Sunday, February 19, 2012
Harney and Sons, Earl Grey Supreme
I had read reviews of this tea before hand and kind of knew, how this tea gets interpreted depends on what level of bergamot one finds pleasing. On the one end of the bergamot scale I put the Tazo Earl Grey I bought locally, which I couldn’t detect any bergamot in it at all. (Turns out either this was very old or had been exposed to heat and sunlight) On the other end I place Empire Tea Services Earl Green, which is highly flavored and very floral. In fact I had to cut it with another tea the first couple weeks I had it, just too tone it down. Halfway between these two extremes I put Twinings EG. It is bright and citrusy. Ahmad EG has just slightly less bergamot but a nicer base flavor profile to my palate. On the same scale, Ahmad No 1. is halfway between Tazo and Ahmad EG. Harney and Sons EG Supreme I place just below No 1. on my bergamot scale. Confused yet?
Let me simplify - You can taste the bergamot, especially as the cup cools, but you have to be paying attention. If you are looking for that citrus blast, then this tea will be quite disappointing. For that reason I wish H&S’s would have left Earl Grey out of the name and just called it Supreme. As a lightly flavored black tea this is really good. It is rich and malty. The bergamot actually supports the base instead of the other way around, and it does an excellent job of it. I do find this slightly astringent, like an Assam, as it leaves me with a bit of a dry mouth feel.
Earl Grey? Not on my bergameter scale. Wonderful lightly flavored black tea? Absolutely.