The East India CompanyEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Captain’s Personal Log-
I’ve sent the crew to a planet with nice beaches for shore leave. Most of them have been playing this farming game (Stardew Valley) on the Holodeck. So I decided we needed to get off the ship for a while. The engineering team built an impressive sandcastle, with a working drawbridge. Based on an old French castle.
One of the locals offered me this tea. There is a stronger bergamot scent than I usually have in this blend. In fact, the flavour is like that too. Comes across as slightly on the smoky side. Especially towards the end of the cup.As we ended up with a large amount, I hope the mess hall can use it to make something.
Flavors: Bergamot, Burnt Sugar, Citrus, Smoked
This is a nice morning blend—the flavor is, as the description says, a bit more robust than your average bagged EB, but the profile is similar. It’s bold in flavor without being too strong or astringent. I don’t know that it’s enough of an improvement over, say, Twinings EB (UK only; the US version is no good IMO) to justify keeping in stock, but I am enjoying it.
I think I have finally figured out what that unusual flavor in EIC’s Earl Grey was.
In almost every Chinese book about tea and all Chinese descriptions for Earl Grey teas, they had always printed bergamot as “佛手柑”. However, according to Wikipedia, “佛手柑” is a totally different speci from bergamot. “佛手柑” is actually citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, Buddha’s hand, or the fingered citron. The Chinese name for bergamot should be “香檸檬” or “香柑”, according to Wikipedia.
What I was trying to say was, that unusual flavor I found in EIC’s Earl Grey tasted exactly like Buddha’s hand or the fingered citron, which I dislike.
This morning after I finished my wonderful cuppa builder’s made from Punjana’s Original blend, I made a cup of EIC EG. After 2 sips I had to pour it out. And I only ever did it to Ridgways’ EG.
Paid HK$188 (roughly GBP16, USD25) for 125g.
I bought this tea solely because of the company’s name and its story in history, knowing I might be disappointed. I was, very disappointed.
There was an unusual flavour in this tea that almost totally overpowered the bergamot flavour. I was not sure if that was because of the neroli they put in this tea.
Unlike Twinings’ classic Earl Grey, EIC’s could be easily burnt. The tea had this bitter aftertaste when I made with boiling water or when steeped for too long. I had to make a fresh pot with hot water 3min off boiler and steeped for only 3 minutes.
The bergamot flavour was totally gone at second steep.
I have to take this tea with milk, can’t finish a cup plain black.
Edit: The other day, after making a pot of tea, I looked closely at the tea leaves after the brew. I had to admit that EIC used higher grade tea leaves. The leaves were quite very big. But I still don’t like the flavors of this tea.
Note: I always make my tea in teapot. I put in 240ml water at first steep, another 240ml second steep.
Flavors: Alcohol, Autumn Leaf Pile, Biting, Bitter, Brown Toast, Burnt Sugar, Citrus Zest, Dark Wood, Earth, Fireplace, Heavy, Scotch, Smoked, Tannic, Toasty
I am not sure whether this technically still counts as an Earl Grey. If it does, then it is an unusual one. Not only is this tea flavoured with bergamot oil, but also with neroli oil (a Sicilian bitter orange). The strength of this flavouring gives the tea almost an artificial scent and taste despite the company’s claims of the flavouring consisting of natural oils. The tea is characterized by this sweet citrus aroma which differs from everything I have perceived before. I am certain that this aroma is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is definitely worth trying. The leaves are rather large-sized and almost pitch black when dry.
Considering the price, this tea isn’t really a bargain, but for those who like it, this tea is worth its money. Those who are open for less traditional tastes should consider having a cup as well.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy
After discovering the newly opened East India Company store in Convent Garden, I purchased this slightly on a whim. However I justified spending £9 on the 100g pack, because I’d thoroughly enjoyed a few teas from this particular company before and admittedly was quite enamoured with the glorious scent.
Due to whatever reason, it was only today I got around to making a cup. I didn’t make a full pot, instead I used my infuser ball with a single tsp of leaves to a standard size cup. The instructions provided are pretty clear and straightforward for whatever amount of tea you want to make.
It’s suggested you take this black tea with no milk and either a little sugar or honey to taste. As someone who isn’t a fan of honey in tea, I went with the sugar option. However after tasting I think I may leave out sweetening all together next time. Combined with the already sweet flavours of the orange and the cinnamon, it became almost too sickly sweet- and that is coming from a girl with an incredible sweet tooth!
Overall Kama Sutra is a beautiful and fragrant tea ,proving to be quite delicate despite the strong flavours included. I’m excited to share this tea with my tea loving friends and would definitely recommend this blend to anyone visiting a East India Company Store.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange, Rose
Introductory cup of a sample I’ll eventually review at www.itsallabouttheleaf.com, so I won’t steal my own thunder, but I can’t help but declare I’ve finally found a white tea with some meat on its bones.
It kills me not to be able to say anything nice about a tea in a review: http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/2712/tea-review-the-east-india-tea-company-apple-and-cinnamon-tea/
I threw the rest out. Wouldn’t wish the leftovers on my worst enemy.
Review’s up—this is one of those teas you’re not quite sure how to describe. It left me neither revitalised, sensuous, nor romantic as advertised by the supplier; just a little puzzled. Still have a bit left, I’m going to keep lightening up the leaf and steep time until something happens.
Just a quick log without much comment; will be writing this one up later for www.itsallabouttheleaf.com, but it’s going to take a while to figure it out. BEI guards their ingredient lists like the queen’s jewels! “Sensuous blossoms and spices” may be dramatic, but not specific :)
I waxed poetic about this elsewhere, so I’ll make this comment concise. Straight-up, no nonsense quality Ceylon—a cup with clarity that’s just so good it doesn’t need to call attention to itself with flavorings or other bells and whistles.
Hoping for the same sort of clarity this morning. Many words to write before I sleep. Deadlines are no longer looming; we are two weeks post-loom.
This is a lovely quality black tea I reviewed for www.itsallabouttheleaf.com, so I’ll save detailed comments for later. Suffice it to say that, since East India Company was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I to bring her swag and goodies and has a reputation to maintain, it’s royally good.
In the meantime, I believe I’ll add the East India fine foods store in London to my fantasy bucket list. (See all the treats at http://www.theeastindiacompanyfinefood.com.) I’ll take the Queen Elizabeth 1st Empire Trunk. A mere 3,500 pounds.