Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Plum Deluxe, Mindful Morning Blend

Sample Bag
Plum Deluxe Description:
The mindful morning blend is the Plum Deluxe take on classic Earl Grey.
Everyone loves Earl Grey, but we found a way to make it even better so that we can start every day with a tea blend that is truly luxurious. We began with our absolute favorite black tea, Ceylon – it is a tea from Sri Lanka that has a gentle vanilla flavor to it. We then added a tiny pinch of sweet honey, a bit of flavor and color with the cornflowers, and topped it off with the bergamot oil that makes earl grey so famous. The orange peels give it a final flavor boost.

Sample provided by Plum Deluxe.

My Review:
I was recently contacted by Andy at Plum Deluxe and asked if I would like to review one of their teas. Looking through the online teashop, all of the choices sounded equally inviting. I chose Mindful Morning Blend. Why? Uhmmm, because it has bergamot in it. I am nothing if not predictable.

dry leaf
When the bubble wrapped envelope arrived, it did not escape my attention that it was plum colored. Opening the outer package and removing the ziplock bag, I can already catch hints of the aroma. This smells truly wonderful. More on that later.

The label lists a brief description and the ingredients. Missing are steeping instructions. The base tea is Ceylon, so I'll use standard black tea parameters.

Update - after reading my review, Andy wrote, "When people order they get an email with brewing info, but you're right, it's not on the labels.  It's on the new ones now since people often misplace the email or gift the tea."

I have to admit part of the description made me smile. "Pairs well with quiet moments & good conversation." I can pretty much say, any tea I drink first thing in the morning, will not be accompanied with good conversation. I am not a morning person. Neither is my wife. We tend to avoid each other until both have had their respective morning cup. I will agree as an afternoon tea, the aroma alone would enhance the conversation.

A very full mug
The blend has dark chocolate colored Ceylon leaf, cornflowers, orange peel pieces, and something I have never seen before - honey granules. I really am not detecting the bergamot scent. What I catch is honey and orange. It smells so good, I want to scoop up a handful and eat it.

Instead, I put the leaf in my press with boiling water and steeped for about three minutes. It is a good thing I used more leaf than usual, as there was a little water left in the kettle and I filled my mug a little fuller than intended.

The brew color is dark caramel/orange. I can smell the tea in the wet leaf. The combination is sort of chocolate, orange, and honey. I don't mean to dwell, but it smells so nice and inviting. It isn't candy. It isn't citrus. It isn't floral. It is kind of all these things.

Once it finally cools enough to taste, I am not disappointed. The sweet citrus, and not really chocolate but along that vein, flavors are joined by a vanilla like taste and texture. This does not require added sweetener, yet it is not overly sweet by any means. I am detecting no bitterness. Ceylon teas especially when bergamot is added can be very drying. This one is only mild drying.

Wet Leaf
Now if you are one of those rare tea drinkers who avoid Earl Grey because you don't like bergamot, I think this one will surprise you. Seriously, this is not Earl Grey in the traditional sense. The bergamot is very light in my opinion.

The ingredients are USDA organic and fairtrade certified. Plum Deluxe has a small variety to choose from but they do their own blending. What I get with this cup is not heavy handed or in your face. It is very tastefully blended.

Plum Deluxe was founded in 2007 as an online community to help people create moments that matter. The tea came later. Quoting from information I was given about their tea story:

Tea is a beverage that can’t be rushed – you have to give it a few minutes to steep. By encouraging our readers to drink tea, we’re helping them slow down just a little, and perhaps giving them a minute or two each day to be still.

I completely agree with this philosophy. I can also highly recommend this blend.

You can find Mindful Morning Blend here.

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