Todd & Holland
Popular Teas from Todd & HollandSee All 34 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
No notes yet. Add one?
Sipdown no. 72 of the year 2014.
The metallic note was hitting me some today even though this one has the least of that note of the three bergamot strengths. Perhaps it really does have to do with body chemistry at a given time. Still, a nice, bold Earl to start the day.
Tomorrow, on to some other Earl Greys I haven’t tried or haven’t tried in a while. I found four or so in my stash and I suspect I have even more.
As part of the project to sip down open sample packets (which is frankly not going all that well because I keep opening more), I’m turning to this one which has been sitting in the “to be drunk soon” sample box since my original note. At least it’s an older open sample, so it fulfills the primary goal of the project better than sipping down something I opened yesterday. Not that this is in a position to be sipped down… yet.
I have a lot of breakfast blends but I haven’t had any in a while? Seems like my order in the morning has gone: Earl Grey, flavored black, another flavored black or an unflavored single tea black. I’m reminded of how much I enjoy good breakfast blends.
This one has the heft of a cup of coffee without an unpleasant throat bite and indeed, rather a smoothness to it. The Darjeeling addition really makes it interesting as it adds both a softness and what I called before a “perkiness” to the flavor.
Very enjoyable morning eye-opener.
We took a vote for an after dinner tisane and this is what won. (I mentioned that raspberry is the BF’s favorite fruit earlier when we tried the Simpson & Vail raspberry flavored black tea.)
There’s an amazing smell in the packet, like a raspberry parfait. It steeps to a reddish orange (I would have expected it to be redder?) and the aroma leads with vanilla and ends with raspberry with only a very slightly discernible rooibos scent.
The flavor has a citrusy tang, and a smoothness from the vanilla. The tang smooths out into raspberry in the finish and the aftertaste. I don’t really taste the rooibos, which makes this a success for me.
My main complaint is I wish the flavor was a bit stronger. It’s fairly light and even slightly watery. Next time I’ll mess with the water/leaf ratio and see if I can get a bit more flavor. If so, I’ll boost the rating. The flavor, such that it is, is very nice.
Today it’s less metallic and minerally, which seems to support the theory that that flavor is related to something, perhaps the bergamot oil, not being exposed to air and that the more air it gets, the less those notes are present.
I think I’m in sipdown range for tomorrow. Now that I think about it, it’s pretty amusing that I found another packet of this on Ground Hog’s Day. This time when I sipdown, it should stay sipped down. ;-)
Uh-oh. I thought I’d sipped this down. [Twilight Zone Music]
I was going through my tea to see what Earl Greys I hadn’t tried or otherwise had left and I found another sample packet of this. I must have gotten one with the Earl Grey sampler and another with another sampler, perhaps something like breakfast blends?
I’m going to count it as two separate sipdowns anyway since there are two containers. I’m enjoying this this morning. There was more of the mineral note than yesterday. I suspect it is a function of the bergamot oil somehow and that as the oil is more exposed to air and loses volatility the mineral note also gets weaker.
Sipdown no. 53 for the year 2014. Dismissing the lesser nobility from the cupboard this morning.
In sum: prefer it to the triple, like the single slightly better, it’s a solid Earl Grey and a good alternative in case one in the pantheon becomes unavailable or otherwise falls from grace.
Flavors: Flowers, Malt, Metallic, Mineral
Having said goodbye to the triple yesterday, I’ve moved to Mr. (Ms.?) double for this morning.
The first thing I wanted to check was the color, because I had this weird experience where the tea liquor seemed to get darker from triple to single bergamot versions, but then I decided it was probably either a fluke or just an inability to remember exactly since I didn’t put them side by side. The liquor in this one, today, looks the same color as in the triple version yesterday, or close enough to same to make me think that really was just a weird one-off color thing.
The tea base in this one tastes to me a bit richer and sweeter than I’d remembered it, more like the base in the single version. I don’t know whether all three versions share a base. I assumed they did at first, but there’s no reason that should be true.
However, it does make sense that the “lighter” the bergamot, the more the base would shine through regardless of whether it’s the same. That’s what I’m getting here.
Conclusion: the triple bergamot’s bergamot isn’t so much stronger as generally “more” in terms of balance between bergamot flavor and tea flavor, while the double lets the tea flavor through a medium amount and the single lets it through the most.
Sipdown no. 47 for the year 2014. 50 is in sight! I should definitely make it over the weekend, maybe even by the end of the day.
Under the light of my desk lamp, where I ordinarily sit when on the computer, the liquor today is redder than it looked in sunlight yesterday, closer to the way I described the liquor of the Double Bergamot. I think there must have been a steeping fluke on my first tasting that resulted in a lighter, yellower liquor.
In any case, though my Earl Grey pantheon is full, I will enjoy this while it lasts.
I brought this with me on the drive down to work today. It’s pretty much the same as my assessment in my initial note, with the exception of the description of the liquor. I described that as dark amber. It’s really darker than that, more like a medium maple syrup color. I’m looking at it through glass as I was in the original note but under different light, and I think it is in fact a somewhat different color than the double and single versions, which looked darker to me.
After trying the triple bergamot version two mornings ago and the double bergamot version yesterday, I decided to try the plain old single version today.
But first, I lined up the sample packets and sniffed the dry mix from triple to single. They weren’t kidding. The triple is extremely strong smelling on the citrus/perfume, the single is very gently scented and the double is in between, just as it should be.
In fact, after steeping, the aroma of the bergamot is quite gentle. The tea base comes through more than in the other two versions, and it is sweet and malty. I wonder whether the base is different for this one or it is just the interaction of the stronger bergamot with the same base, but this one tastes much more like it has some Yunnan in the base. The liquor color is beautiful—a sort of a reddish brandy.
The gentler bergamot and sweeter base combine to make this, not surprisingly, my favorite of the three. The metallic note I detected in the others is only barely present here, and the bite is almost nonexistent making this a smoother flavor to my tastebuds.
It’s a very nice tea, and it’s certainly something I would drink again, but I have to make some hard choices about pantry space and there are others that hit my sweet spot better.
After trying the triple bergamot yesterday, I thought I’d see if I could taste a difference between it and this.
I will say that sniffing the two packets together, there’s an obvious difference in bergamot level between the two. The triple gives off much more citrus/perfume. I didn’t smell that metallic note in the double.
I don’t have good enough olfactory memory to remember the steeped aroma of the triple while smelling the aroma of the double at the same time (it seems almost like trying to remember the tune to a song when other music is playing) but this has the same malty note as the triple and a mellow citrus as well. I called the color of the triple’s liquor reddish amber—this looks like cherry wood red (which makes me want to look at the triple’s color again).
The flavor strikes me as quite similar to the triple bergamot, but with perhaps less of that mineral note I found in the triple, which earns it a couple of additional rating points. What I like most about this blend as well as the triple is that the bergamot seems well-integrated into the flavor instead of sitting on the top.
As with the triple, there are other Earl Greys I like better, but that’s not because of the level of bergamot. I don’t find the level here overly strong compared to some I’ve tasted—perhaps that’s as a result of the integration factor I mentioned.
My preference has more to do with the tea base. There’s something that is, for lack of a better word, warmer in the base of the Earl Greys by Samovar and American Tea Room as examples, even those that don’t have a Yunnan base. I don’t know what the base of this tea is, but I believe it is the same as the triple bergamot, and from what I can find on the internet, it appears to be a blend. It has a bit of a bite, which makes me think there is Assam in the blend, and which could account for my preference as I tend to gravitate toward Ceylon and Yunnan based Earl Greys.
Given my previous statements about how I feel about bergamot in Earl Grey (basically that it should sit quietly and not interrupt) I cannot explain adequately why I even have this. My only explanation is that it is tea, and don’t we all want to TRY ALL THE TEA?
The bergamot scent in sample bag is strong, but not overpowering—a little on the perfumey side with something of a metallic note. The tea steeps to a reddish amber. Despite the triple threat, the bergamot isn’t overwhelming in the aroma and I no longer smell the metallic note I did from the dry leaves. The aroma is, in my view, very promising because I smell a malty note that I think means I’m going to like the tea base.
And I do, for the most part. There’s something about the taste that reminds me of the Tavalon Earl Grey Reserve. There’s a bit of a minerally edge that could be either raw potato or metal, but it isn’t nearly as strong as that taste in the Tavalon and there is, as well, a sweetish, malty note. I think I may have slightly underleafed and will try more next time.
The good news for me is that the bergamot doesn’t strike me as overly strong despite the name. That would also be bad news for someone looking for a really really strong bergamot.
It’s a nice tea. Not among my favorite Earl Greys, but I’ll drink the rest happily.
Picked this up early on in my pregnancy when my usual black teas weren’t appealing to me and finally got around to trying it.
This tea is pretty yummy. Nice, watermelon flavor to it, handled a second brew well. Not too sweet but just right with some brown sugar splenda. Overall, a nice tea. Used the whole packet for one 16 oz mug and then rebrewed the next day. Would probably be great iced!
Another early morning for me, and I need this tea to make some attempt at waking up. Coming into work early with the hope of getting things done in the morning is not going to work if I’m half asleep during most of it.
There’s something about the really strong bergamot in this one that kind of jolts my mind awake, as if the bergamot itself was somehow contributing to the caffeine. No matter how many teas I’ve tried over the years, Earl Grey is still the best wake-up tea for me. Unfortunately, even the best wake-up tea take some time to kick in.
I feel like a total zombie this morning because I was up late last night and early this morning. Ugh. Even my matcha couldn’t keep me going for very long. Enter, double bergamot! Before I had Lupicia’s Earl Grey this one was my favorite, and it’s still very good. Very bergamotty (natch), with a nice, malty-sweet base that is rich and actually stands up to that much bergamot. Don’t know that it’s going to wake me up, but it’s probably my best shot.
Normally I don’t have an Earl Grey in the afternoon just because I like to have something lighter then, and use the time to have an oolong or some such. But I wanted to have this one in relatively short order after the Lupicia Earl Grey so I could compare them back-to-back.
I’m actually not entirely sure what the base of this one is because Todd & Holland doesn’t say anywhere on their site. I see now it says “a special blend” so who knows. Before I said it tasted like Ceylon, and that probably is one of the components. I’ve talked a bit about the flavors in this one before, but suffice to say that the bergamot is a little more floral than the Lupicia Earl Grey, but still never perfumy, astringent or bitter. I still really love this one, but I think I like the Lupicia one better! I am surprised because I didn’t think that’s how it would turn out. I think there’s something about the Keemun base on the Lupicia one that really rounds it out. Also that slight citrusy sweetness at the end of the Lupicia puts it over the edge. This one is a little brighter, a little rougher, which I guess is to be expected with as much bergamot is there is in it. If I am ever near their brick-and-mortar store I might pick up some more of this but as pricey as it is I don’t think I will order it online when I run out now.
This is delicious! So creamy and milky, and not overly floral. The milk flavors do not cancel out the taste of the oolong tea. Smooth and calming. Not too sweet, but not at all astringent or bitter. Full of flavor.
I will write more later, after I’ve had a chance to resteep this. My very first thought is this tastes almost identical to American Tea Room’s Milk Oolong. It even smells and looks like it.
Thank you, Todd & Holland, for the sample! I’ll be back to buy it.
Today was an early morning and it’s going to be a long day. It’s also going to be a day mostly without tea… how am I going to survive?!
I decided to take this one on the go with me this morning sine it’s such a fortifying tea. Doesnt mean I feel awake right now, but at least the tea is tasty. This is quickly becoming my go-to Earl, which is saying something for me because I have so many of them. This one really stands out from the others in a good way. More than that, although I love plain Earl Greys I don’t often find myself reaching for them out of my own cupboard, I guess because none of them really grabbed me. But this one I look at the pouch and think, “I want that tea!” A sure sign of a keeper.