Friday, December 13, 2013

RiverTea, Earl Grey Rose

RiverTea Description:
Just like in a romantic movie, this beautiful pairing of the classic Earl Grey and the elegance of sweet rose petals creates an enamoring affair worth talking about. There’s nothing like your favorite black tea blend, geniously complimented with a tantalizing new flavor to switch up your everyday cup. Enjoy the signature flavors of Earl Grey, a rich black tea with the crisp citrus notes of Bergamot oil, dazzled by the sweet, delicate flavors of rose and peony blossoms. Break from your usual routine and add a little romance to your life with an alluring cup of Earl Grey Rose.

Black tea, Peony blossoms, Bergamot flavouring, Rose flavouring

Sample provided by RiverTea

My Review:
Rivertea is a new start up operating out of Berlin. I entered and won a contest they held in preparation of their opening. The contest was to tell what you would do for the last 100g on earth of your favorite tea. You can read my entry here. The prize was 4oz of my choice and 3 samples of my choice. This tea was one of the samples.

The package arrived in about one week after mailing. It arrived in pristine condition. I opened the box and was met by a welcoming sticker holding tissue wrapping in place. Inside covered in packing peanuts were two tins and three samples all in excellent condition. Also included was a small sack tied with ribbon. Inside were three coasters in a leaf shape representing the company logo. All very nice touches and appreciated.

The sample bag is green recyclable plastic. The label lists the tea name, ingredients, and steeping instructions. A lot of the samples seem to expect you to go to the internet or guess how to prepare the tea. So again this is appreciated. I started to cut the top off when I realized it was a zip lock bag. Very nice! I never know how to keep a sample fresh if I don't use all of it. Zipping it is much more convenient than my usual paper clip method.

Opening the bag I am met by big petals. Yes, I see them listed in the ingredient list now, but the peony blossoms surprised me. The scent is light of rose and bergamot. I steeped 1 tsp in boiling water for almost 4 minutes per instructions. The result is a bit muddy looking with a light floral aroma.

I am pretty sure I under leafed for the large mug I am using. I'll try again with a 6 oz cup later. For now what I am getting is light and delicate in flavor. I can taste the black base tea. There is a touch of bitterness that I think comes from the long steep. I would normally only steep for 3 minutes with a new black tea. I can smell citrusy bergamot. It's taste is light and well suited to the cup. The rose is even lighter but blends exceptionally well. The more the cup cools the richer the bergamot becomes. The rose remains an accent flavor, present but not dominating. That seems to be a tough thing to pull off with a rose tea.

The bergamot and rose are both listed as flavoring. Both taste very natural.  I need to do a little investigating and find out what flavoring means in this case.

Day two: I poured the remaining sample on a plate and took the picture above. It's pretty, but if you aren't used to the big petals you can understand how I under leafed yesterday. Today I steeped for 3 minutes with boiling water. This has much more bergamot fragrance.

With more leaf there is a definite tartness to the cup. Actually, while hot there is not a lot of difference between yesterday and this more heavily leafed cup. The tea base comes through with a woodsy flavor. The bergamot is the strongest element but not in an overdone manner. Those looking for a citrus blast will have to wait for the cup to cool. I didn't try it but I imagine this would be good iced. The rose again remains a support flavor.

Visit the RiverTea website.

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