Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cream of Earl Grey (Organic) by DAVIDsTEA

Seller Description: "Lovers of Earl Grey adore this creamy alternative to the original blend. You’ll recognize the same high-quality black tea, the same citrus burst of bergamot oil, the same beautiful grey-blue petals. However this version adds a touch of vanilla, and the result is an unexpectedly rich, creamy taste experience. (MK Kosher)"
Directions: 1.5 tsp at 208°F for 3-5 minutes
Cost: $5.75/1.76oz

Teaware: 8oz cup with pinch infuser
Measured dry: 1.5 tsp
Water Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 3 minutes
Additives: 1 tsp Sugar in the Raw

I was rearranging my tea supply, and realized I hadn't tried this one yet! This is another tea that I received from Emilie in our Steepster swap. Dry, it has a somewhat sharp aroma, like a mix of coffee and dark cocoa, but that doesn't translate into the steeped tea.

Earlier, I accidentally over-steeped it for something like eight minutes and tortured my taste buds with - if you don't mind the alliteration - a bitter, bracing brew. Apparently this is not very forgiving, but if you're careful about your steep time... mmmm. 

The fresh cup is creamy and has just a little bit of a bite at the end. So far this is right up there with the Earl Grey Moonlight by Adagio - the Earl Grey flavors don't have to take up arms against overwhelming cream and vanilla. They are there, and unmistakable, but in much more of a supporting role. Given a choice between the two, I would promptly head in this direction because it's listed as organic and I believe that as a consumer you vote with your dollars.

Because I do like this and want another cup, I attempted to re-steep it. I don't usually have good luck with that, but I figured it would be worth my while to at least try. I didn't want to chance the bitter zone of my first attempt, so for the second attempt re-steep I let it go for three and a half minutes. It wasn't quite as impressive - it was less flavorful, and the cream was starting to step out around the EG flavors. I set the timer for another minute, in one last attempt to eke out more of the original flavor, but it did not noticeably change. I think this will be a single-steep tea for me in the future. 

Prominent Notes: Black tea, bergamot, vanilla, and cream
Aftertaste: Bergamot
Overall: A very tasty and well-balanced Earl Grey cream, but this not a strong enough Earl Grey on its own to move to the next round.

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