Lemon Lily’s London Fog

London Fog by Lemon Lily
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

Lemon Lily’s London Fog came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s April themed subscription box.

First Impressions

Lemon Lily’s London Fog came to me via The Sugared Tea Cup’s April themed subscription box (late spoilers: it was all things British in preparation for the Royal Wedding last month!). I can definitely smell the bergamot, it’s very strong and overwhelms the vanilla. I can see the pieces of vanilla bean, but smelling it is a whole other story. The black tea has some long, wiry leaves in it which is nice to see – I can’t smell them though since the bergamot is a force to be reckoned with.

London Fog consists of: black tea, vanilla bean, and natural bergamot – all organic ingredients.

Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping London Fog in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. My initial steep of London Fog was for 5 minutes.

First Taste

London Fog steeps to a deep reddish-brown colour. There’s a very mild vanilla aroma to it, with the bergamot being very much present (much like it was in the dry leaf). There’s a mild astringency to London Fog when I drink it, causing a little bit of a mouth pucker. I found there was a light vanilla flavour, with a slight creaminess behind each sip. The bergamot flavour is very present, with a bright citrus flavour throughout.

Given its name, I did try London Fog with a bit of sweetener (I used locally harvested honey) and evaporated milk. I found that the vanilla flavour to be more present once the bergamot had been tempered down.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped London Fog twice, adding an extra 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the first resteep was very much like the initial steep, while the second had no vanilla flavour that I could find. I would say that London Fog is good for a least one more steep.

My Overall Impression

I liked Lemon Lily’s London Fog. I think it’s really great with some extra sweetener and milk. I found, for me, the bergamot was quite powerful and it was overwhelming the more gentler flavour of the vanilla bean and I would have liked for the vanilla to be more present. I think if the flavours had been a bit better balanced, I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

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Metropolitan Tea Company’s Organic Earl Grey

Organic Earl Grey by Metropolitan Tea Company
Black Tea / Flavoured
$15.00 for 100g

Mint and Honey has provided me with Metropolitan Tea Company’s Organic Earl Grey the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I was tickled to see Organic Earl Grey in the package that I received from Mint and Honey, if only because I’m a huge fan of this classic black tea. It came to me in a sample packet, a resealable kraft bag with a little window to see the tea. When I opened it, I could smell the bergamot oil. I’m always a fan of bergamot because I find it to be rather inviting. Since I’ve been drinking Earl Grey for so long, I find it to be like a familiar hug in the form of a tea.

Metropolitan Tea Company’s Earl Grey does not disappoint in that department. With the familiar aroma of bergamot that just overpowers everything, it’s pretty much what I look for in any Earl Grey. Organic Earl Grey consists of high-grown Ceylon tea (at 4000-8000m above sea level) with bergamot oil.

Preparation

I wasn’t able to find any recommended preparation instructions. I steeped Organic Earl Grey in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 minutes for the initial steep.

First Taste

Organic Earl Grey steeps to a lovely orange colour. The aroma that comes from my cup is primarily that of the bergamot (so inviting!), with the hint of something that I had difficult identifying just from smell. On first sip, I mostly taste the bergamot flavouring, and then the black tea base makes itself known. There’s a bit of a smoked wood quality to it, a touch of earthiness that mingles well with the citrus brightness of the bergamot. I was a bit surprised by the strength behind the black tea base, especially considering I couldn’t really smell it from the dry leaf or when I was just smelling the steeped tea. At a 4 minute steep, there was no astringency noted.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Organic Earl Grey three times (four steeps total), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the bergamot oil was noticeably present for the first resteep, and began to weaken after that. In contrast, the black tea base became more and more bolder, perhaps because the bergamot wasn’t as strong.

My Overall Impression

I loved Metropolitan Tea Company’s Organic Earl Grey. It had everything I wanted (and look for) in an Earl Grey – strong bergamot presence and a bold black tea base. I really enjoyed how well this classic black tea steeped up, and the smokey woodsy earthiness was a pleasant quality from the Ceylon tea. I think this tea would do great plain, which is how I drank it, or with the addition of a sweetener and cream.

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Teatourist’s Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure

Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure (April 2018) by Teatourist
£15 for 1 box, plus shipping (+£3-5 per box)

Teatourist has provided me with the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I was really excited with the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure because the first item I really laid eyes on was the complimentary brew buddy, which was the Vegan Creme Egg Fudge by Fab Fudge. I pretty much ate that quick and it was delicious! It had a lovely chocolate texture and reminded me a lot of a Cadbury Creme Egg. There’s not a lot of photos that I took of that one, unfortunately. The only thing that would have it better if there had been more of it.

This collection had six teas: Mountain Mint by Nazani Tea (herbal infusion), Blooming Marvelous by eteaket (green tea), Pedernales Green Yaupon by CatSpring Yaupon (herbal infusion), Shakti Masala Chai by Sonya’s Chai (black tea), Belgian Chocolate Rooibos by Cheshire Tea (rooibos), and Breakfast In Bed by teatourist (black tea). From what I learned from teatourist, this is their first signature tea blend, so I was really looking to trying it when I saw it!

Mountain Mint is an herbal tisane that I would describe as being very fluffy. It just has a very fluffy, airy dry leaf. This mint tisane is 100% wild mountain mint and harvested 1800m above sea level. It has an obviously minty aroma to it. Blooming Marvelous has a very strong strawberry aroma to it, which is quite nice. It’s made up of green Chinese sencha, rosebuds, strawberries, mallow, sunflower petals, and natural flavouring (lemon, vanilla, and red fruit). Now, I’m not sure what ‘red fruit’ is, but I’m assuming it helps to amplify the strawberry flavouring of the tea. Pedernales Green Yaupon has flakey dry green leaves. There’s something about the aroma of this yaupon that reminds me of kale. Pedernales Green Yaupon is 100% organic yaupon.

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

Shakti Original Masala Chai has some strong spice aromas from the dry leaf, I can smell primarily the cardamom, clove, and black pepper. This chai consists of Assam black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, anise seed, black pepper, clove, and fennel. Belgian Chocolate Rooibos has a sweet chocolate aroma, along with the medicinal aroma from the rooibos base. It consists of rooibos, cacao bean pieces, calendula petals, and natural flavours. Breakfast In Bed has a strong black tea aroma, and I can smell and sweet the vanilla bean pieces. The aroma makes me think of cake, but I believe that to be due to the vanilla bean. Teatourist’s signature blend consists of black tea, vanilla pieces, and flavouring.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

Preparation

Nazani Tea recommends steeping Mountain Mint in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes.

eteaket recommends steeping Blooming Marvelous in 80°C (176°F) water for 2 to 3 minutes. I did an initial steep of 2 minutes in 79°C (175°F) water.

CatSpring Yaupon recommends steeping Pedernales Green Yaupon in 95°C (203°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes in 93°C (200°F) water.

Sonya’s Chai recommends steeping Shakti Original Masala Chai in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions for the initial steep.

Cheshire Tea recommends steeping Belgian Chocolate Rooibos in 100°C (212°F) water for 3 to 7 minutes. I did an initial steep of 5 minutes.

teatourist recommends steeping Breakfast In Bed in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 5 minutes. I did an initial steep of 4 minutes.

First Taste

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

Mountain Mint steeps to a nice orange colour. It has a minty aroma, and has a great minty flavour to it. The description on the packaging described it as being both warm and refreshing, which I do agree with. I think it’d to have iced this summer.

Blooming Marvelous steeps to a light yellow colour. I can taste the sencha base, it has a pleasant vegetal flavour to it. I found that it had a nice light fruity sweetness, and pleasant floral notes to it. The strawberry/berry flavours shine through when I sip at this one.

Pedernales Green Yaupon steeps to a brownish-yellow. I found that it has a bit of a spinach and earthy aroma to it. There’s a very light sweetness to it, and some earthy notes in this infusion that reminds me a lot of dark green leafy vegetables and mushrooms.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

Shakti Original Masala Chai steeps to a deep red. I found that it had a nice spice aroma and flavour to it. I like my chai a tiny bit sweeter than this one is, so I did add a little bit of honey. I can definitely taste the ginger and cinnamon in it. This chai blend also goes well with a splash of milk.

Belgian Chocolate Rooibos steeps to a deep red. I found the chocolate aroma wasn’t very strong compared to the smell of the rooibos base. The chocolate flavour was very mild compared to the medicinal flavour of the rooibos.

Breakfast In Bed also steeps to a deep red. There’s a slight sweetness to this black tea, with a nice vanilla flavour. The black tea base has a touch of astringency to it, which isn’t overwhelming the vanilla – it reminds me a bit of a breakfast tea (either English or Irish). The vanilla adds a bit of creaminess to the tea. I think it’d do well with some cream and sugar.

A Second Cup?

For the first trio, I attempted resteeps for all three. Mountain Mint did well on the first resteep at 7 minutes and had an enjoyable flavour. In a second resteep attempt, Mountain Mint did poorly, it’s a tisane that is good for just the one more steep. Blooming Marvelous didn’t do well on the resteep, I found that the flavour profile wasn’t similar to the initial steep. The sencha was the main star for the resteep, so if you’re like sencha, you’ll probably enjoy the resteep of the same leaves. Pedenerales Green Yaupon tasted fairly similar to the initial steep with those earthy flavours.

From left to right: Mountain Mint, Blooming Marvelous, and Pedernales Green Yaupon.

In the second half of the Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure, I resteeped all of them once. I found that Shakti Original Masala Chai wasn’t quite as spicy as the initial steep. It’s still tasty, but the flavour wasn’t as intense as the first steep. Belgian Chocolate Rooibos didn’t do that well with the second steep, I found it to be all rooibos with no chocolate flavour to it. Breakfast In Bed resteeped well. The vanilla flavour wasn’t as strong as the initial steep, but it was noticeable. The black tea still had a mild astringency to it, but wasn’t off-putting.

From left to right: Shakti Original Masala Chai, Belgian Chocolate Roobios, and Breakfast In Bed.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teatourist’s Ravish & Lavish Tea Adventure. I really did enjoy the Vegan Creme Egg Fudge, it was a very tasty morsel! The stand outs in this collection for me were Blooming Marvelous, Shakti Original Masala Chai, and Breakfast In Bed. I really enjoyed the black teas in this collection, and getting introduced to all these flavour combinations is one of my favourite parts of receiving a monthly subscription box. The fun part of the boxes is getting teas that I probably wouldn’t buy on my own, but then I would have missed out of getting to try them. I really would recommend trying it out if you have the spare funds because it’s a really fun treat.

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