Saturday, July 7, 2012

Utopia Tea, Earl Grey

This is the second sample provide by Utopia Tea for review The ingredients listed on the sample label are organic Ceylon black tea and oil of bergamot.

Upon opening the pouch the air was filled with a nice citrusy aroma of the dry leaf. I scooped out the tea to get a good look at the dry leaf. The picture is obviously an extreme close up. The leaf is actually very small pieces or CTC. I know from past experience this is not necessarily an indicator of poor quality. It is actually pretty typical of black tea.

I put a healthy scoop of the leaf in my press and poured in 12oz of boiling water. I steeped for 3 minutes. The resulting liquor is a golden root beer colored. The wet leaf smells dark, heavy, and lightly smoked. I wasn’t expecting smoked.

The sip is interesting. Not nearly as bergamot in the taste as the dry scent suggests. The Ceylon is lightly smoked and that is the first and last thing I notice, but not in a bad way. In the middle of the sip the bergamot gives a hardy citrus blast.

The taste of the bergamot is similar to Ahmad Earl Grey, though maybe not as perfumey and not nearly as intense. This is actual oil of bergamot as opposed to flavoring. The steeped leaf is small pieces similar sized to Ahmad which is slightly larger than Twinings leaf.

The tea base is not like either of the two teas I’ve mentioned in comparison. Ahmad’s base is strong and can get bitter if over-steeped. Twinings’ is pretty low key but very forgiving. This one is bold but not bitter. The light smoked aspect adds something unique and exciting to the cup.

I steeped 2 cups with the leaf. The second is less smoky. It is still a very delicious cup.

This is different in a good way. I like the interaction between the tea base and the bergamot. It made for a nice start to my day. Good job Utopia Tea.

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