So last week I was in Cork and, unlike Dublin, the city doesn't have many tea shops. Not to fear, I decided to write a review of a tea that I've had for a while, but not known what to make of it til now. Revolution Tea has produced an Earl Grey tea with an unusual twist- Earl Grey with lavender.
At first, the whole combination of lavender and citrus appeared to be something of a paradox. How could an ingredient that is traditionally used to calm people down and help them sleep work with EG's traditional, summery and citrus-y kick? I like EG to wake me up and I have lavender teabags to help me drift off. Hmm, a conundrum indeed. Saying that, one of my favourite cakes is rose and lavender (but I never eat it whilst drinking EG, as the lavender hampers the taste of the tea.)
So, back to the tea. A friend in the US sent me the tea to sample and I was eager to try it. It's made of a mixture of ceylon, darjeeling and oolong tea leaves. I was hoping that this combination would enhance the lavender/bergamot flavour, rather than swamping it with tannin flavour.
The smell is unusually sweet (not in a bad way!) There is clearly a note of lavender on first sniff, with the bergamot coming behind and lifting the floral scent away from being too heavy.
The flavour is heavenly- the lavender and bergamot combine to produce an almost spicy flavour that is refreshing and sweet. The lavender hits the back of the throat and is a soothing flavour, which works extremely well with the perkier flavour of the bergamot, which acts as a natural pick-me-up. The lavender is therefore limited to an enhancing taste, rather than an overpowering one. Yum!
I must admit, after my initial trepidation, this has proved to be a very, very pleasant surprise and one that I recommend even my friend who doesn't 'do' lavender in food has a taste of...
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