Teas EtcEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Sample package label:
*Heat water to boil
*use 1 level teaspoon of leaves per 8 oz.
*pour water over leaves, brew 4-5 mins.
Ingredients: Organic Black Tea, and natural Bergamot essential oil.”
8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 17 ppm, boiled
1 level Tevanna teaspoon
Introduction: I understand Organic Earl Grey from Teas Etc. is a blend of organic Nilgiri teas. Most EG teas come from Shi Lanka formerly known as Ceylon. Having a different base tea, was a significant reason for wanting to sample this tea. Our current EG has a Ceylon base and I can’t get past the astringency. Other primary reasons: My wife loves EG and prefers organic teas.
Fragrance: This tea has a very potent classic lemon Earl Grey fragrance that will wake up your senses all by itself!
4-min Infusion Initial Impression: A strong lemon aroma. The taste is smooth, not bitter or astringent with a clean finish. (I then let it steep for an additional minute.)
5-min Infusion: It has a strong lemon aroma and a smooth medium-bodied EG flavor that’s not at all bitter or astringent – Excellent! A pleasing tart lemon flavor lingers long on the tongue.
2nd 5-min Infusion: A lighter-bodied & less lemony version of the first infusion that’s still very pleasing.
Impression: An excellent classic Earl Grey tea with a potent lemon fragrance, a strong lemon aroma and a lemon flavor that that stands out above the organic Nilgiri base. Clearly the best “lemon forward” Earl Grey I’ve tasted.
Additional thoughts: I would like to encourage Teas Etc. to also develop a well-balanced organic EG Cream or Vanilla Earl Grey.
Per Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergamot_orange):
“Citrus bergamia is a small tree which blossoms during the winter. The juice tastes less sour than lemon, but more bitter than grapefruit. The distinctive aroma of bergamot is most commonly known for its use in Earl Grey tea.8”
The tartness of citrus bergamia is a common characteristic of most Earl Grey tea. Adding a creamy vanilla should smooth out the natural tartness of the oil of Bergamot while adding a full mouth feel. Other tea companies have tried this approach. Many of them are not organic, and at least one uses artificial flavoring. Only a few have discovered a pleasing balance of among all the ingredients.
Thanks to Teas Etc. for providing this free sample.
Sample number four out of ten this week! Hey I’m doing quite well!
This is one I can’t remember where came from. I’m a little concerned about what sort of impression it’s going to leave me with because it came in a ziplock pouch which had originally contained a TGY sample from Norbu. How does one clean those bags for re-use? How does one avoid TGY traces in the new sample? Oh well, at least it wasn’t a super-strongly aromatic one that was in there before, so I don’t imagine it to be much of a problem, really. But the idea of it puzzled me.
This one looks like a dark oolong and the leaves smelled like a dark oolong, with some cocoa-y notes to it, but after steeping, it suddenly smells greener. Kind of butter-y and vegetal. It still has the cocoa notes and the dark oolong oak-y notes too, though, so you can probably imagine that it’s a bit odd. (Again, I think of that TGY…)
The flavour is also a funny mix of two types, and it’s not just that it tastes like one of those oolongs that seem to be exactly half-fermented. It more like a blend of two. (TGY ghost? None of the others have described this, but on the other hand none of the other posts are very detailed.)
What I’ve actually got here is a very complex flavour profile, and it seems to change like a chameleon several times in just one sip. At the very front of the flavour I’m hit by something floral. Then immidiately after that follows something vaguely like cinnamon and after that we get something fruity, almost peach-y, but not as juicy. Finally the aftertaste is very green tea-ish and slightly minty. Of the cocoa notes in the aroma, I can find nothing.
I’m not going to award points for this because I don’t feel certain that the sample isn’t contaminated by what was previously in the pouch. While what I’ve got here is very enjoyable indeed, there something about it that strikes me as sort of… off. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be that way. If there is no contamination, however, it’s a very lovely tea indeed.
I have been enjoying different teas this holiday season, especially white tea and puerh tea. I am finishing this sample from LittleMewBrew today, armed with having read the entire section on white teas in Michael Harney’s Guide to Tea this morning. The first time I had white tea, and the first cheap green tea for that matter, all I tasted was hot water. I am really glad I kept trying different ones and studied the tea so I can enjoy more and more.
This has nice flavor, a tiny bit of nuttiness like lightly toasted walnuts, and a bit of hay.
Thank you, C, for the tea!
I am not even close to being ready for Christmas, two gatherings this week, lots of cooking, and still shopping to do! We were gone for twelve hours yesterday shopping out of town. My back hurts from being hunched over all day making the remaining 62 cards out of 102 that I made for my husband to give at work. I seriously needed to relax tonight! I thought this silver needle tea sent to me so generously by ThePurrfectCup was just the thing, so I asked youngest to brew up a pot for me! I am so glad I did.
Pandora radio is serenading me with Chinese flute, the lights are out, the tree and candles are lit. Now I could fall asleep! But first I plan to enjoy this WHOLE POT of tea!
This is so smooth and soothing. One year ago I could not have appreciated something so light but now I find it a delight. The tea is naturally sweet and there is no bitterness at all, no drying of the tongue. There is a light nutty flavor hiding in there, no grassy taste, and not really buttery. Just a soft, lovely cup (or three) of tea. And I even have some leaves left for another cup or two later this week!
Thank you, C! :). You should be getting some tea from me any day now!
JacquelineM sent me a little tin of this to try…thank you so much!!
It’s almost too pretty to brew. This is full of rose petals! Has a lovely rose and earl grey scent, with just a hint of jasmine.
In the brewed cup, though, that hint of jasmine becomes a whole heap o’ jasmine. There’s still some rose, and bergamot at the end of the sip, but there’s a whole heck of a lot of jasmine going on. And I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. See, me and jasmine…sometimes we just can’t be in the same room, and other days we’re best friends. Kind of like tweenage girls.
As it cools, there’s less up-front jasmine and more rose; bergamot is still playing the final fiddle. I’m thinking this is an Earl that’s just not for me. I’ll try it out again at a lower steep and see what happens.
Finished this sample up today! Shared a pot with a friend and it is just as delicate, just as girly as ever – and that was a good thing! I already had a tea to kick me into gear this morning, but now it was afternoon and I was ready for a gentle tea to enjoy this beautiful weather. This was a great tea for that. I really taste the jasmine in this one, but it is so nicely balanced with the rose and neither are cloying or artificial.
Another sample from JacquelineM! When I opened the container and saw the rose petals and smelled the aroma, I wanted a huge bowl of it to display as a decoration and scent the house – drinkable potpourri! Many Earl Grey teas scare me a little when dry because they can smell overpowering and that makes me think of industrial strength cleaners. This one, steeped, is delicate and a light amber color. The rose flavor is in the forefront and I think there is jasmine sweetening this as well? The bergamot is not strong at all. Although it was good plain, I think I liked it best with a tiny sprinkle of sugar. Thank you, J! A lovely tea to look at and to sip!
I think I may have decided that I just can’t rate pu’erh. This is one of those situations in which my rating system just does not hold up to practical use, because pu’erh still freaks me out enough that I can’t give it the rating that it deserves, and yet I like it enough to crave it on occasion, so I know that it’s good.
Strange, yes. Nonsensical, yes. It’s still true.
This is only the second pu’erh I have ever had. The other one in my cabinet (which is nearly gone now, astonishingly) is Samovar’s Maiden’s Ecstasy. I’d call this one — the Tuo-Cha — the milder of the two by far, though I’m not certain as to why that is. I think it seems to lack the degree of depth that the ME has, but it still produces a pitch-black cup of earthy, woody tea.
It’s important to note that it gave me one cup of earthy, woody tea. I admit I’m not certain how long I was supposed to be steeping the nest, but one four-minute steep in my 16oz cup sapped almost all of the color out of the leaves, and a subsequent cup at a longer steep time was so limp and watery that I just poured it out. I suppose with my other little nest I’ll probably cut back on the steep time of the first cup to see if I can stretch the leaves more for another punchy infusion.
The nests are adorable, too. So very very cute.
This is my first pu’erh. I didn’t prepare it, but I think it went something like 3 little nests for about 18oz water. I don’t know if the bundles were broken up. Should you break them up before you steep? Either way, this both smelled and tasted like dirty plant to me. Wait. I mean: “I detected earthy vegetal notes”. When I stared into my cup, it was dark. Almost an inky type of dark. A dirty dark. Should it look like that? Hmm. Maybe there were too many nests used? I think the tin says 1 nest for 2-3 cups of water. Do they mean 8oz measuring cups or 6oz standard drinking cups? Either way, I’m guessing too many nests. People like pu’erh, and I doubt it’s because it tastes like a dirty plant. I’ll have to play with this on my own. Stay tuned.
My first foray into Roobios. The smell of this tea made me smile when I opened the package. Dried sour cherries, no mistaking it. I prepared a cup using the paper tea bags included with my order (handy things, may have to get some more). I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had hopes based on the dry leaf smell. I wasn’t disappointed! Cherries and whip cream flavor…yumm!
I don’t know if this is related to Roobios, but shortly after drinkng it, I had a significant headache. Bears some testing.