Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fusion Teas, Premium Earl Grey

Why yes, Fusion Tea apparently does have black tea. It just isn’t on their website yet. The ingredients on this one are listed as premium black tea and bergamot. Here’s what they say about this tea:

This soft, highly aromatic bergamot black tea is of the highest quality. The excellent basis of Ceylon and Yunnan is perfectly in tune with the flavoring. A light and pleasant smokey nuance accompanies the typical bergamot citrus flavor. Experience a top-class Earl Grey Tea

Here is what I think:

Immediately upon opening the sample bag the aroma tells me this one is going to be different. The scent is a bit flowery but mostly it reminds me of fruit candy (grapes and oranges?) or maybe fruit punch. One of the guys at work said it smelled like one of the Hubba Bubba bubble gums he used to chew. Very unusual and different from any Earl Grey I have had before.

I followed the steeping instructions for the amount of leaf and the water temperature, which was a little below boiling. I did, however, shorten the time to three minutes instead of the four to five listed on the package. I am always cautious of a new black tea until I know how I will react to it.

The brew is root beer brown and clear (not cloudy and no floating sediment). The bergamot aroma is accompanied by the fruity wine-like scent of the black tea. The sip is very balanced There are equal parts tea and bergamot. In an Earl Grey like Harney & Sons, the citrus seems to be more in the background to support the black tea. With say Twinings just the opposite is true. Here they are equal partners in the flavor of the cup. I find that sense of balance is what I like about Fusion Teas. The taste of the bergamot is fruity – maybe peach and orange. Again, not like any Earl Grey I have had before.

The tea base reminds me of Empire Tea Services English Afternoon, which is a blend of Ceylon and Keemun teas. There is some dry mouth astringency in the cup. The leaf itself is good sized broken pieces, and definitely not fannings.

The second cup I steeped for four minutes. I really like this better than the first cup. It is still very balanced but I find it more traditional tasting. Or maybe I have just adjusted to it.

I am anxious to try this one again tomorrow, now that I know what to expect, to see my reaction. I think the real key to enjoying this tea is to get all the preconceived notions out of your head. It is unique. With that understanding this is a complex yet finely balanced cup

Update – I had 2 cups today. It is an interestingly different take on a classic. I offered a tea drinking friend some of the sample. His take was this was this is good, where do I buy it good.

Sample provided by Fusion Tea Room (

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