Sunday, May 19, 2013

Earl Grey Black by Teavana

Seller Description: "Famously highbrow and high grown, our Earl Grey is top of the tier when it comes to this timeless classic. A tip of the hat is ensured with the haughty aromatic bergamot that adds amazing refined tart orange to this dark full leaf with prized tiny silver tips, giving this extraordinarily rich black tea its refreshing iconic taste. Smooth infusion with bergamot overtones and a creamy vanilla finish."
Cost: $3.80/2oz

Teaware: 16-ounce capacity hand-thrown mug
Measured dry: 1tsp
Water Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 4 minutes
Additives: 1-1/2tbsp Sugar in the Raw, dash milk

My first tea of the quest! As I sip this, I close my eyes and travel back to my semester in London. I’m back in my homestay, with two young boys tearing around a kitchen in Harrow while their mother bakes toast in the oven and yells at them. While it may sound like a trope, that truly was my introduction to morning tea. I’d had Lemon Zinger before, and the random herbal, but coffee was always the way of the morning in my parents’ household.
I’ve been living on teabags for too long, and going back to loose leaf is a wonderful experience. Reading the other reviews on Steepster, I know this isn’t a huge favorite but my palate is adjusting to the change, and right now I find this soothing and just plain wonderful.
My husband had to leave early, so instead of breaking out the teapot and tiny cups we went for the big pottery mugs – all the better to caffeinate you, m’ dear! I used about 1tsp tea with 1-1/2 tablespoons Sugar in the Raw and a dash of milk.
Sipping it now, I am surprised at the licorice aftertaste. It’s not something I remember, so I’m left wondering if it’s unique to this tea. Other than that small outlier, it’s a wonderfully smooth cup that lets me slide fully into consciousness and prepare to face the day.

Prominent Notes: Bergamot
Aftertaste: Licorice
Overall: A solid contender for the top tier!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Battle of the Earl Greys

Every summer I try to assign myself a project. Sometimes it's a series of smaller tasks and other times it's a single focus. This summer is going to be a bit of a combination - some writing, some scrapbooking, some sewing, and, of course, a quest for the perfect Earl Grey for me.

Now you'll notice that I didn't just say "The Best Earl Grey." I don't think there is such a thing. If you watch this video from TEDTalks, you'll see what I mean. I'm simply looking for the tea that best fits my own as yet undefined criteria.

There's a LOT of EG out there, so initially I'm going to just be working to eliminate the teas that I don't think will be solid contenders. I want to get it down to something nice and round, like 10, so I can treat it like a sports game and create an actual bracket. I'll post it when we get to that point, and you can play along if you like!

Update: I used this information to create a separate page which will be updated. Please visit the revised information either by following this link or selecting "The Battle of the Earl Greys" in the toolbar above.