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Prepped 3 tsp. leaf to 500 ml. water in my Breville at the below parameters. Added milk and sugar.

This is from my most recent Upton order – the boyfriend goes through tea filters and their Moroccan mint like crazy, and we just finished Teavana’s Earl Grey Creme so I thought this would make a good replacement while I was at it. I was right (thankfully, because I totally bit the bullet and bought 1/2 pound since it was so cheap)!

So the thing with Earl Grey is that I’m pretty sensitive to bergamot. And I have always been more attracted to the “cream” or “vanilla” in these types of blends than the bergamot flavoring. Teavana’s variation of this blend was quite heavy on the bergamot, and the vanilla was more present in the smell than anything else – it was also kind of a sharp, thin smell – there wasn’t any “cream” in the scent or flavor. What I really wanted was it to be the other way around – bergamot as more of an afterthought, vanilla front and center.

The dry leaf in this was amazing! Though visually it didn’t have any of the pretty cornflowers and was just the brown, unadorned leaf – the smell made up for it. It was very vanilla at the forefront – actually more of a buttery vanilla. It smelled luxurious. I was up late last night so I prepped the Breville to be ready first thing this morning, and spent a good few minutes inhaling the aroma. Yummy!

Once steeped, the buttery vanilla smell remained, and transferred over to the taste. Bergamot does exactly what I wanted it to – creeps into the finish to let you know it’s there, but doesn’t dominate. And with milk and sugar, this is fantastic! I can see myself rotating this with my beloved East Frisian in the mornings – almost makes it worth getting up early for!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "

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Atlanta, GA

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