Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Secret Garden Tea Company, French Earl Grey

 The Secret Garden Tea Company Description:
Classic bergamot-infused Earl Grey tea layered with the gentle scent of rose petals.

Black tea, bergamot, mallow flower, hibiscus, rose petals, and sunflower petals

Sample provided by The Secret Garden Tea Company

My Review:
Today we are reviewing another offering from the newly opened webstore, The Secret Garden Tea Company. As you can see, handwriting the tea name on the label sounds like a great personal touch. In practice, a little moisture on the tea drinker's fingers can turn it into a smeary mess.

The sample bag has a paper exterior with an aluminum interior. The top is folded over and secured on the back with a sticker seal. This will work short term but longer storage will require something more substantial to maintain freshness.

The name to me suggests an Earl Grey Creme, but that is not what this blend contains. Opening the bag reveals the scent of rose. It is not really a fresh rose fragrance. To me it is more of a strong rose powder.

The leaf is pretty to look at. The black tea is surrounded by rose, mallow, sunflower, and hibiscus petals. Bergamot is listed as the second ingredient after black tea, however I can't detect it in the scent.

I used boiling water today and a 3 minute steep. The result is an orange cup that is shiny and clear. The wet leaf has an interesting aroma that suggests mango. That is not a listed ingredient, so I am not sure where that is coming from.

The taste is mainly dusty rose with a lighter note that still reminds me of mango or peach and apricot. Could it be the bergamot and hibiscus interacting? There is a slight tartness that is not offensive, present in the sip, as well as a bit of bite. I find this to be kind of drying. It does feel sort of thick like cream. I suspect the mallow is bringing that to the cup.

The black tea base is hard to single out at first. It reminds me of the Ceylon I reviewed yesterday. When it comes out of hiding it has a woodsy taste that is quite mellow.

I have to admit to being disappointed that I can't detect the bergamot. As an Earl Grey addict of many decades, having Earl Grey in the name brings certain expectations. I would have named this French Rose or something similar. On the plus side, wherever the tropical flavor is coming from, it raises this up a notch for me.

This tea is not something I am likely to crave but it is interesting.

You can find French Earl Grey here

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