Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Sands of Thyme on Etsy or Sands of Thyme on Artfire
Ingredients; black tea Assam, lemon bits flavoring, rosebuds
I received this tea as a free sample with my order that I placed a while back – I always appreciate it when companies are generous with their teas and send free samples with orders! It’s like getting the bonus prize in a box of Cracker Jacks – only better, because this is TEA!
The dry leaf is quite beautiful. Big chunks of dried lemon and whole, red rosebuds are scattered throughout the Assam black tea leaves. It smells quite good too – I can smell the lemon, the bergamot and even a hint of vanilla.
Taste wise, this is a very unusual Earl Grey Cream. It’s the lemon in this that makes it so different. The lemon is a very strong component, and it aggressively attempts to take over. The bergamot is there, but it is hidden beneath the strong lemony notes. I think that this tea would be more appropriately named a lemon cream tea or a citrus cream tea rather than an Earl Grey Cream.
The Assam in this tea is also quite dominating in this blend – I steeped it for just three minutes and there is quite a bit of bitterness to the tea. Much more than I typically would get from an Assam for such a short steep time. The Assam does have some redeeming qualities, though. It is bold and malty. It would be much more enjoyable, however, if it weren’t so bitter and astringent.
As it cools, some of the stronger flavors temper somewhat, and it becomes a smoother tasting tea, but it still has that bitter tone that is a difficult obstacle to overcome with this tea. I don’t think I would classify this as a horrible or undrinkable tea, and I don’t want to dissuade anyone from trying it. I would love to hear from you if you have tried it and experienced something different. And while I doubt I will ever order this tea for myself, I am glad that I had the opportunity to try it.