So, Sil is safely on the other side of the country, so what better time to do the Great Earl Grey Tea-Off Competition!
I have A&D’s Mount Gray, Hugo’s Grey Line and Justea’s Kathyrne Earl Grey… who will win as the best EG? Will I even notice any differences? Let’s find out!
I started by pouring ½ a perfect DavidsTea’s spoon into 3 different color coded cups. The I poured in roughly 6oz of 205F water, and I steeped them for 4 minutes.
I had to re-pour them into different cups because I realized they needed to have the same color inside for comparison. Whoops! So now that they are all in white cups I can tell that the Hugo tea is a much darker colour than the other two. It’s a reddish orange, while the other two are yellow-orange. Justea’s is probably a bit more orange than the A&D.
I sniffed them and they all smelled pretty much the same, except for Justea which was a bit earthier.
A&D’s – smooth EG. Nothing to complain about. Bergamot lingers but doesn’t quite cross that too perfumy line.
Hugo’s – not quite so smooth – feels like there’s a little more going on in this cup, although it’s hard to put my finger on it. Bergamot is not quite as present as the A&D cup. I almost get peach or something with it.
Justea’s – this is quite a different animal! It’s musky and dark and the bergamot is fairly strong. Not a subtle cup!
Finishing the cups:
A&D’s seems to be the least complicated of the three. It’s an EG and it knows that and it’s not going to mess around. The base makes me think of a Yunnan black with the subtlest of honey notes, but maybe that’s because I’ve had the other two to compare it with. Overall? A solid EG that I’m guaranteed to enjoy! I know that this one re-steeps well but I’ve only re-used the leaves once.
Hugo’s almost has woody notes to it. At least after trying it after the A&D, that was the most obvious thing I noticed. It smells like lemon too! Along with the woody notes, I still feel like there’s a peach or some kind of fruit note in there. It’s a complex cup. Apparently it’s good for 3 re-steeps too!
Justea’s tea is better once it cools. It loses some of the musk (or whatever it is?) and mellow just a bit. I also can really smell the lemon and it makes me think of lemon cake because of the richness. I definitely enjoy this cup the more I drink of it, but the base tea is one that I’m still not completely used to and it distract me a little bit until I’m at least 1/3 done the cup.
OVERALL: Hugo’s Grey Line seems to be my favourite, although A&D’s Mt Gray is nothing to dismiss. Justea’s Kathryne Grey is enjoyable but one I crave less often due to the base.