14 Tasting Notes
I bought this at the same local store which offers Taylor’s Earl Grey (Which I reviewed) and wanted to take the plunge and try this tea in earnest. Like their Earl Grey, I had heard many great things and looked forward to trying it. Wow! I’m impressed. Tasted wonderful with my bagels this morning….not quite up to PG Tips IMHO, but a decent substitute. If you love strong black tea you will love this!
This is a really good black tea. Rich and flavorful, best served with milk.
Where to begin? I have read so many good things about this tea and could not wait to sample it… plus finding it locally was very convenient. On opening the box doubt began to set in. There was no aroma of bergamot whatsoever, which lead me to think they might’ve made a mistake at the packing plant and put straight black tea in my box! As it started to brew I realized it was indeed Earl Grey because a faint hint of bergamot could be detected wafting out of the cup.
Added my usual splash of milk with two sugars and prepared to be amazed. I was not. It was indeed an Earl Grey, but more lemony and not as strong as I thought it would be. The tea color was a bit redder than Twinings brand (which has a stronger and better flavor) and the underlying taste of the tea was smokier than I anticipated…which isn’t a bad thing.
All and all, not a poor Earl Grey but not a great one either.
N.B. This review is for the bagged version.
My second review for this Earl Grey and I want to take the opportunity to speak up for it. Firstly, this size tea bag is meant for 6 oz of water. If you want more tea use more bags (or import the larger Brit version). Secondly, I’ve read some reviews that stated this is “weak”. Well, Earl Grey isn’t supposed to be a strong tea, though there are versions out there that play up the bergamot a bit more. Personally I think the balance of bergamot and tea taste is perfect in the Twinings blend.
Thirdly, there is a controversy concerning the US version of this tea was weakened in 2006 when the packaging changed (the Brit version was indeed reformulated in 2011, but that’s another pot of tea entirely!) and I want to address that.
I don’t think it was changed at all. The tea was always blended in England and prior to the 2006 package change had been packed in the US. After 2006 it was packed in England and was still blended there, hardly a need to worry there. The new packaging lists the strength of the tea as “light”, whereas before no such indicator was displayed. Perhaps the power of suggestion played into peoples perception of the taste, they were told it is a light tea and tasted it as such.
It is also possible that a bad batch of tea reached our shores in 2006/07. That combined with the new “light tea” description may account for some people detecting a taste difference. An entire blog was devoted to this “change” in 2006 – savetwinings.blogspot.com , but sadly has not been updated since 2009.
Twinings denied any change in their US Earl Grey formula at the time and never have admitted to any changes to the US blend since. I believe them because you can ask any Brit who loves Twinings Earl Grey…the company isn’t exactly shy about tampering with the blend and admitting to it when they do. www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/8728913/Twinings-is-changing-Earl-Grey-man-the-barricades.html
Sorry for the rambling nature of this review but I felt this good, solid tea needed a sympathetic defense witness. lol
I had this one years ago and have not been able to find it locally again. One of the best orange pekoes I’ve tried.
Again I must repeat, Twinings US tea bags are made for 6 oz cups…not the huge mugs most people use to brew tea, so if it tastes weak to you that may be the issue.
Wow! This is really strong. The first cup I made was in 6 oz of water and was completely overwhelmed by the bergamot. Second attempt was in 8 oz and mellowed it a bit and made it somewhat more drinkable. This is so strong that it is spicey and resembles an herbal tea. Not bad at all actually, just too much for my palate to take all at once. For bergamot fans (notice I did not type Earl Grey fans) only.
N.B. Bergamot extract is used here and not “flavoring” like in Twinings, so be cautious if you have a temperamental tummy.
This is the supposedly British version of Tetley marketed to the US. I’m not sure if it is the exact same blend as found in the UK, but to me it tastes kind of weak. Hopefully the Tetley across the pond is stronger!
PG Tips or Yorkshire blow this away, however, it is better than Lipton….barely.