Saturday, August 17, 2013

Earl Grey Bravo by Adagio vs. Organic Earl Grey by Tealicious

Organic Earl Grey by Tealicious vs.
Earl Grey Bravo by Adagio

Today we have the second bout of the Battle of the Earl Greys, where Adagio's Earl Grey Bravo goes head-to-head with the new Organic Earl Grey by Tealicious!


Earl Grey Bravo by Adagio
Teaware: 16oz glass infuser mug with lid
Measured dry: 2 teaspoons
Water Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 3 minutes
Additives: 4 teaspoons of raw sugar

Organic Earl Grey by Tealicious
Teaware: 16oz glass infuser mug with lid
Measured dry: 2 teaspoons
Water Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 4 minutes
Additives: 4 teaspoons of raw sugar






Now that both cups have been properly infused, let's see how they meet the criteria!


1. Does the tea taste smooth, without any jarring notes?

  • Adagio: Yes, it is a very smooth and creamy tea... with maybe a bit too much cream.
  • Tealicious: There is a slight astringency right off the bat, but nothing flavor-wise.


2. If this is a variety blend, does the Earl Grey flavor profile maintain the driver's seat?


  • Adagio: This is a cream variation, and the cream is very noticeable. Now that being said, the cream in this particular tea does have a better balance than most creams, but it still has the potential to overpower the Earl Grey flavor profile.
  • Tealicious: N/A - This is a straightforward Earl Grey


3. Is there a "Wow!" factor? Something that makes it stand out?


  • Adagio: Not really - it lives up to its promise, but doesn't exceed that. It's a good cup, and I can see us enjoying it in the mornings, but nothing about it makes me scream.
  • Tealicious: No, this doesn't have a "Wow!" factor, but it does have a slightly strange cooked cereal element to this cup that wasn't present when I did the initial review. That may be due to the fact that this was the end of the sample, and the last bit of any tea can be either extremely good or surprisingly bad. Update: Now that's strange. We were almost done with the review, but I had to come back and update it! After this had a chance to cool down and settle, the cooked flavor vanished, and the taste dramatically improved. This is much closer to what I remember of this tea from the initial review.


4. How is the astringency? Does it detract from the tea?


  • Adagio: As this tea settled, it did develop some astringency that wasn't there when it was first steeped. It is very mild, but it doesn't take away from our enjoyment of the tea.
  • Tealicious: This has been moderately astringent from the get-go, which surprised me because it was so smooth and mild during the initial review. This might have also been a factor of the small sample size and the fact that it was the end of the sample. 


5. Does it have any special ties to sustainability, Fair-Trade, or eco-friendliness?


  • Adagio: No, it does not.
  • Tealicious: This is a sample from the new fall lineup which has not yet been released. I was told it was organic, but pertinent details have not yet been released and it is not listed on their website yet.





Jake's Opinion: They're both solid Earl Greys, but the Adagio is my favorite of the two. It's much smoother and less astringent than the Tealicious, and cream, while somewhat overpowering, is not unpleasant. Update: After the Tealicious cooled and settled, the flavor improved dramatically. The burnt flavor completely vanishes and what is left is a very good Earl Grey. I'm not sure how to call it, because this one is temperamental in terms on preparation. After it settles it becomes a very good cup of Earl Grey, still moderately astringent, but it is very, very enjoyable and it doesn't have the potentially overpowering cream of the Adagio.

Lyssa's Opinion: This is tough, because I really thought the Tealicious was going to be my favorite, based on the initial review. I would feel a little more confident if I had a larger sample size, but based on how this particular cup brewed up, I think I have to go for the Adagio. It has been a lot more consistent and hasn't displayed any of the unfortunate quirks of this cup of the Tealicious. Update: Now that it has had a chance to settle, this is what I remembered. It's smoother and sweeter now that it's cooled, and because it doesn't have the cream of the Adagio, it tastes more like an Earl Grey. It's at this point that I need to remind myself about my goals for this project. I'm looking for a tea for school, and have to keep my school year habits in mind. I'm not concerned about its need to sit a little, because I'll usually let my tea sit a while and come back to it periodically. I won't be drinking it all fresh at one time. Because of that, I think I am now switching sides, the Tealicious is going to be my choice.


So, the winner of this face/off is...

Organic Earl Grey by Tealicious

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