Back in January I treated myself to a huge Bluebird Tea Co order and like so many other companies my package arrived with a couple of extra samples to try. One of those samples happened to be this tea, a teabag of Earl Grey Creme (EGC). This is not one I would have picked for myself in light of my tumultuous relationship with bergamot but it arrived and I am happy to give it a try.
Alas it seems this has fallen victim to the astringency that often accompanies bergamot. Between the black base tea and the crisp citrus, this tea is a touch too brisk for my personal tastes. Often with ECGs, this astringency is drowned out by the vanilla or “creme” component but that is not the case here. With that said, there is a vanilla creaminess lingering beneath the bitter that is trying to break through.
In an effort to drown out the sharpness of the bergamot, I added a splash of half and half cream, which I do not like to do. However, even that isn’t toning down the briskness so ultimately I would say this tea just isn’t for me.
I should note that I brewed this not using my usual variable temperature kettle or mugs which might seem like it doesn’t matter but I have found that such things can impact the flavor of a tea. Moreover, I am in a different country on vacation and something as simple as a different composition of the water could be at play. So in fairness to this particular tea, which happens to be a winner of the 2013 Great Taste Award, my dislike could be because of my preference against bergamot or because of the different elements at play rather than a fault with the tea itself.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.
Don’t we wish prime ministers today were as good as the ones in the good old days? Take PM Earl Grey, he was the cream of the crop. Not only did he help abolish slavery and reform the House of Commons, he also invented the legendary Earl Grey tea! So we’ve created this creamy tribute just for you old chap!
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Steeped Tea is a company I have known about for quite some time now but have never ordered from them or tried their teas. I have been to their site many times and each time when I click the “Shop” button and it tells me to “Shop Now with a Consultant” I am reminded of why I haven’t had their teas and why I am disappointed. It is a different type of business and though some people probably very much enjoy shopping in this fashion, it is not for me.
With that said, thanks to the wonders of tea swaps and traveling teaboxes, I was able to come across a sample of Steeped Tea without the involvement of a consultant. Particularly this Earl Grey de la Creme tea. Normally I don’t enjoy bergamot in teas but every now and again I find an Earl Grey Cream tea that makes for a good latte. This one just sounded good because I am always intrigued by the word “Creme”. That and the fact that this was an opportunity to try a tea company I have been curious about made me overlook the “earl grey” component of the tea.
I brewed this for 3 minutes in 200 degree water. I used 4 teaspoons of tea in about 8 ounces of water and then topped off my mug with 8 ounces of frothed milk. Boom! An Earl Grey de la Creme Latte! Just missing the splash of vanilla and I would have had myself a London Fog.
Alas this is more bergamot and less cream in practice, despite the assistance of the creamy frothed milk. It has a strong citrus oil flavor which comes off too floral and brisk for my tastes. If I drank Earl Grey tea, this may be nice but as someone who isn’t a fan of the blerg I can say that this is way too in-your-face, and would probably be even more so without the milk. Like I said though, I don’t usually enjoy earl grey teas to begin with so I am not necessarily this tea’s target audience.
Personally I would have liked a lot more “de la creme” and a lot less “earl grey”. It was a drinkable latte but not my favorite. At the end of the day though, it satisfied my curiosity about Steeped Tea so it was worth the taste.