I decided to do a comparison between two supermarket earl greys.
Twinings and Ahmad Special Blend.
Cost Twinings between 5.49-6.99 CAD for 100g tin.
Ahmad 6.99 454g box
Twinings The bergamot smells more of baked lemon with soft powder floral accent, bop leafs are larger and coarser than Ahmads with a light baked goods smell to leaf.
Ahmad The bergamot is slightly lighter and smells of fresh lemon rind with a floral accent(lavender and rose), and ginger, dry leaf bop ceylon blended with other black teas.
The teas both brew to the colour of maple wood.
Scent of brewed tea
Twinings bergamot(lemon foral) over slightly woody, slightly orange scented black tea smell including rind with a hint of ginger and a cinnamon like scent.
Ahmad strong scent, of malty lemony tea with deeper lemon scent with a hint of ginger, and floral notes.
Taste Twinings Tea is slightly vegetal, with slightly malty tone underneath a citrusy top note. Hint of lavender present, mixed with lemon rind taste, It brews lighter than I remember with less of a rich tea taste. This tin tastes like it is using the same base as Lady Grey.
It is thin bodied with a spicier bergamot. I like the spiciness but I wish there was more citrus. It is a light tea. Relatively smooth and relatively insensitive to steep time. It leaves a spicy floral with hint of citrus aftertaste.
Ahmad This tea has a malty undertone, with hints of red fruit mixed with orange (almost a shirley temple cocktail note), not quite as spicy on the tongue as twinings, with a hint of cooked lemon mixed with orange and rind, rose, and lavender. This tea is more tannic. The tea has more depth than twinings. I would like more spice. It benefits from a shorter steep time as it risks getting bitter and astringent. It leaves a citrus aftertaste.
Both of these teas lack either the rich sweetness of the tea base in the cjay earl grey http://steepster.com/teas/cjay-tea/36148-earl-grey or the bright citrus of the big active tea http://steepster.com/teas/big-active/35256-essence-earl-grey-superior-with-rose-petals.