This tea was sent to me by Tavalon as a sample. And look how cute their sample boxes are!
Tavalon say that their “teas are grown in boutique farms and all the ingredients have extremely limited and authentic origins. and of course, we take extreme care as to not involve any machines in the process whatsoever.” They sent me their Earl Grey Reserve, and two of their breakfast teas, too – Aussie Breakfast and New York Breakfast. I haven’t had a chance to try the two breakfast teas yet but will certainly report back when I do. Each sample box has a single (large) tea bag in it – it’s a single cup’s worth, but most of it is whole-leaf so there needs to be room to expand.
The recommended steeping time was 5 minutes, which I thought was quite a long time but I followed their instructions. I added 1/2 tsp of sugar, because I’ve learnt that there’s basically no Earl Grey that I like straight (except, actually, if it’s Twinings Earl Grey and it’s about 0C outside. But anyway…).
I was surprised at the lack of scent – it didn’t smell very citrus-y – and this was matched by the flavour. This is a very subtle Earl Grey; it’s clearly not an unflavoured black tea but it’s also not a highly flavoured one. Perhaps a good intro for the Earl Grey hater? It’s not going to be one of my favourites.