Lavender Earl Greys are yet another of those tea categories I’m not quite comfortable with (I’ll probably need a good rest at a spa or something after this swap box sampling round.) but want to make some kind of final decision on. I decided to go with the steeping suggestion from KittyLovesTea’s review of this, as the full six-minute steep seemed too steep (Hue hueee. I guess we are doing puns this month. ) for me and my black tea issues.
The dry tea is all about the lavender to me. It efficiently drowns out any other scent notes, except possibly some small hint of the tea base. Steeped, the tea base acquires significantly more potency, and it’s roughly a 50/50 lavender/tea base (I don’t love) balance.
This is a really, really difficult one for me. It tastes so much like a fish dish I made once – it was oven-baked cod with rosemary and some kind of creamy topping. It was the strangest blend of really disgusting and really good – I still get freaky little cravings for it on the rare occasion. What made it problematic was the perfumey quality of the rosemary combined with the fish, and this strikes me as similar. The black tea base is pretty savoury, and to me that really collides with the perfume notes of the lavender. I think for a lavender EG to work for me, it needs to be far more delicately blended, and with a more complex taste structure.
Let me emphasize that the rating in no way reflects the quality of the tea, but my own severe hangups in terms of lavender EGs.
Thanks for sharing, KittyLovesTea!
[Sample from the second round of the EU Travelling Box, spring 2014.]