Thursday, January 16, 2014
The Devotea, Special Earl Grey
A brilliant Earl Grey. It’s strong, bergamotty and classy.
Food Pairing: Enjoy with a citrus tart.
Ingredients: Black tea, bergamot oil
I have enjoyed the LORD DEVOTEA'S TEA SPOUTS blog for some time. This is my first opportunity to taste their tea. This sample came to me in a tea swap. I opened the box and found so many samples I was overwhelmed. Trust me, I'm not complaining. I began to sort them by type so I could drink up those which would not age well.
Yeah, that was the plan... and then I spotted an Earl Grey. Straight to the top of the list it goes! I know their are people who despise bergamot. For the life of me I don't understand their blindness to the single most awesome flavored tea on planet earth. Let's also not forget it is the tea of choice for the Captain of a certain Federation Star Ship. It is and always shall be my friend (another not so veiled Star Trek reference).
So I placed the leaf - it appears to be an orthodox method produced leaf - into my press. The scent of bergamot is bright and citrusy. I brought the water to a boil and steeped for a little over three minutes in my press. The result is a orange tinted cup that smells really good.
The ingredient list simply says black tea. From what I'm tasting my first guess is this is a blend of China black tea. It is very smooth when hot. Not brisk or harsh as Assam and Ceylon teas tend toward. There is hardly a harsh edge to be found. I am also not catching but maybe the tiniest amount of the dryness associated with astringency.
As it cools I do pick up a little more briskness and drying. So, maybe there is some Ceylon? Regardless it is a nice base. I have to be careful with black tea as it can cause a burning sensation. This does not seem to be an issue with this black tea.
As for the all important bergamot, it is at once familiar yet somehow slightly refined as well. Some lesser grade teas use freeze dried bergamot to flavor the tea. This is to prolong the shelf life of the product. It also removes some of the subtle nuances found in the actual oil.
The level of intensity of bergamot is on par with that of the loose version of Twinings Earl Grey. The use of actual oil to flavor the leaf makes this a far more complex cup. This is a cup of Earl Grey worthy of the name.
Visit The Devotea USA website.