It's exhilarating to create something genuine, made completely from scratch, my own unique creation. I find it totally inspiring and exhausting. This "desire" to create can sometimes be my worst enemy or my best friend, but this time, I have to say Earl Royale and me are now BFF.
For this tea, it just wasn't enough for me to source a ready-made Earl Grey (as is the usual practice), I had to do it myself. In the tea industry, it doesn't take long to realise that flavouring is a common way for tea companies to make cheap tea profitable - put enough flavouring on poor-grade tea and voila, the smell itself is enough to sell your product. You also mask those nasty flavours... at least a bit (but that aftertaste ugh!). And then there's the "bergamot" oil. In my tea travels, I have also discovered that genuine bergamot oil is rarely applied to tea due to the high cost and limited shelf-life. Usually, a blend of flavours similar to bergamot oil is used instead.
So when I created this tea, at great risk, I went and ordered a whole kilogram of genuine bergamot oil, all the way from Italy, and got mixing with our signature Yunnan Province Tielka Breakfast Black Tea. A few cornflower petals and some sweet orange peel thrown into the mix and there it was - Earl Royale Black Tea.
We see an interesting pattern when people buy this tea. First purchase - one small box of Earl Royale, second purchase (a week later) - one medium pouch of Earl Royale, followed by regular monthly top-ups. There's something about that bright smell, the first citrusy mouthful and then there's an unexpected WOW note at the end. It's a completely pleasant and defining aftertaste of gorgeous, full-of-depth black tea. Rare?
Definitely. This one is the pride of the Tielka collection.