244 Tasting Notes
Earl Grey No. 69 by Tea Gschwendner
“This is one of the worst Earl Grey’s i’ve come across. It has an overpowering bitter, chemical flavor.” That’s how I started this review, then I thought, “Earl Grey Bravo (Adagio) had the same issue the first time I tried it. Maybe I should brew it [No. 69] super short like I do EGB now.” So I did. Starting over…
This is not one of my favorite Earl Greys. It has a strong tea base with an overlying chemical flavor. In other words, brewing it shorter gave me less of a bad thing; which is not saying more of a good thing. Over all, I’d rather drink hot water.
[Edit 1/27] Gave away the remainder to another tea loving friend…they gave it back!
I’ve taken to brewing this tea in Gong Fu style, using a very hot water and leaving the leaves in contact with the water only for 15-30 seconds. This method keeps the tea from becoming seriously over brewed and bitter, which happens VERY FAST with this tea. Latest batch is a bit light on the bergamot.
This is a nice, smooth Oolong from someplace. A friend at work brought this back from his visit home to Taiwan. Its all in Chinese, except for a single reference to www.gfbz.com, so thats how I filed it. That may just be the company that did the packaging…but the packaging actually merits comment. There are a dozen or so individual servings in the metal can, which is a “pop top/pull ring” sealed can. Each serving is vacumn packed in a pasticized paper bag. It seems to work well, the leaves smelled very fresh and vegetable when the serving package was opened
The leaves are compactly rolled, but unfurl to full sized leaves (torn edges) and soft stems and leaf buds when steeped. The brew is a pale yellow with a hint of rust when brewed in a clear glass carafe.
Taste is smooth, no bitterness. Not to much green leafy vegetable
Finished the last two pearls. I’ve found 2 pearls, 4 minutes, boiling water makes a good 16oz mug for me. 3 pearls and a bit shorter time if I want to have a resteep available. Woody and bold come to mind as descriptions. Still has a slight burnt/hardwood smoke edge to it. It adds a bit of complexity.
This is the first of several teas I have finished off in the last week. I mention that because it was that good…it went first. This being a Nepal tea, I don’t know where it fits in the spectrum of India teas vs China teas. Based purely on taste and probably incorrect sterotypes of tea regions, I’d say its more of a Chinese tea…. Regardless, its lightness in body and flavor makes it a good sipping tea; the kind I like when I need something to occupy my hands and not my brain. Book reading tea.