Hello, springtime! The blossom is in full bloom, the rain spells are fading, and spring is really emerging as I write this The Tea Apothecary Royal Grey tea review. It is the perfect tea to sip today, as it is designed as a refreshing Earl Grey variant with a distinct floral note.
The Tea Apothecary are a small, independent tea shop in the UK. I stumbled upon their tea at a market stall late last summer, where I sipped some of their fresh iced tea and purchased this loose leaf Earl Grey to review for the blog.
With the tagline ‘Beautifully Blended’, I have high expectations for this fragrant loose leaf tea blend!
Royal Grey Tea by The Tea Apothecary at a Glance
- Blend: Black tea with orange pieces, lime leaves, flower petals, and natural flavours
- Flavour: Fragrant floral Earl Grey with super smooth black tea and subtle citrus notes
Despite having very little bergamot in the aroma and flavour, this tea is undoubtedly an Earl Grey with smooth black tea and citrus notes. It has just the right balance of astringency too.
Full Review – The Tea Apothecary Royal Grey Blend
- Type: Loose leaf tea
- Tea: Black tea
- Additives: Orange pieces, cornflower petals, rose petals, lime leaves, natural flavours
- Flavour Notes: Smooth, slightly astringent, black tea, citrus zest, rose petals, floral fragrance
- Aroma: Rose water, sweet candy, floral, citrus rind, herbaceous, lime leaves, orange
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: The Tea Apothecary
Opening the packet, I was excited to breathe in that delicious bergamot note that Earl Grey is known for. Instead, I am met with the soft scent of rose water with a twist of candy sweetness. It’s floral, sweet, and has a gentle note of citrus rind. It’s a lovely combination.
Once brewed (instructions below), this tea is a soft and clear mid-brown colour – nothing special, but not at all bad. The aroma from the brewed tea is curiously herbaceous, with notes of fresh lime leaves and orange segments, with a touch of that candy sweetness following through.
I couldn’t wait to take a sip.
The flavour is smooth and gentle. No, it’s super smooth. The black tea has a little astringency in the aftertaste, but overall it is incredibly smooth and hydrating on your tongue. The flavour notes of citrus zest and rose petals are the strongest, but they’re not overpowering at all. It is balanced very well with the simple black tea base.
The Tea Apothecary Royal Grey makes for a very delicate and tasty afternoon tea. Even though you can’t really detect any strong note of bergamot, the mix of citrus, floral and black tea notes evokes the same vibe as a traditional Earl Grey (think Twinings Lady Grey). I am very happy that I purchased this loose leaf tea!
How to Brew Royal Grey Tea
To brew this tea, The Tea Apothecary recommends using 1 teaspoon of leaf per cup and brewing it for 3 to 7 minutes at 100°C. For this review, I brewed for just 3 minutes and found that the tea was already at the perfect strength for me.
I like my Earl Grey to be relatively weak, but if you like a strong Earl Grey I still wouldn’t recommend brewing for a full 7 minutes. 5 minutes is usually the upper limit on brew time. Regardless of how long you brew this tea, it is best served without milk.
You can add some sugar to this tea to sweeten it, but I prefer to serve some shortbread or other sweet crumbly biscuit alongside instead.
Why The Tea Apothecary?
The Tea Apothecary are a small tea business founded in Cambridge by Victoria and Edvard, who began in 2022 with pop-up stalls at a Cambridge market. I am so glad that I have discovered this tea brand while they are still taking their first steps – I hope this tea review helps them increase their exposure and gain a few new customers.
I also really like that on the back of the tea packaging, The Tea Apothecary lists the origins of their tea and ingredients. For Royal Grey, the ingredients come from Sri Lanka, China, Spain and Italy. The black tea itself could be from either Sri Lanka or China (or possibly a blend of both) while I imagine the orange is from Spain and flower petals possibly from Italy.
Alongside the list of ingredients and short description of this tea, The Tea Apothecary Royal Grey is described as having wellbeing properties such as invigorating, uplifting and stimulating. I certainly felt that it was uplifting and refreshing, but I’m not sure I would go so far as to say invigorating. Perhaps if you added a slice of lemon you could hit that note.
Having access to additional info such as the origins and taste profile is one of the huge benefits of shopping from a small, independent tea store. Add to this the high-quality tea leaf and whole ingredient pieces you can see in my photo, and I am a very happy tea drinker!
This tea is now featured in my Best Earl Grey Tea List.
The Tea Apothecary is a fantastic British tea brand with a very successful future ahead of them, if this delicious tea blend is anything to go by. The quality is great, the packaging is cute (they have card tubs available on their website too), and the flavour mix is very artisan.
Currently, you can only purchase this tea by either finding The Tea Apothecary at a market stall in the South-East, or by visiting their website.