Sunday, September 29, 2013

Earl Grey Black Tea by Teavana vs. Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons


Now that I'm finally feeling better, we have some face/offs to get back to! Today Teavana's Earl Grey Black is going up against Harney & Son's Earl Grey Supreme, so settle back and enjoy the battle!


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




Earl Grey Supreme by Harney & Sons
Teaware: 16oz glass infuser mug with lid
Measured dry: 3 teaspoons
Water Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 4 minutes
Additives: 4 teaspoons 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?

  • Teavana: Yes, this is a very smooth cup with a slightly creamy finish that only adds to the silkiness the tea.
  • Harney & Sons: As you might remember from my intial review of this tea, it has taken a lot of effort to try to dial in the best cup. This is one of the better attempts, but it still has a briskness that you'd expect more from an English Breakfast than an Earl Grey. 


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

  • Teavana: As I mentioned, the vanilla adds a small amount of creaminess, but the Earl Grey definitely remains dominant. 
  • Harney & Sons: Not applicable - this is a straightforward Earl Grey blend.


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

    • Teavana: I still get a slight licorice or anise aftertaste from this tea, which I really enjoy.
    • Harney & Sons: Not really.


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

      • Teavana: Barely noticeable - this is a sweet, smooth cup.
      • Harney & Sons: Mild to moderate, but it doesn't really detract.


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

      • Teavana: Their literature and staff script make claims, but that is not backed up with documentation nor certification and remains a debate online.
      • Harney & Sons: No claims in literature or online.




      Jake's Opinion: My favorite is the Teavana. It is a smooth, sweet, enjoyable cup. While not a straightforward or traditional Earl Grey the modifications really add to the experience rather than detract from it.

      Lyssa's Opinion: Even after everything we went through trying to make the best cup of the Harney & Sons, I still can't bring myself to enjoy it. To me, it really does taste more like an English Breakfast than an Earl Grey. The Teavana, on the other hand, is sweet and smooth and has some delightful subtle notes that really raise the bar. I don't care for the company nor their policies, but I will enjoy finishing the tin we bought of this tea.


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

      Earl Grey Black Tea by Teavana

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