Sunday, August 1, 2010

No Earl in Assam

We associate the High Renaissance with flying buttresses -
the external supports that enabled people to build tall walls .
These buttresses are much more ancient and serve the same
purpose. If you compare a picture of Notre Dame in Paris to
this, you will see the similarities.

I thought I would be flying with today's choice of tea, an Earl Grey from the Assam Tea Company: Classic Bergamot, made from tippy black tea and organic oil of bergamot. It smelled so wonderful when I opened the packet. It was a very rich citrussy, perfumed bergamot with a great understory of very fresh tea. The leaves were quite dark, with an abundance of tips, on the small side. I brewed for 3 minutes, using boiling water and while it was brewing the bergamot scent faded quite a bit, as often happens.

The liquor was a lovely deep reddish amber and still smelled very fresh. The first several sips, I couldn't discern the bergamot, but gradually I could, in the back of my mouth, very faintly, sad to say. The tea is a good Assam, malty and rich, but I could not say this is really an Earl Grey. I added some cream and this did bring out the bergamot, but not enough to suit my taste. I still prefer several of Upton's.

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