Sample package label:
“Earl Grey Creme
Black tea, bergamot orange oil, cream flavor”

Per http://www.dellaterrateas.com/earl-grey-creme/:
“Product Description
If you love Earl Grey you will adore our Earl Grey Creme. It has the classic Earl Grey flavoring matched with a delicious creme.”

“Ingredients: Black tea, bergamot orange oil, cream flavor”

“Allergens: contains dairy. For more allergy info visit our FAQ

“Suggested brewing tips:
Serving Size: 1 level tsp. /6 to 8oz serving
Water Temp: 210°
Steep Time: 2-3 minutes”

Technique:
6-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 28 ppm, heated to 212*F and allowed to cool to 210*F – verified with DAVIDsTEA digital thermometer.

1 level Tevanna teaspoon, without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Dry leaf: Dark brown with blue cornflower petals and some straw-colored petals

Fragrance: This tea has an Earl Grey and cream-like fragrance plus an additional unidentified fragrance. It smells similar to anise.

Liquor: Somewhat clear amber-brown hue

3-min Infusion: The mild aroma follows the fragrance. The initial taste follows the unidentified fragrance & aroma. Mid sip one tastes the base tea. The end of the sip reveals the not very creamy crème flavoring. The bergamot orange oil is overshadowed and hard to recognize. There was also an unpleasant aftertaste left in my mouth that persisted quite a while. Neither my wife or I finished our cups of this tea.

Impression: The fragrance, aroma, and flavor make me wonder if some artificial flavorings were included. Perhaps this sample came from a sub-optimal batch of this tea? If I were to rate this EGC on the merits of this one sample, I would say that there are other better tasting Earl Grey Cream teas available. However, the question that remains, is this sample truly representative of Della Terra’s Earl Grey Crème?

Suggestion: A quick review of http://steepster.com/teas/della-terra-teas/29162-earl-grey-creme shows a wide range of Tasting Notes scores from 90 to 60 points even among very experienced Steepster reviewers. These results suggest both near-optimal and sub-optimal batches. Thus, I’d suggest a thorough review of the quality control processes for both ingredient selection and the blending process.

Thanks to David Worgul of Della Terra Tea for providing this free sample.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

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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