Prior to going to work, I managed to squeeze in a sipdown this morning. I had been wanting to finish the last of this for the better part of the last two days and finally got around to doing it. Normally, I like Simpson & Vail’s Earl Greys, but this one did not move me all that much. Still, it wasn’t bad.
I prepared this one using a one step Western infusion. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 212 F water for 3 minutes. I also tried longer infusions of 4 and 5 minutes at various points. They were not all that different from the 3 minute infusion, but I will still comment on them briefly.
Prior to infusion, I noticed that I did not get much of an aroma from this Earl Grey. I was just barely able to pick up on a subtle creaminess and that was about it. After infusion, I noted a mild creamy, citrusy aroma from the amber liquor. In the mouth, the cream dominates without coming off as overly artificial or out of place. Beneath the cream, I was still able to pick up soft, mild notes of toast, bergamot, and caramel. The finish emphasized a smooth creaminess without much of an intrusion from any other flavor component. Like most of the other Earl Greys from Simpson & Vail that I have tried, this was very mild and mellow. I also noted that the cream imparted a very smooth, milky texture in the mouth that was pleasant. The longer infusions were similarly smooth and creamy with a slightly pronounced toastiness.
If you have tried any of the other Earl Greys offered by Simpson & Vail, then I doubt this one will surprise you. It is a very smooth, straight-forward blend that should appeal to fans of basic, traditional takes on Earl Grey since the cream is not overpowering. I basically found this to be an inoffensive, drinkable Earl Grey. I also found it to be a tad bland. I like the other Earl Greys from Simpson & Vail that I have tried, but this one I would not go out of the way to purchase again. It isn’t bad in any way, it just isn’t really my thing.
Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Cream, Toast