I found myself in Marks & Spencer’s the other day for some emergency food for dinner. On doing so I ended up passing the tea aisle. I had a sudden thought that reminded me that I was researching tea for my blog. So what else could a girl do but pick up a couple of boxes to try. One of these being the Empress Grey teabags. I decided on this variety of teabags as I felt they were the closest I was going to get to my favourite lady Grey teabags. The front of the packaging describes the tea as light delicate and zesty with sweet notes of orange and lemon. It also describes it as strength number one which is light. Perfect for an individual who has their tea milk free. Oh on a positive note it is also fair trade tea. I was immediately drawn to the inviting purple and black boxed pattern around the box.
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On opening the cardboard box foil packaging is revealed, great for keeping the teabags fresh. I was immediately hit by the aroma coming from the foil packaging once opened. There was a very strong aroma of bergamot and citrus. I couldn’t distinguish between the lemon and orange elements of the aroma. I personally found this smell slightly overpowering and artificial in smell, it was almost as if it was chemically. This could perhaps be because I’m not used to drinking high strength teas and not used to a strong aroma. However, the description describes it as being light. I did not let this put me off and eagerly anticipated my new cup of tea. The teabag quickly infused with the hot water, quicker in fact compared to other teas that I have had. It recommends that the tea is brewed for 3 to 5 minutes and then have milk or lemon added if desired. I’m afraid my teabag was removed within a minute, as it was becoming too strong for my personal taste. On removing the teabag there was a definite aroma of bergamot and citrus noted. I was still unable to distinguish between the lemon and orange flavouring. The aroma overall was slightly strong and overpowering and I still felt a little artificial. On tasting the tea I was definitely able to taste the bergamot element and this citrus flavours combined. However, I was unable to distinguish between the orange and lemon.
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I was disappointed by the teabags as I hoped they would be Marks & Spencer’s version of Lady Grey. Maybe it’s wrong of me to compare them to a different brand and I should learn to embrace the stronger flavours and persevere with these teabags. On a positive note I could get 2 cups of tea for the price of one. Oh and they are Fairtrade which is always a good thing.