Sunday, August 4, 2013

Creamy Earl Grey by Simpson & Vail

Creamy Earl Grey by Simpson & Vail

Seller Description: "This variation of an Earl Grey blend has rapidly become a best seller! The tantalizing, heady aroma of this blend and with the smooth, creamy flavor that lingers on the taste buds combines to create a delicious sensory delight."
Directions: Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
Website: Creamy Earl Grey
Cost: $7.20/4oz

Teaware: ForLife NewLeaf 16oz infuser mug
Measured dry: 2 teaspoons
Water Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 4 minutes
Additives: 1 tbsp Sugar in the Raw

This is the last of the seven Simpson & Vail samples, and as I opened it the dry smell burst from the bag, full of cream with just a hint of black tea. I couldn't really smell the bergamot until it started steeping, but once the hot water began to do its work the citrus notes began to make themselves known. Now, during the course of this project I have tried a lot of different Earl Grey creams. Many of them have been overwhelmingly creamy - so much so that I was often hard pressed to taste any aspect of the normal Earl Grey flavor profile.

This was a pleasant surprise. It has a much better balance than many of those other Earl Grey creams, and while the black tea and bergamot flavors don't dominate they are strong enough not to fade into the background. This is very smooth, and there's no noticeable astringency, so it can be enjoyed without any of the dry mouth factor you often encounter with straight Earl Greys.

Now, when I'm at home I prefer to add cream on my own, but this is the kind of thing I'd take to work where cream and milk are unreliable. I'm also a lot less likely to re-steep there, as this one doesn't really hold up. It's a solid all-in-one for the office. That said, this is going to go on my Earl Grey cream lineup instead of moving forward in the Battle of the Earl Greys. It's just a bit more of a better fit.

Prominent Notes: Cream, light black tea & bergamot
Aftertaste: Cream and bergamot
Overall: An enjoyable cup

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