Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Earl of Harlem

 Marcus Samuelsson's newest endeavor is the Ambessa line of teas.  Ambessa is Ethiopian for "lion" according to Samuelsson's website explaining his latest offering. The chef is "Ethiopian-born" but lived in Sweden during his childhood, and has since traveled throughout the world.

I chanced on his tea while looking for Harney & Sons Earl Grey Supreme, and discovered they are also carrying Samuelsson's new line of teas.  Loving coffee, tea, and spice from Ethiopia, this lovely tin design, and the intriguing name, The Earl of Harlem, I had to try it.  It is supposed to be a slightly different take on Earl Grey, carrying the citrus and bergamot flavors, but with a "smoky" undernote.

They got me on the smoky.  Two things I love are red wine with the smoky notes, and lapsang souchong tea--smoky, smoky, smoky.
I do not detect the bergamot or citrus in this blend, but the smokiness is just perfect.  Perhaps it is one of those subtleties that while you don't "taste" it, it adds to the overall composition.  Regardless, I love this tea.

It comes in sachets, which brew a better cup of tea than a bag, though not quite as perfect as loose tea in an infuser.  The little mesh bags are in a pyramidal shape, and contain long-leaf tea, so there is room for the leaves to unfurl without being crowded, which results in a better tasting cup of tea.

I've just finished my first pot, and I do believe on this sunny morning whilst I am working on research, it calls for the brewing of a second.  The Earl might stop by for all I know.

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