Harney and Sons sent me a sample tin of their Earl Grey Supreme. Which is really cool because I love a good tin for tea. Harney and Sons really know how to package their stuff.
This is an interesting blend: according to the website, “Four higher grade black teas are blended and exquisite Ceylon vintage silver tips and a little extra bergamot” to create it. The silver tips – basically white tea, I discovered – aren’t especially apparent to the eye, but I think they do impact on the taste. (Not that I know a whole lot about white tea, as previously mentioned.)
3 min steeping, 1/2 tsp of sugar, as normal. It doesn’t smell especially citrus either dry or steeped. It also doesn’t taste particularly citrus-y, which was a bit disappointing. I think the white tea gives it a savoury note, which was pleasant enough and a bit different, but this isn’t going to be one of my favourite teas. (Which is sad but when I’d have to order it from the UK, not the end of the world.)
Another sample, this time from Harney and Sons. LOOK AT THE TIN IT CAME IN!
I don’t typically go crazy for packaging, but oh my it’s so cute! I love it! This little tin has five silk pyramids inside – each is good for two cups, they say, so I made a small pot of tea when I tried it.
I am not a connoisseur of white tea, so my reflections are those of a black tea drinker. Keep that in mind if you love white tea! The Harney Teas site says this is “Chinese mutan white tea” with bergamot, and I’ve no idea if that’s good quality or not.
I steeped the tea for 5 min (3-8 minutes recommended), and since I don’t know white tea I started with zero sugar.
It definitely doesn’t smell as strong as a black tea might, and the colour is of course paler. There’s some hint of citrus in the scent. Their site declares that “the bold citrus dominates the aroma, but takes a step behind the mild nutty flavours of white tea”… which is basically a contradiction, as far as I’m concerned, but I’ll never have a job describing food.
The best way I can describe the flavour is ‘delicate’. I don’t think I’d be pairing this tea with food – certainly not strong flavours – since it would be completely overwhelmed. It seemed closer to some green teas I’ve had than to black. I didn’t get much lemon in the taste. I added a small amount of sugar and it cut through a slight bitterness. I still didn’t get much lemon – but I also don’t know what a plain white tea tastes like, so maybe that would make a difference.
I liked it, and look forward to drinking it a few more times, but probably won’t rush to buy more.