2031 Tasting Notes

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
2031 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
2031 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
2031 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
2031 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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83
drank Earl Grey by Joy's Teaspoon
2031 tasting notes

Another tea from the first round of my Earl Grey taste test. 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 probably my favorite from this round. The bergamot flavor was strong but not astringent, and citrusy without tasting like other fruits. It has a warm, rich flavor that integrates nicely with it’s base tea, which is smooth and tasty. I don’t have much of this left, so my next cup will not be a full cup unfortunately, but hopefully it’s enough to get a good sense of in in comparison to my other favorites from the test.

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

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76
drank Earl Grey Reserve by Tavalon Tea
2031 tasting notes

It’s the great Earl Grey tasting! I’ve been hanging on to small samples of various Earl Greys for a while now, intending to do a side-by-side tasting of them in the attempt to determine my favorite traditional Earl Grey that I have to keep around. On this rainy day it seemed like the perfect opportunity sit down and taste 10 different Earls. 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. All things considered tasting conditions weren’t optimal since I wanted only small amounts of each tea so I didn’t have too much, and as such they cooled really quickly. I think I’d like to take the top teas from this tasting and have full cups of tea under my normal conditions relatively back-to-back to really see how they play out.

Of the teas in this round, this one had the brightest bergamot flavor. It was crisp and clean and light, and the Ceylon base complements the bergamot well. It’s interesting that the Ceylon doesn’t give this one as much warmth and richness that I feel like it often brings. This and the Earl Grey from Joy’s Teaspoon had the truest, most unadultered bergamot flavor. I think this one is still near the top of the list when compared directly to others.

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

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80
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
2031 tasting notes

At home after being out in the cold rain, looking at possibly a couple of inches of snow tonight, still recovering from a cold, I wanted a pot of comforting tea this morning. This really is a nice vanilla tea. I like the rich, almost caramel notes complementing the vanilla, though for some reason (I use slightly too much water? it’s in a sachet?) it seems a little bit weak. Still an enjoyable pot of tea this morning.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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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.
89-86: 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
85-80: 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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