Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Persimmon Tree, Earl Grey Heaven

The Persimmon Tree Description:
A delicious fusion of organic black loose-leaf tea leaves, fragrant oil of bergamot and a touch of French vanilla, this divine black tea will fill your room with an aroma most heavenly! This creamy Earl Grey tea is rich and robust with refreshing citrus notes that will awaken your senses and put a spring in your step.

Ingredients:
Organic and Biodynamic Black Loose-Leaf Tea, Organic Cornflowers, Organic Oil of Bergamot, Natural Flavors

Sample provided by The Persimmon Tree

My Review:
I dragged my rear end out of bed this morning and tried to get out of the room without disturbing my wife. It did not go well. She finally sighed and asked if I needed the light. I said no, and stumbled down the hall where I promptly dropped stuff on my bare toes. I need Earl Grey. I jumped this one to the front of the long line of samples I have yet to review.

Opening the tin - The Persimmon Tree's tins are quite nice by the way - I immediately caught the scent of the leaf inside. It is not exactly vanilla and it isn't bergamot. The combination is almost alcohol beverage in nature, at least to this sleepy head.

Removing a scoop of leaf (2 tsp) it looks very much like the picture. It is very dark leaf with threads of golden tips and pretty blue cornflower petals. I don't think cornflower actually adds any flavor to the cup. I think they are there to pretty up the blend. It works.

I steeped the leaf in my press for 3 minutes in boiling water. The scent of the small broken pieces of leaf was similar to the dry leaf. The brew was either red or orange or caramel depending on how I held the cup. This early in the morning that amused me.

Now being up front with you - I love Earl Grey. It was my first tea love and I suppose it always will be my addiction. For me it does not require additions like vanilla. In fact, for me extras just get in the way of my precious bergamot. I have noticed not everyone shares my passion for this little citrus jewel. One reviewer on Steepster has introduced a new word into the tea vocabulary by calling it blergamot. So I understand we don't all share the same taste buds. With that in mind I took my first sip.

No suspense here. This is good. Based on the leaf aroma I wasn't sure how this would turn out. It is not perfumey or alcohol in taste. It is very creamy. The bergamot and vanilla mix is very balanced as I prepared it here. I have read several reviews and noticed an equal number said the vanilla was stronger as compared to those who thought the bergamot was stronger. A small proportion agree with my assessment of equal billing. That really is not a surprise to me. Neither of these flavors is neutral with most people. I love strong bergamot and usually think the vanilla is too heavy. For my personal tastes it could be tuned down a notch here but then it would no longer be equally balanced.

The initial taste is equal bergamot to vanilla. Strangely just as it begins to fade there is a moment when it brings to mind images of a grape soda I drank as a kid. I can't explain that and you will probably not have the same reaction. As this image fades, I taste the tea base lightly in the background. The aftertaste is vanilla bean in nature. Sweet and pleasant.

If I were going to compare this to another tea - and let's be honest, we all do that - the closest match is probably The Tea Merchant's French Earl Grey, though that one is stronger on the vanilla from my recollection. It is interesting to note that I also made a grape soda connection with that one.

This definitely on of the better Earl Grey cremes I have tried. You can find Earl Grey Heaven here.

About The Persimmon Tree:
(From their website) The Persimmon Tree® offers our customers some of the world's finest organic teas and botanicals. Not only are most of our fresh high quality teas from around the globe hand-blended and organically grown, some of our teas are also fair trade, ensuring fair working conditions, fair wages, and a better life for tea workers from countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

At The Persimmon Tree®, our mission is simple: to enrich people's lives through the pleasure of tea.

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