Earl of Time from A Quarter To Tea. . .

Up to today’s bat is the Earl of Time, a Quarter To Tea blend that blends a black Earl Grey with vanilla and black currant.

I’m not sure why it’s called Earl of Time, but I SUSPECT it’s because Earl Grey got a message from a Time Lord to add these inclusions for a COMPELLING BREW.

Time Lord: “Listen, I’m from 3030, and Skynet just figured out a bangin’ way to make your trademark beverage a little more exciting.” Earl Grey: “My trademark beverage? I just throw a little bit of citrus into my black tea.” Time Lord: “Believe it or not, that’s going to be YOUR THING. You will be known through ALL OF TIME for that one thing.” Earl Grey: “What about my charity work? My metal band? My hand-tatted doilies?” Time Lord: “No.” Earl Grey: “My way with words? The fact that I am an expert cat cuddler?” Time Lord: “None of that makes it to the future.” Earl Grey: “So I’m just… like… a spritz of bergamot?” Time Lord: “And now… some vanilla and black currant. Try it.” Earl Grey: “That’s DELICIOUS! So creamy! That berry flavor, with the slight citrus edge! WOW! I might write a poem about it.” Time Lord: “It’ll be forgotten to the sands of time, but sure, I mean, go ahead.” Earl Grey: “Roses are red / violets are blue / I like this tea / and so might you.”

(illustration by Super Starling herself!)

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea
Description

A fun and fruity twist on the classic Earl Grey! This one features black currant, vanilla, with that classical satisfying punch of bergamot.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Black/Zest Tea

Earl Grey and I have an uneasy relationship. I like good Earl Grey. Not so good Earl Grey? I will have a glass of water, thank you.

Off the table for me are strong bergamot layered on super fruity Ceylon, and artificial bergamot flavor. Too sour! Both of them!

What a nice surprise this Zest Tea Earl Grey is! Zest is all about caffeine, which is the opposite of important to me. I don’t need it. I don’t really want it. But sometimes people do want it or need it. And getting it from tea gives you the added benefit of L-theanine.

Since this is supposed to have more caffeine than a cup of coffee, I expected it to be harsh. I gave the sachet a sniff when I opened the individually wrapped pouch (+1 for freshness) and it was a delightful, uplifting bergamot aroma.

The steeped tea is definitely toned down aroma-wise from the sachet, as is expected, but the tea is still bright and sparkling with cheerful bergamot. The Nilgiri base is pretty smooth with just the right amount of briskness. Most remarkable to me is how balanced the base and the bergamot are.

I drink my tea plain, but I bet this could take milk and sugar if that’s how you roll. Caffeine warriors, rejoice! This tea may be your new love! So I take it back. Zest isn’t all about caffeine. They are all about providing good tasting, good quality tea with extra caffeine kick, smoothed by L-theanine.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zest Tea
Description

Earl grey has been a popular blend since it was introduced to the British Earl, Charles Grey, in the 1830’s. Most Earl Greys are made with low-quality base teas, but not ours. Zest’s Earl is made with premium Nilgiri Indian black tea blended with a delicious bergamot essential oil.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cottage Cozy Earl Grey from A Quarter To Tea. . .

TODAY SIMPLY ISN’T HAPPENING, GUYS. THE PARTS ARE NOT COMING TOGETHER TO CAUSE A PLEASING WHOLE.

You know what that calls for? A pleasing new flavor. It’s time to BREAK OUT A NEWBIE.

I’ve opted for “Cottage Cozy Earl Grey” due to its name. “Cozy” is exactly where I’d like to be right now, spiritually. I want that mellow, hygge lifestyle. I want thick socks and a novel.

This blend is a very sweet earl grey, leaning heavily on lavender, which jingles lightly on a smoky assam base. It’s a playful duo.

I’m not getting a lot of the bargamot or the rooibos flavor here, but that might just be the Luck Of The Scoop. (It’s like the luck of the Irish, but for loose leaf tea enthusiasts. Not every scoop has every ingredient in a faithful representation of the whole. This keeps things exciting.)

That said, the lavender and the base are a good duo. They remind me of any classic comedy, with one goof and one straight man. If this were Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, the assam would be our straightforward Steve Martin and the lavender would be the loose cannon John Candy. (Am I old? Is this a hip reference?)

And honestly, I do feel better now. Even a little bit cozy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black/Rooibos blend
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea
Description

Sweeter and more floral than a normal Earl Grey, this is the perfect companion to rainy days and long books. Mellow but brisk.

Like all Earl Grey, takes milk and sugar well.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Uncle Grey from Tea Squared. . . .

I got this tea on sale at TJ Maxx, of all places, because I couldn’t resist its tagline: “Uncle Grey: The smoother cousin of the pretentious Earl.”

I’m just imagining Earl, at Thanksgiving, talking about making partner at his law firm. Then in breezes Uncle Grey, who wants to talk about windsurfing off Thailand. Everyone wants to hear about that instead, OBVIOUSLY. Sorry, Earl. You old stuffbucket, you.

In addition to bergamot, the Uncle throws some apple, pineapple, and vanilla in there. Let me tell you, this blend is a sweetheart. It definitely slides in there and woos you with those sweet words. It smells great, like a man who knows how to wear just a little bit of cologne instead of dousing himself in it. If this were a suit, it’d be a perfectly fitted slim-fit suit on a guy who looks like a professional swimmer. If it were a rap musician, its nickname would be “Mr Steal Your Girl.”

Watch out, Earl. The Uncle is on his way into town, and he’s going to make you look frumpy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tea Squared
Description

The smoother cousin of the pretentious Earl. High grown Ceylon black tea, infused with the oil of bergamot and finished with a hint of vanilla. This creamy delightful tea is one of our best sellers.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Vanilla Bergamot from DAVIDs Tea. . .

“An elegant white tea…” is how DAVIDsTEA describes this Vanilla Bergamot tea but personally I wouldn’t describe the scum ring and oil drops on the surface of my mugs as “elegant”. That’s just me but maybe the flavor will show some of its elegance as opposed to the look.

I made this white tea mixed with apple, white chocolate, rose petals, vanilla, bergamot peel, and flavoring as a strawberry milk latte and a plain tea.

Despite the clearly visible drops of oil in the strawberry milk latte, the tea is creamy and smooth. The mouthfeel is soft, not slick and the sweetness of the strawberry milk really compliments the velvety vanilla and bright bergamot of the cup. At times the citrus of the bergamot gets so crisp it borders on bitter but between the prep method, the white chocolate and the gentle rose, it is kept in check. Though for those that tend to fear the blerg, this might still be too much for your tastes.

The plain hot cup is where I found the scum ring from the white chocolate, I’m assuming. Though the mouthfeel isn’t oily, it’s not really creamy either and since it doesn’t seem that the white chocolate contributes much, I don’t see why it is needed. What is contributing a lot is the bergamot, the brisk bergamot. Vanilla whisps float through but it’s the bergamot that’s hogging the limelight. The rose and apple also get their brief shot in the spotlight, adding a floral note that is a bit drying on top of the bergamot and the signature apple sweetness that so many DAVIDsTEA blends have, respectively.

Well, it seems the elegance comes through when made as a strawberry milk latte but the beauty is lost when the tea is made plain. Lose the white chocolate and perhaps tone down the bergamot and this could be a winner but as it is, I would say latte, preferably with strawberry milk, is the only way to go. It gives this tea just a little boost to take it from “meh” to “mmm”.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White Tea
Where to Buy:  DAVIDs Tea
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for white teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!