drank Earl Grey by Nina's Paris
116 tasting notes

Sample package: 2” x 2” clear plastic zip-lock – 2 level tsp
Label: “Earl Grey.” (No ingredients listed. No brewing instructions.)

Per http://www.ninasparis.com/en/pro_tea0.html:
“Le Royal EARL GREY
Bergamot from Sicily
The smoothness of Keemun together with the freshness of bergamot. An ancient recipe that was handed down by a high dignitary of China to Earl Charles Grey. A classic that definitely shouldn’t be missed.”

Thanks to Laurent at Nina’s Paris Tea Store USA
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ninas-Paris-Tea-Store-USA/569332199761362
for the recommended brewing instructions:
1 rounded tsp / 195*F / 6oz / 2.5 min.

Technique:
6-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 22 ppm
Heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 195*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer
1 rounded teaspoon
Stepped for 2.5 mins.

Introduction: Most EG teas come from Shi Lanka formerly known as Ceylon. Having a Keemun base (a favorite tea of mine), was a significant reason for wanting to sample this tea. Our current EG has a Ceylon base and I can’t get past the astringency. Other primary reason: My wife loves EG.
This tea has a lemony Earl Grey fragrance that’s slightly stronger than the Keemun base.

Amber hue

2.5-min Infusion: My wife noted an initial peppery/thyme-like aroma. I noted that the aroma of the tea was stronger than the light oil of bergamot lemon sent. Some Keemun teas have a smokey aroma. Perhaps this characteristic was competing with the lemon aroma?

Similarly, the taste followed the aroma. The Keemun stands out above the light oil of bergamot lemon flavor. This Earl Grey was very smooth, not at all bitter or astringent with a clean finish.

Impression: A very smooth muted Earl Grey tea.

Suggestions: Perhaps Nina’s Paris might consider adding more of the wonderful Sicilian Bergomot to this very smooth Keemun. Another possibility might be to select a less aromatic Keemun or a Yunnan Dian Hong style black tea instead.

Thanks to Nina’s Paris for providing this free sample.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I am passionate about teas that are full-bodied, rich, & smooth. I joined Steepster to explore Multiple Infusion Teas (MITs) such as Pu-erh.

Currently, my focus is on un-flavored orthodox black & pu-erh teas. Cost-effective organic teas or teas that meet the EU Food Safety Commission Pesticide Maximum Residue Limit EUROFINS are also of interest.

I especially enjoy teas with a natural rich chocolate flavor profile as opposed to natural bittersweet cocoa.

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

Incomplete, non-specific, or cutesy instructions such as: “Just add water and enjoy.” significantly reduces the possibility that I will purchase that particular tea.

Having to discover the optimum brewing parameters through “trial & error” is too time-inefficient, wastes valuable tea and impairs the progress and joy of tea exploration.

The best tea suppliers evaluate each crop / batch of tea each year to determine the optimum brewing parameters. This insures the best possible first impression of their tea, greatly increases customer satisfaction, and thus increases word-of-mouth advertising – the best form of advertising that money can’t buy. You never have a 2nd chance to make an Outstanding First Impression.

My wife is an Earl Grey Fan. We enjoyed Twinings for many years – mostly Earl Grey, also English/Irish Breakfast, & Prince of Wales. Several years ago, TEG no longer tasted as good.

Rishi EG & China Breakfast then became our regular teas. However, after winning Tea Expo awards, the prices kept rising.

Our most recent orders were from TeaVivre, Verdant, Zen Tea Life, & Mandala Tea. Kudos to Angel Chen, David Duckler, Kenneth Son, Garret Sorensen who have been extremely helpful.

High quality water is essential for excellent tasting tea.
Our 450’ well provides hard water. For details see: http://steepster.com/looseTman/posts/176233#comments.

Solutions:
#1. Rainsoft water softener with
Q2 computerized control valve

#2. Abundant Flow Water
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with re-mineralization filter
Model: Zeta RO: https://www.afwfilters.com/drinking-ro-systems/6-stage-alkaline-zoi-zeta-reverse-osmosis-system-16.html
Includes:
- Dow Filmtec TFC R.O. membrane
- Omnipure Inline Post filter
- Puregen Aptera Alkaline Filter: http://www.puregen.com/products_detail.php?id=301&lang=en

Options:
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- 3/8" Output
- HM Digital DM-1: http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/dm1.html

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

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