Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Secret Garden Tea Company, Anniversary Blend Black Tea

The Secret Garden Tea Company Description:
Bergamot, Jasmine and Vanilla: these are a few of our favorite things! We created this blend in celebration of the Secret Garden’s inception. Pairs perfectly with both sweet and savoury delicacies.

Ingredients: Black Tea, natural flavors.

Price: $11.25/100g

Sample provided by The Secret Garden Tea Company

My Review:
This is my last sample provided by The Secret Garden Tea. Since my first review, this new online shop, and established Vancouver tea room, have lowered their shipping to a flat $7. That is pretty much in line with what US shops are charging and very reasonable for Canada.

The sample bags make me think of chewing gum wrappers. They are paper covering an aluminum coating inside. The top is rolled down and fastened with a decorative seal. The name of the blend is handwritten on the label. There are no steeping instructions.

As I remove a scoop of leaf, I smell vanilla. It is a nice scent and not overpowering or medicinal.

The leaf is kind of pretty. There are blue cornflower petals and yellow petals, possibly marigold or jasmine petals.

Using my standard press method with 212 F water and a four minute steep produced a very dark ruby orange brew. It seems darker than in the picture. The scent is lightly vanilla.

I like this but I am not getting much bergamot or any jasmine. It is mainly a light vanilla and a pleasant black base that I am guessing is a Ceylon. It is not bitter. It is moderately drying. Pairing it with a nice snack would probably counter this. I did not feel a need for added sweetener.

I could only find one review of this blend online and it was more of a review of the tea room experience. They only commented it was tasty.

So, I am left trying to decide if what I got from my cup is what one should expect upon ordering. I appreciate the vanilla is kept light so as not to drown out the black tea. I also can appreciate the bergamot is a very light touch. This is not Earl Grey. The citrus is there just to round out the cup. I am disappointed not to be able to detect the jasmine. I guess my final conclusion is that had I not read the ingredient list I would have been quite happy with the cup.

You can find Anniversary Blend here.

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