Sample package label:
“BLACK TEA / ORGANIC
Lovers of Earl Grey adore this creamy alternative to the original blend. We’ve added a touch of vanilla for an unexpectedly rich, creamy taste experience.

Ingredients – Organic: Black tea, marigolds, cornflowers. With natural and organic flavoring.

1.5 tsp. / 98*C 208*F / 3-5 min.
USDA Organic / Canada Organic Biologique / PAREVE”

6-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 19 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 208*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer
1 Heaping Tevanna teaspoon

Introduction: I understand Cream of Earl Grey from DAVIDsTEA is a blend of organic Sri Lankan and Chinese black teas. Most EG teas have a 100% Sri Lankan (Ceylon) base. Having the addition of a Chinese black tea, was a significant reason for wanting to sample this EG tea. Our current EG has a Ceylon base and I can’t get past the astringency. Other primary reasons: My wife loves EG and prefers organic teas.

This tea has a vanilla / floral fragrance, which is different than a classic lemony Earl Grey.

Dark brown hue.

3-min & 4-min Infusions: The initial taste at both these time points was too light.

First 5-min Infusion:
There was a strong vanilla & floral aroma, but we didn’t detect a lemony aroma as is typical of a classic Earl Grey.
This tea was very smooth and rich with a strong vanilla & floral taste and a very subdued oil of Bergamot lemon flavor. There was no hint of bitterness. There was a moderate amount of astringency, as compared to our current Earl Grey Cream from Whistling Kettle. The reduced level of astringency appears to be consistent with this EG tea’s reduced level of Sri Lankan black tea.
2nd 5-min Infusion:
The second infusion was enjoyable. I was surprised that the flavoring was still present.

Impression: This tea is a good choice for creamy vanilla lovers who also appreciate strong floral notes.

For those who prefer a classic lemony Oil of Bergamot flavor:
“It’s complicated.” The additional natural ingredients that give this Earl Grey its rich full-bodied taste are much 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. DAVIDsTEA also offers an Earl Grey.

Suggestion: For those like my wife who love the classic EG aroma & flavor, DavidsTea may also wish to develop another version of their Cream of Earl Grey where the oil of bergamot is as strong as the other natural ingredients – a Cream of Classic Earl Grey.

Many thanks to DAVIDsTEA and Natalie for providing this very generous size free sample.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

This tea is pretty strong made by the pot. I never would have thought of making it in a Gaiwan with short timed infusions. Earl Grey is a ‘by the pot’ type of tea. Did you try it the traditional way, or suggested way? (I only use it to flavor puddings and in cooking because the flavor is so strong…so I do see what you mean by it not being a true EG).

looseTman

We typically brew a pot of EG. However, since we are currently sampling many different teas, I brewed it by the cup and tasted it at the DAVIDsTEA recommended time points. I imagine that by the pot, all the natural flavors of this Cream of Earl Grey would be stronger and the vanilla / floral flavors are strong enough by the cup.

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Bonnie

This tea is pretty strong made by the pot. I never would have thought of making it in a Gaiwan with short timed infusions. Earl Grey is a ‘by the pot’ type of tea. Did you try it the traditional way, or suggested way? (I only use it to flavor puddings and in cooking because the flavor is so strong…so I do see what you mean by it not being a true EG).

looseTman

We typically brew a pot of EG. However, since we are currently sampling many different teas, I brewed it by the cup and tasted it at the DAVIDsTEA recommended time points. I imagine that by the pot, all the natural flavors of this Cream of Earl Grey would be stronger and the vanilla / floral flavors are strong enough by the cup.

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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:
- Aquatec ERP-500 & ASV 2000
- 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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