44 Tasting Notes

I was ordering their Sample of All Teas, and asked for a sample of their Earl Grey Black Tea. Instead of sending the 3 grams I asked for, they sent me a whole package of 100 grams of tea. Incredibly generous of them.

I am very grateful.

However, the tea was not as good as their customer service. I wish it was.

Although Golden Tips Tea Co. said they used natural bergamot oil in their EG, the bergamot flavor smelled and tasted a bit artificial and overpowering, not exactly pleasant nor elegant. The Darjeeling tea base tasted astringent but not very flavorful.

Conclusion: I have had better Earl Grey tea with Darjeeling base than this one.

Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Bergamot

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

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I dropped the lid on my stone tile kitchen floor this afternoon.
The lid was intact, no chip no scratch, still good as new!

I so wish I had more room in my cupboard for the bigger 1L teapot :(

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I really wanted to like this tea, because I love all other teas that I have bought from Punjana (Thompson’s). Sadly, I can’t say I like this one at all.

First steep: The floral and vanilla notes were overpowering. I couldn’t smell the tea at all, neither hot nor cold. I could only smell the artificial vanilla fragrance. When I tasted it, the sweetness of orange and vanilla came first, then came a bitter note from the green tea.

Second steep: The vanilla note was not as strong as in the first steep, but still there. The floral note was still overpowering. The bitter taste was absent from the second steep, however any “tea” taste was absent as well. And I have lost interest in making a third steep now…

Flavors: Artificial, Floral

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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I think I have finally figured out what that unusual flavor in EIC’s Earl Grey was.

In almost every Chinese book about tea and all Chinese descriptions for Earl Grey teas, they had always printed bergamot as “佛手柑”. However, according to Wikipedia, “佛手柑” is a totally different speci from bergamot. “佛手柑” is actually citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, Buddha’s hand, or the fingered citron. The Chinese name for bergamot should be “香檸檬” or “香柑”, according to Wikipedia.

What I was trying to say was, that unusual flavor I found in EIC’s Earl Grey tasted exactly like Buddha’s hand or the fingered citron, which I dislike.

This morning after I finished my wonderful cuppa builder’s made from Punjana’s Original blend, I made a cup of EIC EG. After 2 sips I had to pour it out. And I only ever did it to Ridgways’ EG.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

That is an interesting discovery!

Louise Li

The Chinese translation for bergamot "香檸檬” / “香柑” actually read as “fragrant lemon” or “fragrant tangerine” in Chinese.
Comparing to “佛手柑”=“Buddha’s hand”, “fragrant lemon” / “fragrant tangerine” seems unsophisticated and ordinary.

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This is a wonderful teapot.
It costed me only HK$60 (roughly US$7.7 or £5).

I wanted a brown betty, but ordering a small one from UK will cost me £25 (HK$320).

One day while I was looking for cups for the shop at a tableware supplier, I found this nice little teapot. It’s made from good heavy porcelain and it’s very very reasonably priced.

I like it a lot. Now I am considering buying another one but bigger.

I highly recommend their products, not sure about the price point of this brand in UK or USA though.

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2 grams of Sir Thomas Lipton Earl Grey from Lipton, plus
1 gram of Origins Darjeeling Tea from Twinings

I have these two big tins of teas which I don’t like. I don’t find them any good, neither black nor for builder’s brew. But I don’t want to forget about them and leave them to waste. So I thought, why not blend them together and see how it comes out?

Glad that I experimented. The result was surprisingly nice. Not that they tasted wonderful together, but at least I didn’t have the urge to make a “meh” face like I did with them individually.

The bergamot flavor from the Lipton EG was still there, it was light and quiet, in the background. The Ceylon from Lipton and Darjeeling from Twinings blended together they produced this interesting sweetness that was quite pleasant. And then their astringent taste… how should I explaine… It was like, when tasting these two teas individually separately, they broadcasted their loneliness by producing astringent taste. Now that I married them two, they broadcasted their happiness by producing a sweet taste.

Oh geez, sorry I sound like a 5 yr old… I will just shut up and go drink more tea now.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

LOL… that is an interesting way to phrase the blending. :) I have a canister of teas I’m not wild about (all unflavored blacks so nothing is going to overpower anything else) and I use the to cold steep overnight in the fridge for iced tea. Franken-tea. :)

Louise Li

So you put every unflavored black teas that you don’t like in the same tin? And then make cold brew tea from the blend?
I always worry the liquid while cold brewing will also absorb weird smell in the fridge.


Yes. I put it in a pitcher and cover it tightly. So no weird smells get in the tea.

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Unbeknown to me, I had similar teas when I was a little kid. I remembered hating it. I grew up in and still live in Hong Kong. All the Chinese / Cantonese restaurants here would serve their customers teas in grandpa style. Now I that start exploring black teas, I just figure out some upscale restaurants serve high grade Keemun tea.

This is one of the promotional discounted teas I ordered from Teavivre.

Brew guide provided by Teavivre: 1 tablespoon for 17oz of water at 90’c (194’f) for 2 to 5 minutes

Since I didn’t want a big pot of brewed tea sitting around for hours, I only made a small cup.

This tea was very smoky. At first sniff, I smelt roasted chestnut. Then I got tastes of lightly roasting dried seaweed and tobacco. No wonder my little kid self hated it. This tea just took me back to my childhood. Now as an almost grown up, I can appreciate its strong characters.

I found the first steep too smoky for my taste. To me, the aftertaste was like I just finished smoking a cigarette. My colleague loved it though.

I preferred the second steep.

Flavors: Astringent, Chestnut, Seaweed, Smoke, Tobacco

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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I had this tea again today after work.
Maybe I was better prepared for it, or maybe I did prefer a light tea for early evening.

This tea was pretty much the same, with an elegant bergamot flavor and a light black tea base.

As I am more familiar with vocabularies for coffee tasting, I would describe this tea as light bodied, with good clarity and a very very slight sweetness of sugar cane.

I would not recommend pairing this EG tea with any kind of food. The tea will be lost in stronger flavors.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

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Business usually slows down for an hour or 2 at the shop after the office working crowd got their morning coffee. Which means I have time to make coffee and tea for myself.

Today I made a pot of this tea again. It tasted as beautiful as the first time I had it.
Sweet and malty, with a good rich body, and with this slight tang from a good Ceylon to wake up my palate.

I may re-purchase after I finish this tin :)

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

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I didn’t dislike this tea, but I was quite confused by it.

Looking at the ingredients, I thought I would get an Earl Grey with a strong tea base. However, the result tasted very light. I would almost call it weak.

The bergamot flavor was very refreshing and elegant. But the black tea base tasted so light, some of my other Earl Grey teas could produce a stronger second steep than this one.

It was almost like the bergamot was the star of this EG blend, and the black teas were the supporting role. It was almost like, they designed this blend for bergamot fanatics and put in this light tea base as an excuse, so that the bergamot fanatics could claim they were drinking tea instead of bergamot flavored water.

With all that being said, the bergamot flavor was not at all overpowering. And I did’t hate this EG tea. I just wasn’t expecting the way it behaved. I may like it better for early evenings.

I would recommend this if you like a light EG tea.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 240 ML

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Working as a barista. I take my coffee black.
A complete novice in tea.

The world of tea is literally a rabbit-hole.
My boss wanted to put some nice teas on the menu for customers who look for alternatives to coffee, and he asked me to source teas for his coffee shop.
There, I jumped through the rabbit-hole.
I am not sure if I should thank or curse my boss.

I only recently starting to appreciate English black tea.
Particularly enjoy Earl Grey tea, both plain black and with milk.


Hong Kong

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