1964 Tasting Notes

81

It’s been so long since I had a plain rose tea! I saw this sample in my drawer and decided to finish it off. I actually didn’t have quite enough for my usual cup, so I rounded out the rest with some China Rose from ESP imports. It’s a pretty similar flavored tea, and I don’t think it was enough to make an impact on this one. It still retains it’s lower-key rose flavor, a bit more herbaceous than candy-sweet in profile. It’s nice to just sit down and have a nice rose tea once in a while.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Black Currant by Harney & Sons
1964 tasting notes

I’m taking a break from Earl Greys this morning and decided to try this black currant tea that I got from SimplyJenW. Thanks so much for sending a sample of this! I really love black currant flavored things, but I haven’t had too many black currant teas. I recently found out randomly that the reason black currants and the flavoring isn’t popular in the US is because currant farming was banned in the 1900s because they were a vector of a disease that affected pine trees. They are still banned in some states!

Anyway, the dry tea has that characteristic black currant aroma, rich and berryish. It’s carried over into the aroma of the steeped tea, along with the black tea base. Harney is somewhat inconsistant in their black teas when it comes to my taste buds, so it’s almost a toss up whether I will love a tea or not. Fortunately this one is a winner for me. The black currant is nice and strong, and it pairs well with the black tea base, which supports the black currant flavor and doesn’t steamroll over it or stick out. I find myself really wanting almonds in this blend, like Harney’s Boston but with black currants instead of cranberries. I do have a black marzipan tea that I could try it with…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I would take a break too. That was Earl-Overload!

K S

Is there such a thing as Earl-Overload?

TeaBrat

I don’t even like Earl Grey – lol

Dinosara

Nah, Earl Grey is one of those teas I could never really overload on.

Charles Thomas Draper

Just kidding….

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68

Another round two tea from the Earl Grey side-by-side tasting. I’m doing 5 at a time, each tea brewed under the same parameters: in a tea filter bag, for 3 minutes with 205°F water. I dunked the tea filters around to make sure they were getting enough water flow since I don’t usually use them.

This one also doesn’t have a rating since I messed up my first steeping a bit. I’ll hold of rating until I drink a full cup of it, however. This is another tea that completely surprised me. I don’t know if when I tried it first I didn’t have a good comparison in mind or what, but this time it was incredibly, utterly roasted. It tasted strongly coffeeish, which I suppose makes sense coming from coffee roasters, full of toasted grains, and the bergamot was almost lost in comparison. It really surprised me how utterly different it tasted from the other Earls.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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73

Another round two tea from the Earl Grey side-by-side tasting. I’m doing 5 at a time, each tea brewed under the same parameters: in a tea filter bag, for 3 minutes with 205°F water. I dunked the tea filters around to make sure they were getting enough water flow since I don’t usually use them.

This tea was unexpected. The first time I tried it I wasn’t that impressed and it didn’t seem to stick out from other Earls. But tried side-by-side… woah. It was floral, almost oolongy in character. This floral didn’t seem to be a floral bergamot, but rather florals in addition to the bergamot. It was light, with a very distinct tea base. At one point I got an almost sweet aftertaste. It was totally weird! I’m not sure what to make of it, but I do have enough for another cup, thankfully.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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65
drank Earl Grey Choice by Zhi Tea
1964 tasting notes

Another round two tea from the Earl Grey side-by-side tasting. I’m doing 5 at a time, each tea brewed under the same parameters: in a tea filter bag, for 3 minutes with 205°F water. I dunked the tea filters around to make sure they were getting enough water flow since I don’t usually use them.

This one is another that probably doesn’t really belong here, but I forgot that it had lavender in it until I had already portioned it out. Oh well! The lavender really makes this one stick out here, and it is, like I tasted before, very strongly lavendery, which gives the tea an herby character. As far as lavender Earls go I think this is a little too much lavender.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

If you like doing these side by side tastings, in my shop on Tea Trade I have a Earl Grey Sampler. :)

http://liberteas.teatra.de/store/products/earl-grey-sampler/

K S

Appreciate your effort here! What a cool idea.

Uniquity

So much earl grey!! : )

Dinosara

LiberTEAS – that’s a lot of Earl Grey! Maybe for the next time. :D

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70

Another round two tea from the Earl Grey side-by-side tasting. I’m doing 5 at a time, each tea brewed under the same parameters: in a tea filter bag, for 3 minutes with 205°F water. I dunked the tea filters around to make sure they were getting enough water flow since I don’t usually use them.

This is a brand new Earl Grey to me, and as such it doesn’t have a rating yet. And it didn’t really stick out in this tasting at all. It was a little weak, a bit forgettable, with not much distinct about it. As it cooled I actually got a hint of lemony flavor, moreso than the bergamot. Will try this one under normal circumstances, but it definitely didn’t distinguish itself here.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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81

Round two of the Earl Grey side-by-side tasting! I’m doing 5 at a time, each tea brewed under the same parameters: in a tea filter bag, for 3 minutes with 205°F water. I dunked the tea filters around to make sure they were getting enough water flow since I don’t usually use them.

This is the tea I drank tons of throughout Argentina, and I almost forgot to include it in the tasting! This round was the more surprising round, as these Earls had very different characters. This was probably the most traditional one, and it holds up as definitely tasty. It’s a well-rounded tea, with a floral-style bergamot (not added florals, but that somewhat floral character that bergamot can sometimes have), with a citrusy aftertaste. This is a Ceylon base but it has a completely different character than the others from the first round. It seems a little different from a very traditional Earl, but it’s hard to pinpoint right now. Overall a top contender.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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71
drank The Earl Grey by teapod
1964 tasting notes

Another tea from the first round of my Earl Grey tasting. I’m doing 5 at a time, each tea brewed under the same parameters: in a tea filter bag, for 3 minutes with 205°F water. I dunked the tea filters around to make sure they were getting enough water flow since I don’t usually use them.

This tea seemed the most floral of the samples, but at the same time it also had a decent helping of citrus pith to the flavor. It has an intriguing flavor that’s a bit different from the more straight bergamot teas in the round, but I couldn’t quite suss it out in my small sample. This is one that I have 75g of, so I will definitely have plenty of opportunity to try it again.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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63
drank Earl Grey Special by TeaFrog
1964 tasting notes

Another tea from the first round of my Earl Grey tasting. I’m doing 5 at a time, each tea brewed under the same parameters: in a tea filter bag, for 3 minutes with 205°F water. I dunked the tea filters around to make sure they were getting enough water flow since I don’t usually use them.

This tea might not have really belonged here since it really isn’t a straight Earl Grey. It has not just citrus peels but also lemongrass and jasmine flowers in the mix. Nevertheless, it’s here, and it’s definitely a different flavor. This tea tastes almost spicey in comparison, which is a little odd (though looking back at a previous note I caught the spiciness before), but perhaps it’s the lemongrass adding that note. It’s also has the least inspiring tea base, which is not as flavorful and a little bitter. Definitely the weakest competitor in this round.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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64
drank Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons
1964 tasting notes

Another tea from the first round of my Earl Grey tasting. I’m doing 5 at a time, each tea brewed under the same parameters: in a tea filter bag, for 3 minutes with 205°F water. I dunked the tea filters around to make sure they were getting enough water flow since I don’t usually use them.

This tea has the lightest bergamot flavoring by far. It is really most driven by the tea base, which has a pretty different flavor from the others since it isn’t primarily (or exclusively) Ceylon like the others. I’ve already detailed why I’m not very fond of this version, but this tasting pretty much just confirms that. Sorry Harney, you’re just not the Earl Grey for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
wheezybee

Thank you so much for pointing me in the direction of your face/off! It’s really interesting to see how you faced some of the same problems I’ve been dealing with, and to read about your set up and preparation.

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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