Happy Sunday, y’all! I know it’s getting late, but now I’m finally caught up enough to do today’s Sunday Tea and Books!

The Tea

Simple Loose Leaf describes this Lady Earl Grey Black as a “very popular Earl Grey blend of citrus bergamot over an extraordinary Nilgiri Black Tea with the added indulgence of Vanilla.”

The only other vanilla Earl Grey I’ve had was David’s Tea’s Cream of Earl Grey (Organic), and I have to admit that set the bar very high for this tea. What I really liked about David’s Tea’s version was that the vanilla of the flavouring melded with the chocolate notes of the base tea, and that the bergamot was very sutble.

In contrast, this tea is a disappointment. Holy CRAP is this tea bergamot-heavy. It’s quite sharp-tasting, and the vanilla shows up much more in the scent than the taste. The taste here is mostly bergamot, and it’s so strong that it becomes almost metallic.

I’ll be honest, I couldn’t finish the full 24 oz of tea I brewed, which is how much I normally brew of a single tea at a time. I got a little over halfway through and let the remainder cool, after which I just didn’t feel like drinking the rest and dumped the remainder over some flowers in the front lawn.

I really don’t know how much of this is due to the Nilgiri base, as I know that the one time I had a Nilgiri tea, the flavour was quite dark and earthy, but hoo boy, this tea really needs to lighten up.

The Book

Eh, I’m tired (hosting a garage sale all weekend can do that to a person), so I’m going to take the extremely literal route today, and say that since this tea is called Lady Earl Grey, it reminds me of The Grey Lady from the Harry Potter series.

And why not? This tea is sharp, and when the Grey Lady shows up in Book 7 to reveal the history of Ravenclaw’s diadem, she doesn’t come off looking very sympathetic. Her own sense of superiority when others ask her about the diadem’s whereabouts plays into this acerbic, sardonic persona. There’s no softness about her, just like the vanilla doesn’t contribute any of its expected softness to the tea.

I’m tired. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. If I were in a somewhat better state of being, I would tell you all about my friend’s late cat, also named Lady Grey, who was an absolutely sweet but absolutely dumb cuddle monster — but I’ll leave that for another day.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

Where I live The Grey Lady is a ghost. She even has a webcam.

Christina / BooksandTea

A ghost with a webcam? Do tell.

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Where I live The Grey Lady is a ghost. She even has a webcam.

Christina / BooksandTea

A ghost with a webcam? Do tell.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



Updated March 2016:

I’m a writer and editor who’s fallen in love with loose-leaf tea. I’ve also set up a site for tea reviews at http://www.booksandtea.ca – an excellent excuse to keep on buying and trying new blends. There will always be more to discover!

In the meantime, since joining Steepster in January 2014, I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on my likes and dislikes

Likes: Raw/Sheng pu’erh, sobacha, fruit flavours, masala chais, jasmine, mint, citrus, ginger, Ceylons, Chinese blacks, rooibos.

Dislikes (or at least generally disinclined towards): Hibiscus, rosehip, chamomile, licorice, lavender, really vegetal green teas, shu/ripe pu’erh.

Things I generally decide on a case-by-case basis: Oolong, white teas.

Still need to do my research on: matcha

I rarely score teas anymore, but if I do, here’s the system I follow:

100-85: A winner!
84-70: Pretty good. This is a nice, everyday kind of tea.
69-60: Decent, but not up to snuff.
59-50: Not great. Better treated as an experiment.
49-0: I didn’t like this, and I’m going to avoid it in the future. Blech.


Toronto, ON, Canada



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