Sample package label:
“Organic high grown estate black tea hand blended with fragrant oil of bergamot and a hint of French Vanilla. Fresh citrus notes followed by a rich and robust finish complete this remarkable blend. Ingredients: Organic and Biodynamic Black Tea, organic cornflowers, organic oil of Bergamot, natural flavors. USDA Organic – Caffeine: Medium Steep 3 – 5 minutes – Fair Trade certified”

6-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 24 ppm, boiled, left to stand so only steaming hot

1 heaping Tevanna teaspoon: (After yesterday’s tasting of The Tea Merchant’s English Breakfast.)

This tea has a fragrance that’s different than classic Earl Grey.

Somewhat darker reddish hue than yesterday’s English Breakfast

First 5-min Infusion:
Stronger vanilla + citrus aroma followed by a smooth, rich & full- bodied taste. There’s also a note of cinnamon. There was zero hint of bitterness. There is almost no astringency, as compared to our current Earl Grey Cream from Whistling Kettle. Initially, I did not notice any. As the cup began to cool, there was a mild sense of it. The taste of lemon lingers long on the tongue.

2nd 5-min Infusion:
I was surprised that the French flavoring was still present.

Impression: “It’s complicated.” The unspecified additional natural ingredients that give this Earl Grey its rich full-bodied taste are stronger than the classic Oil of Bergamot EG flavor. Achieving just the right balance must be quite a challenge as the number of ingredients increases. For those who prefer a classic Bergamot flavor, try The Tea Merchant’s organic Earl Grey. (See my next review.)

Thanks to The Tea Merchant for providing this generous size free sample. It’s a good thing that Joey Landford provided enough tea for more than one cup! My wife loves EG and could not wait for me to return home to try all his EG teas herself.

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My wife and I enjoy shou that:
- is Full-bodied, thick, rich, creamy smooth
- produces a full-mouth feeling with a long pleasing finish
- w/o obvious acidity, astringency, or bitterness
- Retains this profile & is complex enough to enjoy for multiple steeps

Notes of interest:
- natural rich chocolate (as opposed to too bittersweet cocoa)
- honey, caramel, stone fruits, sweet potato, barley, fresh baked bread

Notes not of interest: Floral, vegetal, woody.

Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are greatly appreciated. Many people drink tea for the anti-oxidant health benefits. So why would health conscious tea lovers drink tea that contains pesticide residues?

Complete steeping instructions on the bag are greatly appreciated:
tsp. (g) / oz. / temp. / rinse? / min. for both Western & Gongfu brewing.

Our recent orders have been from: Yunnan Sourcing, King Tea Mall, Whispering Pines, & Arbor Teas. Kudos to them as they have all been extremely helpful.

Our cupboard doesn’t include the many greatly appreciated samples generously provided by Steepsters’s favorite tea suppliers and by several very kind Steepster members.

Current Gogng Fu Brewing Method:
20g / 6 oz / 205° / 60s preheat / 60s warm leaves / 5s rinse / 5 min rest / 5s / 5 / 7 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 /30 / 45 / 60. Every two steeps combined in a sharing pitcher.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see:

#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with an Impact Alkaline re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Impact Alkaline Filter
All filters made in USA & NSF-Certified.
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-2 TDS meter

My profile picture is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, a winter visitor to our woodpecker feeder.


Mid-Atlantic, USA

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