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Recent Tasting Notes
In London now, while a friend has moved into my apartment to take care of my cat, my plants and tea collection during my absence :)
I use teabags when I travel, and I really needed this cup of TEA.EARL GREY. HOT. I had a morning flight, so my head is aching pretty badly due to sleep depravation. This tea has a calming effect on me, probably because it always conjures up the image of Captain Picard.
Find comfort in the little things.
I bought this tea at World Market yesterday. Just imagine, there I am in front of the teas there, looking at Steepster on my phone, trying to find the ratings for the teas I’m looking for.
I was looking for a ‘breakfast blend’…something to wake up to. I read (on Steepster, of course), that Irish Breakfast Blends were stronger than English, so I decided to buy this tea (it also had fairly good ratings here, which helped).
I enjoyed this tea this morning. I can definitely taste the malt. It did provide that jolt I needed, and I thought it was a good tea, bagged or otherwise. I don’t know if a loose leaf variety would have been different, but I got 2 steeps out of the bag, with the 2nd steep being weaker. I would drink this again.
I started drinking Earl Grey because I wanted to be a badass like Jean Luc Picard. I didn’t know at the time that my favorite tea would actually become Lady Grey. Maybe I’m just not cut out for Starfleet.
Anyway, this is basically an Earl Grey with a little orange and lemon thrown in. You would expect it to have an overpowering citrus flavor, but it really doesn’t. It has a smooth black tea foretaste, and a refreshing citrus aftertaste. Neither part of this tea is particularly overpowering. It’s just a well-balanced, finely blended cup of comfort. My innards feel happy for a solid hour after I pour a cup of Lady Grey down. Do yourself a favor and try this stuff. It’s fantastic.
This is my favorite Earl Grey at present. It is also the finest Earl Grey I am able to buy over the counter in this small town, so I am assuming that I may yet find Earl Greys I enjoy more than this one.
This tea has a very nice aroma, and the black tea to bergamot ratio is right on the money. I know they use bergamot flavoring rather than actual bergamot oil, but I have to remind myself that this is a mass market tea which I buy for $3 a box. This is about as good as you can do in that price range.
I drink this tea straight, hot, and strong. I hasn’t disappointed yet, so I think regardless of how many fancy tins of loose leaf Earl Grey I acquire in the future, this one will always be the baseline. It’s a nice comfortable cup that I can always come back to.
This is without question the most bitter thing I have ever put in my mouth. I’m very sensitive to bitter flavors, and this one was just too much. The bag smelled like maté, a Chilean beverage which tastes like alfalfa and tire treads, but the tea turned out to be much more bitter than maté, which I didn’t think was possible.
I took the first cup straight, and steeped it for only 3 minutes because it smelled so strongly. That first cup practically ate through the lining of my stomach. I steeped the next cup for only 2.5 minutes and I added milk and sugar, which did not cut the bitterness at all. For the third cup I tried honey, but I just couldn’t make it drinkable.
Yesterday my husband and I went to a family reunion. It’s a long drive, but it’s tons of fun and we see relatives we don’t see any time of year. As an added bonus, a close friend of ours who we don’t often get to see lives along the route, so we stopped in and visited her on the way home. My friend offered me some tea for the road, which I gladly accepted. I had a cup of this with plenty of milk and quite enjoyed it. It was a smooth, sweet chai with subtle, but pleasant flavors. I was surprised to see that it has such low reviews on Steepster. Maybe the milk made the difference? I’ll have to try it without milk someday to see if that changes my opinion.
I’ve uploaded a photo of my box of this tea because the British packaging for it is different from the US version (and maybe the ingredients are too, looking at others’ tasting notes for this).
I bought it because it was cheap and cheerful, and sometimes I fancy a spicy tea in the morning; I had a small stash of a chai a couple of years ago that was utterly stunning, but I didn’t keep track of my teas back then, so I have no idea what it was, or even who sold it.
In the UK version of this, the only ingredients listed on the box are tea, cinnamon, ginger, and ‘flavourings’, so most of the spices that should be there are missing. I can taste a hint of cloves, but no cardamom or black pepper. It tastes mostly of cinnamon, and doesn’t have the warmth of a good chai, or the nice little sting on the tongue that the black peppercorns should give it.
It’s not a terrible tea; I don’t take sugar so maybe adding a bit would bring out some of the flavours more, but to me this tastes a bit insipid. I’m going to rate it at about 65, because it’s convenient when I’m stumbling around first thing in the morning and can’t get myself together enough to throw some spices and black tea in a pan and boil them up, and also because it’s a pleasant enough drink, even with it’s shortcomings.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves
It’s almost Fall !!!!!!I love pumpkin anything and would eat pumpkin things year round. Last Fall I over did it and bought almost everything with the word pumpkin including the “pumpkin spice” that can trick you into thinking it is pumpkin flavor if you don’t pay attention. This was one of them; I bought 2+ boxes last year before I even called myself a tea drinker. By the time Thanksgiving came I did not want pumpkin pie and still have not.
This cup smells like Fall and makes me happy but the taste is um, I don’t know like hot water and spices. I remember it having more of a pumpkin pie flavor last year; I think I added brown sugar left the tea bag in much longer and added milk last time.
I was in Indiana this past weekend visiting some friends and I knew I wasn’t in DC anymore, Toto, when I walked into the supermarket and asked a clerk where the tea was.
He looked at me. “What kind of tea?”
I’m sure I gave him a “are you stupid or just sh*tting me” look in return.
“Do you mean the kind in bags that goes in hot water?” he clarified, complete with hand motions miming lifting a tea bag in and out of a mug of water.
After he directed me to the tea aisle, I realized he was differentiating between tea and iced tea – the kind you make with a powder and was nowhere to be found near the bagged teas.
My mind. It is boggled.
Anyway, among the boxes of bagged tea, there were a few lone tins of loose tea by Twinings. I was thrilled to find them, even though quality-wise, I knew they weren’t that great. I needed caffeine. So I snagged a tin of the Ceylon Orange Pekoe, which was what got me through several semesters of 8 AM classes in college, albeit in bagged form.
Ceylon Orange Pekoe is nothing special. It’s just a plain black tea. There is no subtlety to the flavor, and no fruit taste I can discern. But it was tea. And it was caffeinated. And it helped me get through the hours in Indiana with my friend’s crazy family until it was socially acceptable to move to alcohol.
I´m not a fan of red fruits based infusions, but sometimes I somehow seem to put boxes like this Twinings Fruit Bliss Infusions in my shopping cart. A gentle infusion fur winter nights, I seem to think. Today I put a cup for my husband and another for me, and it´s a hot summer day afternoon! Smells very fruity, which is confirmed in the final brew, which tastes fruit and not sirop, so it scores points for me. Hibiscus based (this seems to put some people off, and although I prefer my own rosehip infusion, it´s not the case for me), but this doesn´t dominate the fruity taste. I guess it would make a nice iced tea as well.
Flavors: Berries, Raspberry, Rosehips
Just this morning I brewed a pot for an impromptu tea party with my sister who is ordinarily a coffee drinker. She loved it! It’s deep and malty with an unmistakeable nutty flavor that totally satisfies every single time. Twinings English Breakfast Tea is like a kind and dependable old friend that you can trust and proudly introduce to others.
Flavors: Malt, Nuts
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This tea is pure malt. No subtlety, no delicacy, just deep strong malty liquor. And that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s not a tea I choose to drink on its own, but it’s one of my go-to teas for accompanying meals when the subtleties of other teas would be lost. This tea gets bitter quickly, I assume this has something to do with the teeny CTC leaves, so any more than a 3 minute steep is undrinkable for me. There are certainly far better Irish Breakfasts out there, but this is one that I can find (even loose) in just about every grocery store around these parts. And for the price it’s darn good.