Sunday, September 1, 2013

Earl Grey by Nina's Paris

Earl Grey by Nina's Paris

Seller Description: The smoothness of Keemun together with the freshness of bergamot. An ancient recipe that was handed down by a high dignitary of China to Earl Charles Grey. A classic that definitely shouldn't be missed.
Website: Earl Grey by Nina's Paris
Sample source: Provided

Earl Grey by Nina's Paris
Teaware: China cup
Measured dry: 1 teaspoon
Water Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 3 minutes
Additives: 2 teaspoons of raw sugar

Does it say something about me that I'm starting to personify my Earl Greys? I'm just under forty Earl Grey reviews at this point, and I find that I'm talking effusively about their personality traits and mannerisms.

Take this one, for example. It's not dissimilar to the Anne de Bourgh I met yesterday afternoon, but while it may be mild, it shows a sense of pluckiness I can appreciate. This is Georgiana Darcy. Friendly and hopeful, with a little room to grow.

The dry smell of this blend is decidedly sweet, with just a slight edge from the bergamot. After steeping, the bergamot flavors are more of a flourish at the end of each sip than a primary note. The black tea base is a lot more prevalent here, and there is a fruitiness to the flavor that I can't quite put my finger on. It's more than the bergamot alone. Whatever that note may be, it contributes to a wonderfully smooth cup with little to no astringency.

I think of Georgiana here, because while she adores her brother (who wouldn't?!) and she tries very hard to learn the rules of her society, she also breaks free in some notable ways. I can see that promise in this tea. It's trying very hard to be a basic and straightforward Earl Grey, but while a lot of the harsh edges have been filed off, it still has a slight briskness that belies that. And like Georgiana, as it ages it develops further. The tea has cooled while I typed, and the last sip is noticeably better than the first.

Out of curiosity, I made one more cup. This time I used a heaping teaspoon and added a minute to the steep time. With one sip I can tell those changes made a huge difference. The initial elements I wrote about are much more pronounced, and it is noticeably more brisk - to the point that there is now some minor astringency. The next time I make this I will try for a happy medium in between the two.

All in all, this is a solid Earl Grey with a touch of natural sweetness and a hint of fruitiness. I'm looking for something a little more brisk for my early mornings, but this would be a wonderful cup to enjoy on a lazy weekend morning.

Prominent Notes: Keemun
Aftertaste: Bergamot
Overall: A nice Earl Grey with sweet and fruity elements

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