Earl Grey de la Creme

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Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Dylan Oxford
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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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8 Tasting Notes View all

From Mad Hat Tea Company

Indian Black Tea, Oil of Bergamot, Vanilla Flavoring

About Mad Hat Tea Company View company

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8 Tasting Notes

185 tasting notes

Forgive the photograph of this tea (and the next like five teas I upload from Mad Hat). I am neither a skilled enough photographer, nor an experienced enough photoshopper to upload a picture that does any tea justice.

So we went and tried our local tea shop today, yay us! It was a good experience, they have a LOT of unique tea blends that they don’t reference on their website, so entering the store I think is really the way to go. The prices are reasonable, they’ll brew you a fair sized sample for $2.50, and with the exception of one minor fluke (what do you mean no one roasts green tea leaves, they only roast the sticks?), it was a very enjoyable experience.

So, the first tea why try from them is their Earl Grey de la Creme, which should be standard fare, but for some weird reason this is our first loose Grey buy since we’ve started on our whole loose leaf journey. Neither Missy nor I are exactly sure why. Oh well, rectified.

Opening the bag… wow. It is overly perfumey. Like, makes you take a step back. I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t like Grey because it’s “floral”, but have never understood it before. Totally understand it from the smell of this bag. It smells like flowers and limes, which isn’t far from bergamot, but still…

Tally forth, we brew a pot, and it is extremely good. The floral scent is gone, and it’s just back to good old bergamot for me, with maybe just a hint of sour citrus that may be lime. I know lime and bergamot aren’t terribly far from each other, but this kind of distinctly tastes like lime. Well and truly after the bergamot, but still limey. They should cross breed those two and call it a blimey. I’d buy them.

Anyway. Towards the end of the lime tang, I start to pick up just a hint of vanilla. Really not overpowering at all, just subtle enough to tag on underneath the citrus notes and hang in for a little flavor.

The black tea itself is very, very smooth. I believe it’s assam, but it doesn’t quite have that… richness that I expect from assam. Maybe a weaker assam? Does that exist? At any rate, the bag doesn’t say, and I didn’t think to ask. All in all, a very positive blend.

I’d put the price at mid-range, a little higher than some other Grey’s I’ve seen, but for $9.50 for a four ounce bag, I’m definitely not going to complain. Plus it’s supporting a local business, blah blah sustainability, blah blah closed economy. Consider that the entirety of my Keynesian Economics understanding.

As an amusing side note, each of their teas has a pencil-drawing style picture of an animal, unique to each tea, with a little quote in French. This one happened to be “Ceci n’est pas un Colobus Monkey”. This evidently hearkens to a famous surrealist painting called ’The Treachery of Images". Our daughter, much more obsessed with France than surrealist French artists, asked about it.

Uhh… bonjour? Non. Adieu!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I am very tempted to order from this company, just because of the name of the company. And… it IS in Washington, a fact which allows me to justify the purchase because it’s local and I’m supporting my state’s economy. I need someone to either tell me NO I CAN’T ORDER FROM THEM or give me another justification for my purchase so that it might push me over the edge to do just that.


laughing so hard at that being Keynesian economics, sorry hahaha.
and I just wanted an excuse to share this with more people http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk

Dylan Oxford

We’re on the second tea from them at the moment (not counting the houji-kukicha and custom-made-on-the-spot-berry-rooibos that we tried in the store itself). Everything we’ve drank so far has been very, very enjoyable.

Plus, if the matcha is any good (like we have a frame of reference!), it’s 60-70% cheaper than I’ve seen it anywhere else (which I really don’t understand). That’s part of why we walked in to begin with… if we’re going to experiment with matcha, we might as well only be out $5 instead of $20.

Dylan Oxford

That video is awesome Amanda.


LiberTEAS have you seen their website? Ordering from them may be different than standard shopping cart option. It might be some thing to consider when deciding.

Lol excellent video Amanda.


Rene Magritte is arguably my favorite artist of all time. Also, he’s Belgian, not French =]

As an interesting side note, I own two separate Mario Brothers t-shirts (originating from different sources) that are parodies of Magritte’s work.

Dylan Oxford

@Blake – in context of Mario, the pipe joke is fantastic


Oh yeah, it’s good stuff. The other shit comes from the work “Son Of Man”


What can I say, I’m a sucker for mashing pop culture with fine art (which could explain why I’m such a Banksy fan).


How has no-one said that they would ABSOLUTELY buy a BLIMEY yet?
I would.
: )

Sandy Stith

@Blake – love Magritte as well. I have a small print of The Blank Signature in my bedroom. I also saw a ton of his work in Washington, DC (National Gallery, I think) a million years ago. Spectacular.

About the tea, haven’t tried this variety of Earl Grey from Mad Hat yet, but am drinking the Earl Grey Rooibos (kangaroo) now. It’s lovely in small batches.

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40 tasting notes

So I went for a second steeping, and found it pretty flavorless. Granted, I did go pretty bold on the first steeping, so I’m really not surprised. As a result, I decided to dump some gin in and see what happens. At first I took a small glass and just mixed the two with a two to one tea to gin ratio. The tea was too flavorless and definitely still too hot. I could smell the alcohol evaporating (and I shed a tear). Also, the gin just blared through. It really didn’t even taste watered down at all. I felt like I was just drinking hot Seagrams.

As a result, I gave the rest of the tea a minute to cool while I handled some laundry, and then went ahead and dumped the rest (10-12 oz’s maybe?) over some ice. A liberal amount of honey, a splash of Rose’s Lime (because I’m too lazy to juice real limes right now), maybe 2 oz’s of gin and I got to shaking.

Not too shabby. I can actually taste the tea itself, and the Rose’s and honey seem to bring back that citrus cream flavor. I can’t taste the gin at all, which is a bit of a bummer, but because I used cheap gin, it’s not an awful thing.

This small victory has brought about a new challenge. My summer goal is to create a worthy gin and tea cocktail. So far, all I’ve found is from actual mixologists using tools and ingredients that most of us probably don’t have on hand. I want to create a tea based cocktail that the average tea loving drunk could prepare with items they most likely have on hand. It’ll start with cheap ingredients until I start to narrow down the basic idea, and eventually I’ll come up with a top shelf version using Hendricks Gin (hands down my favorite thus far) and a tea yet to be named.

(Note that this will probably never come to fruition, but it’s my next distraction)

Dylan Oxford

This tea offends me… BRING IN THE LIQUOR!

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212 tasting notes

Today I decided to do a side by side comparison of the two earl grey creme. I have tried this one before and decided to send it to work with Dylan. It was just a bit too heavy on the bergamot for me.

I liked the vanilla in it and the citrus flavors but I had to get over the perfume to get to them. I totally agree with Dylan it tastes like there is lime in here. Maybe that’s just the addition of vanilla. The tea base is pretty mellow, I had to look for it a bit. If you like a stronger bergamot creme this will do it for you.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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