In lieu of a review, a letter to President’s Choice:
To President’s Choice
I have been drinking your Presidents Choice Earl Grey Tea for at least 7 years now. I have recommended this tea to friends and family as the best choice for earl grey in bagged form (with the exception of Stash, which has a much higher price point). I have a cup of tea every day, and have primarily used this tea as my daily cup for those 7 years.
About 4 – 5 years ago I standardised my tea process so that my partner could also make us tea in the morning. I have one specific pot used for tea. Over the years it has developed a line where one fills up with water before adding tea bags, sugar, cardamom and boiling it. I also use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup to make a tea for myself in the microwave. Usually 1 and 1/3 cup of water to one tea bag was the rule.
I noticed about 3 years ago that I had to use 3 tea bags instead of 2 in the pot, to get the same strength that I was accustomed. And my single bag tea in the Pyrex was much weaker.
At the same time I had taken a trip to England and acquired boxes of the Sainsbury’s Earl Grey tea and the British Twining’s Earl Grey Tea (the Twinings brand sold in Canada does not even deserve to be called tea, at best it makes a slightly coloured water). I noted that 2 bags from either of these British brands made a slightly more full flavoured tea than my PC brand, however when using 3 bags it was comparable. Comparing at a single bag in the Pyrex, there as a discernable difference, in that the PC was not as full bodied.
However, I still used the PC brand as my daily cup, treating myself to the British Sainsbury’s or British Twinings on weekends, or if I really needed a stronger cup of tea.
I noticed over the Fall of 2011, that I was now having to use 4 bags in the pot to make a decent strength of tea, and for the Pyrex I had switched to 1 a 2/3 cups of water with 2 tea bags (This gives me more than my single cup/travel mug, but it wasn’t a huge issue). However, my consumption of your 50 tea bag PC Ear Grey boxes is quite noticeable. I have to replenish the tea for more often and I am beginning to wonder it the Stash at a higher price point is a better choice, as I would be using less tea bags.
The stark difference in your PC earl grey tea, over the last 4 years, was really brought to light, when my Mother returned form a trip to England in January and brought me bad a box or Sainsbury’s Earl Grey Tea. The difference is remarkable. I still only need 2 tea bags of the Sainsbury’s tea compared to 4 tea bags of the PC tea in my pot. This morning I made a single serving of tea to take to work in my travel mug and I just could not being myself to use 2 PC tea bags. I used a single Sainsbury’s Earl Grey Tea bag in 1 and 1/3 cups of water. The result is a flavourful and full bodied tea that I would have to use 2 tea bags of PC to get even close to.
So: What has happened to the PC Earl Grey Tea? Why has there been such a marked decline over the years. I am sad to say that I am very disappointed. I cannot in good faith recommend the Earl Grey tea to my friends, and I fear that I am going to have to look for another brand of tea for my daily cup.
I am considered a connoisseur of Black and Orange Pekoe teas, and am often asked for advice on tea. Over the years a very many people have found out that my daily cup of tea is the PC Earl Grey with a pinch of cardamom. This has been a universal recommendation for PC brand teas over any other Bagged tea (with the exception of Stash, along with a warning on the higher price point).
I have had a very good relationship with your tea. It starts of my morning right, and can pick me up in the afternoon when I feel the need. My cup of early grey and cardamom is quite honestly the best part of my day. It has even become ritualised, in that my loved ones know that Love = A cup of Tea. There is nothing more precious to me than being handed a cup of earl grey and cardamom in the morning. I have had a lot of health issues over the last two years, and mornings are not pleasant for me. The only redeeming part of the morning is to have my tea.
Therefore, you can understand why I am so very disappointed with PC right now.
I would like to know what has happened over the last 4 years?
Are you planning to raise your quality to what it once was, or will you be continuing with your present course (you would lose me as a customer and a champion)?
Why isn’t the PC Earl Grey Tea listed as a PC product on your website (Also missing is your English Breakfast Tea, which by the way is still quite good)?
This letter will also be posted to my steepster.com account.