A superior grade of Rooibos, scented with oil of bergamot. An excellent caffeine free alternative for Earl Grey aficionados.
rooibos, artificial flavor
If you've been around here long, you already know I love Earl Grey. My standard cup has a Ceylon black tea base. I am also quite fond of Earl Grey with a green tea base. I have tried a rooibos Earl Grey once before. It came from an old time general store in a nearby arts and crafts community. Their loose tea was stored in clear glass canisters on an open shelf. It had no flavor.
Opening this sample packet I am hit with bergamot. Oh, bergamot, how I adore you. Just breathing in the scent makes this a hundred times better than my first encounter. I catch no hint of rooibos in the dry aroma.
The sample label is clearly marked with all the important information. It does say artificial flavor instead of oil of bergamot as mentioned in the description. I have encountered this before. Generally it means the oil is freeze dried before applying to the leaf. The legal eagles won't let them call it natural. The aroma is a delight, so no matter what the label says, this is bergamot.
I placed the leaf into a Finum basket and added boiling water to my mug. I used about 5 g for my 10 oz mug. The steep was around 6 minutes. 8 as recommended just kept me waiting too long. The brew is deep black cherry red. I can catch the scent of rooibos in the air. Oh, please, please, please, let this taste of bergamot.
First sip - SCORE! Yes! This IS Earl Grey. The bergamot is very up front, sweet, and citrusy. It is not overwhelming, fake, or soapy tasting. I really can't single out the rooibos, although I know it is altering the flavor ever so slightly from what I am accustomed to sipping. Because they add the acknowledgment of rooibos in the blend name, I am cool with it. I do single out the rooibos in the lingering aftertaste. Of course I still taste bergamot, so my mind is unconcerned.
This my Earl Grey friends is really a nice caffeine free late evening alternative to the standard black tea base. This is a rooibos I could see me drinking on a regular basis - maybe even daily. Very Good!
Visit Upton Tea Imports here. This tea is buried under Teas> Miscellaneous> Herbals and Tisanes> Rooibos and Honeybush> BA19 My main complaint with Upton is they offer so much, it is hard to locate anything.