As my regular readers know by now, I love a good Earl Grey! I was very excited by this PMD Planters’ Earl Grey as it’s one of the few available that’s blended with natural bergamot oil. Not bergamot flavouring or extract, but real bergamot oil.
I’d not heard of PMD (P.M.David Silva & Sons) before but their website was reassuring in terms of tea quality. They provide a lot of information about their teas, trading and working with single origin teas only. This is a low-grown Darjeeling black tea with natural bergamot oil. No more, no less.
As you can imagine, my expectations were high.
PMD Earl Grey at a Glance
- Blend: High-quality low-grown black Darjeeling tea with natural bergamot oil
- Flavour: Very light and delicate black tea with gentle bergamot flavour
This is a very light, smooth and delicate tea – not one for quick cuppa, but great for slowly sipping and savouring in the afternoon.
Full Review - Planters' Earl Grey Tea Bags
- Type: Tagged pyramid mesh sachet
- Tea: Black Darjeeling tea
- Additives: Natural bergamot oil
- Flavour Notes: Floral black tea and bergamot
- Aroma: Light black tea with floral and citrus notes
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: PMD Official Website, or search Amazon
The tea wrapper the sachet came in is akin to Taylors of Harrogate and more up-market but still widely accessible tea brands. The kind you find in a 4-star hotel. Not your standard Twinings at the Holiday Inn.
Opening it, the dry aroma is very subtle. The black tea is floral and slightly musty – a typical Darjeeling tea – and the bergamot is very light. It’s perfumed with bergamot, not drowned in it. The bergamot aroma grows a little once the tea is made and has cooled slightly.
Knowing it’s a Darjeeling base, I brewed to a light honey amber colour that wouldn’t be too strong or bitter. Brewing Darjeelings for too long ruins the subtlety of their floral and delicate notes, in my opinion. It’s a very inviting tea, clear with only a few particles at the bottom of the cup.
Flavour was a little disappointing. It just didn’t taste of much at all. A very light and delicate black tea with a hint of bergamot. No bitterness and it’s very well balanced. It has the markings of a good quality tea but it’s just lacking more oomph.
I finished the cup, it’s easy to drink.
How to Brew Earl Grey Tea
I brewed it for 3 minutes and 30 seconds in just boiled water, which if you look at my track record is quite long for a black tea. I don’t like to drink them too strong as I sip them without milk for taste testing.
I wouldn’t add milk. It just doesn’t suit the delicacy of Darjeeling.
You should drink this PMD Earl Grey with a light meal. Maybe a shortbread biscuit or two. Any strong flavours will completely overpower it so go for something delicate and light. A ham sandwich even.
As for when to drink it, any time of day will do!
Why P.M.David Silva & Sons?
Take a look at PMD’s website, and you’ll be flooded with information about how they only use single origin teas that are handpicked. It’s reassuring and certainly makes me feel a bit more appreciative of the Earl Grey tea (maybe that’s just me) but it also makes me question why I’ve not heard of this tea brand before now. If they are such great quality, why are they not well-known? Perhaps they prefer to stay out of the limelight.
Analysing the contents of the Earl Grey tea sachet, I’m a little disappointed. It’s almost empty! There’s really not much in here compared to other sachets I’ve reviewed, like English Tea Shop and Zest Tea. The leaves are also quite finely chopped. Not as much as a tea bag, but more than is necessary for a tea sachet.
This gives the impression that it’s not a great tea in terms of quality… but the origin and sourcing of the tea say otherwise.
This is a nice tea. A nice Earl Grey. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s better than other standard supermarket Earl Greys I’ve had, however. Yes, the natural ingredients and tea sourcing are impressive, but does that really matter if the flavour is not that great?
Flavour is the most important aspect of a tea. Although the flavour was pleasant, it just wasn’t bold enough. It didn’t leave a long-lasting impression.
So, top marks for effort and quality but 3.2 out of 5 is as high as I will mark this blend.
I’ve been drinking Earl Grey since I was young – it’s a staple tea blend in my cupboard. And I’m always looking for a new one to try so let me know of any you love in the comments. If you are a fan of Earl Grey teas, check out all of my Earl Grey tea reviews to find a new brand to try. Or for something different, you might like:
Whittard Afternoon Tea (combines a light tea base with bergamot and other florals)
Zest Tea Blue Lady (a caffeine hit from a light black tea with hibiscus notes)