My mom is turning fifty on Friday, but she had her birthday party last night. Because she is the mature woman, aging gracefully, she rented most of a pub, hired a musician, and dragged half of her friends up on stage at various times to sing or play ukelele with her. There was singing. There were thundermugs. There was the YMCA. There was a conga line while an Indian man sang ‘Guantanamera’.
I don’t drink (mostly) and I had to drive home, so I contented myself with diet Coke until I was on my way to the bathroom and spotted, beside the cupcakes that my sister had rearranged from “HAPPY BIRTHDAY THERESA” into “IT’S A TRAP”, a small tin of this tea and a hot water dispenser! Yes, at the bar, surrounded by loudly carolling drunks, I found tea!
The tin turned out to actually be a repository for a motley collection of tea bags, mostly Red Rose, some Bigelow, some Tim Horton’s. But there was one bag of the Tazo left, so I snagged it and brewed up a cup. My cousin Jo kept stealing sips until she asked, “Why does this taste weird?” “Because it’s Earl Grey.” “Ohhh!”
Okay, the tea: I don’t know what I was expecting from a black from a Tazo, since I’ve only had their herbal blends before. The first thing I noticed was that it brewed up very dark, very quickly, but wasn’t bitter when I finally snagged the bag. The flavour was mild and pleasant, certainly not the best but not the worst. There wasn’t much of an Earl flavour, more like an OP with a back-hint of bergamot. What flavour it did have had good staying power, though; I resteeped the bag three or four times through the night. As an alternative to beer it was just what I wanted, but I won’t seek it out again.