the warm fuzzies I experience just drinking this tea, I love the fact that it is not only single estate tea from a family owned farm, but it it is also grown biodynamically. From what I understand, it's a sustainable way of farming that goes above and beyond organics and treats all aspects of of the farm as part of one single organism... interrelated in both a physical and spiritual way; the plants, the animals, and even the soil. 

There is no question that this is going into the next round of the Battle of the Earl Greys... but it's also going to become a cupboard staple.

Prominent Notes: Bergamot and Assam
Aftertaste: Just the slightest hints of cocao and licorice
Overall: This is a very strong contender!

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