Sunday, October 6, 2013

Earl Grey Organic by Mighty Leaf vs. Earl Grey by DAVIDsTEA

We've now made it to the last face/off of the first elimination round! Today, Mighty Leaf's Earl Grey Organic is going up against the Earl Grey from DAVIDsTEA!

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

Earl Grey by DAVIDsTEA
Teaware: 16oz glass infuser mug with lid
Measured dry: 2-1/2 teaspoons
Water Temperature: Boiling
Steeping Time: 4-1/2 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?

  • Mighty Leaf: There are no jarring notes, but it does have a little briskness to wake you up. 
  • DAVIDsTEA: This tea tastes similar - no jarring notes, but you can't miss the briskness either, and the bergamot does stand out.

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

  • Mighty Leaf: While this is labeled a straightforward Earl Grey (albeit organic) this has some surprising floral notes for a tea whose ingredients list only black tea and bergamot.
  • DAVIDsTEA: It's odd, this tea actually does list cornflower as one of its ingredients, but it is difficult to pick out its floral notes - the more traditional flavor profile is more distinct. To be thorough, I did go back and make sure the correct tea was in the right cup!

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

    • Mighty Leaf: I do appreciate the convenience of the biodegradable sachets, but aside from its organic certification this is just a nice, straightforward Earl Grey.
    • DAVIDsTEA: Nope - this is exactly what it says it is.

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

      • Mighty Leaf: The astringency is noticeable but mild, and doesn't make the tea any less enjoyable.
      • DAVIDsTEA: The astringency of this cup is just about on par with the Mighty Leaf. It may have just a touch less, but you have to weigh that with its increased briskness.

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

      • Mighty Leaf: This tea is certified organic, and the sachets that it comes pre-packaged in are biodegradable. 
      • DAVIDsTEA: No, and it contains "natural flavoring" it doesn't describe - always a slightly scary thing for those of us with allergies.

      Jake's Opinion: I prefer the DAVIDsTea. I approve of the stronger bergamot notes as opposed to the more floral notes of the Mighty Leaf. They're both solid cups of Earl Grey, this one just comes down to the characteristics you prefer.

      Lyssa's Opinion: These teas are pretty evenly matched, but fighting allergies as I do, I prefer the one which actually owns up to all their ingredients without me having to go on a fishing trip. I've also made it a prominent part of this project to look for more organic and sustainable teas. Now, I'm still not entirely content with the added waste of a sachet, even though it is biodegradable, but when it comes down to it, I do prefer the Mighty Leaf. I think I have to override Jake on this one.

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

      Earl Grey Organic by Mighty Leaf

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