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Talking Teacup

Recent Tasting Notes

I usually have no idea what tea I’m in the mood for until I sift through my tea drawer at work, but this morning I woke up craving Earl Grey de la Creme! It’s been super humid, which explains the Earl Grey part, and the creamy vanilla? I needed some comfort. A little less than a teaspoon of sugar ups the comfort factor as well.

Delicious (this tea is almost two years old but it still tastes fresh, creamy, bergamot-y and vital. Yay good tins!) and yes, comforting. My poor Beni Beagle died last week (almost 15! He had a good long life, and we were with him for 3 nights and days during his final illness) and I’ve been so overcome with grief I haven’t even been able to share it with you guys. It was just too fresh. The shock is wearing off and now I’m just so sad and missing him. Expect to see me review lots and lots of vanilla infused teas for awhile.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
K S

Sorry for your loss. George my 18yr old cat died a decade ago and I still think of him often. I understand.

I almost brought my de la creme home this weekend. I am craving it so much I may stop by the office later and grab it.

Will Work For Tea

Losing a pet is oh so tough! Sorry to hear about your Beni – I’m sure he was very loved by his family. Lost my first dachshund a couple of Thanksgivings ago and it still hurts. Tail wags and puppy-dog kisses to you. May you find solace in pots and pots full of vanilla tea….

Azzrian

I am SO sorry to hear about your furkid :(

Hesper June

I am sorry for the loss of your kitty.
They stay in our hearts forever and I know how much joy he brought to you.

Missy

I am sorry for your loss. It’s difficult to lose a furry loved one. They get so close to the heart.

ashmanra

My heart cries with you, Jacqueline! I know how hard it is to lose a beloved fur friend.

Cheryl

He doesn’t want to see you hurting. Remember all the good and funny moments. Honor what was precious. Hang in there.

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Drinking various fine and classic Earls have not dulled my appreciation for this trashy faux-ish creme tea! It’s sweet and pretty, has a good bergamot to tea ratio, and makes me smile. La la la! I can’t hear the snob on my left shoulder (who is also the devil, or maybe the angel – I really don’t know!) saying bad things ;)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

My kind of review!

gmathis

I think all of us have some guilty low-quality tea pleasures.

K S

It just feels good to admit your low-quality pleasure in public once in a while.

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Another yummy season spanner! I can have my spring/summer Earl, and some fall/winter vanilla in one shot. The vanilla is a bit trashy, the tea base isn’t the best, but I still can appreciate it for what it is.

(The cornflowers, though, are lovely. I smile every time I see that brilliant shock of blue against the dark tea leaves when I open this tin.)

I’ve decided not to replace this one. I’m going to try cutting a vanilla bean into one of my really good Earls instead when this is done. But gosh darn it, I enjoy slumming with this tea every now and again! ;)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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YUM! I just wanted to note that I am particularly enjoying this one today. Ever since I had Rose Scented I just can’t stop with the froof! I’ve been eating Chowards Violet Mints like they are going out of style (wait! they are not in style!) wearing my little summer cotton sun hat when outside, drowning myself in rose water, and drinking my most florid, perfumey of teas.

This one is creamydreamy. Fake in a good way :) Not the best tea base, but you wouldn’t want that with this cream flavoring. The bergamot reads more creamsicle, but that’s ok too. It is really exactly what it needs to be. Mmmmmmmm!

Now that SpecialTeas (I got this at a local tea shop, but I’m pretty sure they were sourced by SpecialTeas) is no more, does anyone have an Earl Grey de la Creme that they love from another tea company? A good trashy fake creamy one? ;)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
SimplyJenW

I wonder what a vanilla bean would do to Earl Grey Supreme? I think I have heard of people getting the Cream Earl Grey from Culinary Teas. I have not done so myself, as I have the Earl Grey Creme Vanilla from Upton. I should also add that I did not get to try the one you are reviewing.

Sara

Teavana’s Earl Grey Creme is the exact same as the one from SpecialTeas.

JacquelineM

SimplyJenW – I was thinking Culinary Teas!

Sara – You’re right! I’ve never been to one, but I could always order online.

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Needed some Happy Tea today. I had to go to the dentist! Just a checkup and cleaning, but I’m a super baby with any kind of doctor :) This one reminds me of happy days, and sweet, creamy indulgences, and sun (did I mention it’s the most miserable pouring day?!?!). I feel so much better now!!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Awwwww! This tastes like my birthday! :) As soon as I sipped it, it took me back to the wonderful day where I went to the Talking Teacup and the Mercer Museum in July. I am one of those people who smells or tastes something, and is instantly transported to a memory. I always have to have some of this type of lovely bergamot and vanilla infused rememberance potion to remind of that day full of sunshine, good tea and food, and getting to know the fascinating Henry Mercer from what he has left behind.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jackiemania/sets/72157624531586464/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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I don’t know if this tea is not aging well or what, but it once again tastes like cereal! I think I’m going to give it one more chance, and then into the cold brew iced tea tin it is going to go! (that is where I put all my so-so plain teas. Cold brewing takes care of many sins).

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I made a pot of this as a pick-me-up since I was feeling like my cold is knocking me out again today, and…it tastes like cereal! Not a good sign!!! Back to the chair with books and knitting. No more chores!

My poor husband is sneezing today and has a bad stomach. I contacted all of our holiday places to visit and told them we couldn’t come. Not QUITE as bad as when I got the Chicken Pox at the late age of 16 two days before Christmas, but almost!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Jaime

Oh, I feel you. My tastebuds have officially left now. Hope you feel better soon.

JacquelineM

seykayay – I think I know how I’ll be spending my winter break now :( To look on the bright side, at least I have all these days without work or school obligations to rest!

Jaime – it’s the worst, isn’t it!? To make matters crazier, my cereal bar tasted like marshmallows! Taste buds are weird!

gmathis

Take care of yourself. Sometimes the yucks make for the most memorable Christmases (you made me remember getting the mumps and not getting to be Suzy Snowflake in the second grade program :)

ashmanra

Feel better everyone! Rest and watch some good Christmas movies and read some favorite books under cozy blankets.

Kristen

Hope you feel better soon!

LadyLondonderry

Jacqueline, I hope you and your husband feel better very soon and end up enjoying the holidays in spite of it all.
P.S. I got chicken pox at the extremely advanced age of 34, though not at Christmastime!:)

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Needed a little sweetness on this dreary day. This one is super comforting and delicious. The Mac ‘n Cheese of Earl Grey – not very fine but boy does it hit the spot when you need it to! Some sugar crystals make it even more a treat. Not a bad second steep, and even good when it becomes cold (which is important when it’s Registration week at work!).

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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The right tea at the right time :) I was so busy with homework that I didn’t stop for my usual afternoon cup that I have on weekends. This left me a raging tea monster by this evening! :) I couldn’t even think about anything caffeine free. I wanted a super classic cuppa, and when I think classic, I think of this one. It was soooooo good and exactly what I wanted. Spot = hit!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I was craving simply a pure, good, classic tea flavor, so I pulled this one out. Nothing special, which is exactly the point :) Just your basic cup like you had growing up just much, much better.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I am going to try to make today a sweet, happy one by giving it the 1-2-3 treatment -

Steep 1. Earl Grey de la Creme
Steep 2. to those leaves add a generous pinch of Rosy Earl Grey (Teas, etc)
Steep 3. and then to those leaves add a generous pinch of Cherry Blossom Green Tea

I just finished a lovely cup of the Earl Grey de la Creme (with a little rock sugar!) – delicious, sweet and creamy! Now a pinch of Rosy – Ah Rosy! You are so happymaking, jasminey and, again – sweet! I think I may do two steeps with you, and add the Cherry Blossom Green in the afternoon…maybe. I may just stick with Miss Happy Rosy – I’ll letcha know!

Oh oh oh!!! Just noticed that this was my tasting note number 500! Wow! I didn’t think I would make 500 before my one year Steepsterversary (Dec 1) but there you go. Apparently I drink a lot more tea than I thought!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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A classic that hits the spot. TEAish to the nth degree. I know it’s English Breakfast, but it makes a great afternoon tea when you need a pick me up.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Today is rainy, I’m sleepy, and I have my long school night. I am hoping the Earl can help. Creamy and delicious! A little sweet, very invigorating. Smooth bergamot. This tea is not rare, expensive, or unique, but ooooooh do I love it!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I had a doctor’s appointment today, and let’s just say that in addition to being a big baby about drinking plain green tea, I am also a big baby about going to the doctor. So, I bribed myself :) I soaked in the tub with a grand 16 oz mug of this tea with an added teaspoon of sugar. Oh my, it was soooooooooooooooooooo good. That little big of sugar made the flavor even more delightful – the bergamot was more sparkly, and the creamy flavor was even creamier! I shut my eyes, soaked, and enjoyed :) I will go back to being austere and drinking it plain most days – it’s still delicious – but when I want a treat, I know just a teaspoon of sugar puts this over the edge!

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Had to have more tea this afternoon. I thought this creamy vanilla Earl would be a good choice since I’m having a vanilla day! Yum, yum, yum. So enjoyable to sip. Very well balanced vanilla and bergamot.

Speaking of vanilla, I was in Williams Sonoma today, and saw they had three different types of vanilla extracts – Mexico, Tahiti, and Madagascar. I remember someone (Jessica?) asking about NOT Madagascar vanilla to add to tea, and wanted to say that Williams Sonoma has other kinds!

and speaking of Willaims Sonoma, their entire tea selection was gone from the store! I was so in shock that I couldn’t ask the person who helped me if they are no longer selling tea, because that is where I get my Mariage Freres Marco Polo (!!!). Does anyone know anything? I have to go back next week and I should be over my shock by then to ask.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Meghann M

Oh no, I hope Williams Sonoma didn’t discontinue carrying tea! I still haven’t been there to pick up my Mariage Frere’s teas I’ve been eyeing :(

JacquelineM

I am going to go back on thurs of next week – I’ll let you know what they tell me!

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Today I’m FREEZING so I decided to drink tea all day. I am also lazy and didn’t want to empty my filter basket over and over, so I drank:

2 steeps of Earl Grey de la Creme (delicious!)

THEN I put in a pinch of Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc and drank two more steeps (mmm! Love the way the vanilla mingles with the jasmine and rose).

THEN put in a pinch of Cherry Blossom Green Tea by Tea Leaf Inc and drank two more steeps! (extra POW of cherry rose!)

This approach works really well, I believe, as long as you go from darkest to lighter and lighten up you water temp as you go. I can still taste the faintest creamy taste from my first group of leaves, and no bitterness. Sounds crazy, but try it with some of your teas that you think might be harmonious if you are very cold and very lazy too :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Ewa

That’s a neat idea, I’ll have to try it!

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Mondays! Ugh! I’m giving this Monday my special little treatment: A good steep of Earl Grey de la Creme, followed by two more steeps with a pinch of Rosy Earl Grey added. A good dose of morning caffeine with all my most favorite flavors! Vanilla, jasmine, rose, bergamot. Tastes so nice hot, tastes so nice lukewarm, tastes so nice cold! Anything a crazy Monday can throw at this tea, it can take :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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More shortbread means more English Breakfast. Mmmmmm. Such a tasty bold cup of tea for buttery desserts. I don’t think this is a tea of superior quality – the leaves are very broken – but sheesh I sure do love it with some milk and sugar. Pure comfort – it is kinda like the boxed mac and cheese of the tea world ;)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Ach! So hard to go back to the office after vacation! I thought something strong and sweet would help with this transition, so I grabbed the Earl Grey de la Creme! It’s helping. Sloooooowly I’m remembering oh yeah – this is how I do my job! …and work isn’t so bad! After all – it’s where my Breville kettle lives, and a whole drawer of excellent teas! I can do this work thing! :)

For my second steep, I knew I needed even more help, so I put in a pinch of Rosy Earl Grey. Yes! The jasmine and rose have taken me all the way to happy-ville! Vanilla, jasmine and rose with a tinge of bergamot – I think I have to do this again!!!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I made a chocolate chip cream cheese pound cake, and I knew this tea would be a good partner to it – again, the whole classic thing :) It was so good, and, er, classic! Just exactly the tea you would want with an – ahem – um, classic cake.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Mmmmmmmmm. What a lovely ease into the work week. Two nice steeps of creamy bergamot goodness. I am very, very hooked on this tea!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Oops, I did it again! Just finished a delicious cup with some more shortbread. Everything I said just a few hours ago – ditto!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I’m pretty sure this English Breakfast, available to buy loose at a local tea house, is from SpecialTeas. It matches the description and photo to a t(ea – sorry!). My husband had it at the tea room, and liked it so much we took 4 oz of leaves home with us.

Fast forward to last night. We had some shortbread begging to be eaten, and this tea popped into my head. What I remember from taking a sip of his at the tea house was the word “Classic!” popping into my head. Like a really great tea bag that you grew up with only a million jillion times better. That utterly English idea of tea with milk and sugar.

The package recommended to steep this one for 3 minutes, but I knew I preferred my milk ’n sugar teas at 5. What to do? Since the leaves were very broken, I decided to compromise and steep to 4 minutes. It was pretty much perfect – the milk and sugar did not drown out the wonderful tea flavor, but there was no bitterness or astringency. It was so good with shortbread. I think my pet name for this tea is going to be “Shortbread Tea.” !!!

I’m not a huge Ceylon fan; I always find them a bit insipid. In this case, though, it rounds out the Assam and makes for a rich but not heavy tea. Like I said, classic. I think you could serve this tea to anybody and they would like it, which may sound like I’m damning it with faint praise, but I honestly mean it purely as a compliment. There is nothing not to like here, and I think having this type of tea around is really great for when you don’t know quite what you want, when you want your food to be the star, and not the tea, and when you have guests of varying tastes.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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