Sunday, September 15, 2013

Earl Grey by EnjoyingTea vs. Earl Grey French Blue by Mariage Frères

We're one step further into the Battle of the Earl Greys today, as EnjoyingTea's Earl Grey Black Tea goes up against Mariage Frères' Earl Grey French Blue!

Earl Grey Black Tea by EnjoyingTea
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 French Blue by Mariage Frères
Teaware: 16oz glass infuser mug with lid
Measured dry: 1-1/2 teaspoons
Water Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 5 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?

  • EnjoyingTea: While it's not exactly jarring, there is a sharper note in this tea, which is just this side of bitter... not quite reaching it, but a slight jolt nonetheless. I don't remember this from the last time I made it, so a slightly shorter steep time may alleviate it.
  • Mariage Frères: This is very smooth, with a little more of a floral finish than I remembered.

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

  • EnjoyingTea: N/A - This is a straightforward Earl Grey.
  • Mariage Frères: There's a pronounced floral note, but it doesn't detract from the taste of the tea, and the Earl Grey does remain the primary flavor.

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

  • EnjoyingTea: No, this is just a nice, solid Earl Grey.
  • Mariage Frères: With this tea, the thing that comes closest to a "Wow!" factor is the brand. It is pretty cool to be sipping a cup that came to you from France.

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

  • EnjoyingTea: There is only a mild astringency to this tea, but it doesn't detract at all.
  • Mariage Frères: This tea has even less astringency, and that makes for a very smooth cup.

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

  • EnjoyingTea: None listed.
  • Mariage Frères: None listed.

Jake's Opinion: Both are solid Earl Greys, however the Mariage Frères, with its slight floral note and overall smoothness, makes it the better tea in this match up.

Lyssa's Opinion: Both of these teas make for a great cup of tea to kick off your morning, so this makes for a pretty tough call. In the end I have to rely on the criteria I set up before we even started the first round, and following it leads me to one conclusion.

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

Earl Grey French Blue by Mariage Frères

No comments:

Post a Comment