With Twinings’ conventional Earl Grey fresh in my mind, I decided to break out their whole leaf silky pyramid version.

On opening the packet, there’s an immediate and strong hit of bergamot. This isn’t something I’m over fond of in Earl Grey – I prefer a more subtle bergamot note. This strength remains while the tea is brewing. It’s very sharp, and not entirely pleasant, while the tea itself has a smoky note to it. Again, unexpected. It’s definetly one I’ll be drinking with milk.

To taste, this is actually more pleasant than I was expecting. The milk softens the almost overpoweringly citrussy bergamot just enough, although it’s still at the limit of what I personally enjoy. The tea aspect of the flavour is a little lost by comparison, but does impart a bitter-smokiness which adds to the complexity.

This actually turned out to be an interesting tea — a little different from all of the Earl Grey’s I’ve tried before. It’s never going to be an absolute favourite, because it’s a bit too heavy on the bergamot for me to want to drink it more than occasionally, but it’s by no means terrible.

I think I’ll be sticking to the conventional stuff for now, though. At least until I find a loose leaf blend more suited to my tastes. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, 29, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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