Sample package label: “Persian Choice Royal Earl Grey”

Per: http://www.alvinsofsf.com/persian-choice-royal-earl-grey-tea.html
“12oz Box; First Place Winner in the North American Tea Championship. Pungent, Robust, Smooth finish, Very complex body”

Details (See above)

Thanks to Hovik Azadkhanian at Alvin’s of San Francisco for the recommended brewing instructions: 1 tsp. / 205*F / 8oz.
“Steep Time is around 2 minutes. Again, this part is totally up to you. Many people steep for less time and then re-steep a second time.”

Given my wife’s love of Earl Grey tea and the First Place Earl Grey award in the 2011 North American Tea Championship, we were very interested to taste this tea.

Technique:
8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 26 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 205*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer.

1 Tevanna teaspoon, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

This tea has a fresh Bergamot fragrance perhaps with a hint of licorice.

Dry leaf – blackish brown long leaves

Infused Leaf – Bright coppery hue

First cup:
2-min: Smooth, pleasing, balanced, med.-bodied I then steeped it an additional min.
3-min: Smooth, medium- to full-bodied with a fresh mild lemon aroma and a lemon flavor at the finish. No hint of bitterness, astringency, or tartness.
4-min: Now nearly full-bodied

Second cup: 1.5 tsp.. / 205*F / 8oz.
2-min: Smooth, full-bodied with a fresh mild lemon aroma and mild lemon tartness. No hint of bitterness or astringency.

Third cup: 1.5 tsp.. / 205*F / 8oz.
3-min.: Smooth, full-bodied with a fresh mild lemon aroma and mild lemon tartness. No hint of bitterness or astringency.

Impression: This EG is a smooth medium- to full-bodied tea with a fresh mild lemon aroma and without any bitterness or astringency. My cup was empty before I knew it. My wife enjoyed this tea but didn’t find it to be “The EG” she’s been seeking. She prefers a strong black tea base with an equally strong Bergamot aroma and flavor.

Thanks to Hovik Azadkhanian for providing this generous size free sample.

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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.

Location

Mid-Atlantic, USA

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