Earl Grey

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Bergamot, Ceylon Black Tea
Flavors
Bergamot, Citrus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Malt
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
High
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Mastress Alita
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 3 g 11 oz / 339 ml

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From T2

Earl Grey is a Sri Lankan black tea combined with the citrus delights of bergamot, generating an elegant and balanced full flavoured cup. An afternoon tea essential.

Ingredients: Ceylon black tea, natural bergamot flavor

Brewing Guide: 1 tsp per cup, 2-3 min, 100C (212F)

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9 Tasting Notes

62
338 tasting notes

T2’s Earl Grey has to be the boldest Earl Grey I’ve tried. It’s very malty, and the bergamot flavour is very potent. The latter part is good because I love bergamot! Earl Grey is normally my afternoon tea (cos the delicate and elegant bouquet of bergamot always remind me of Victorian ladies!), but T2’s is too heady for peaceful, relaxing tea time. Will make a good breakfast tea though!

Winter Salo

I also find this way too overloaded – like you earl grey is an afternoon tea for me and for the exact same reason! And this never works as an afternoon tea for me so it’s a bit of a let down.

Devilish

Haha it’s funny to know that you think earl grey is an afternoon tea for the same reason!!! What would be your choice of afternoon tea from T2? :) I don’t have much experience with T2’s range but I think Arctic Fire is pretty nice.

Winter Salo

I know it’s nice to share my tea-taste with someone I’m pretty out of sync with everyone I know every time I offer tea they all reach for something else.

Afternoon tea? Without even blinking I have to say White Rose – accompanied by cucumber sandwiches and macaroons hee hee. It’s such a dainty tea it’s crisp and refreshing and very, very light allowing you to enjoy whatever afternoon treat you’re having.

But if I wanted an afternoon tea in place of an afternoon treat I’d have to say Choc Chip Chai with warm milk and a dollop of honey – it has enough black tea bang to pick up you up and is literally like drinking a chocolate chip cookie.

If I wanted a black tea to pick me up and be sweet – without the effort of making chai then T2’s Citrus Sensation is the winner.

Yeah I’m not very helpful I could go on all day ;( …. I’ve never tried Arctic Fire but you made it sound very nice. :)

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73
35 tasting notes

Twinings, you’ve broken my heart. After fifteen years of love and dedication, I can’t help but feel that there is some sort of je ne sais pas pourquoi . . . a distance growing between us. Where once every brewing pot was a joie de vivre, the thrill has gone and the experience is flat and uninspiring.

Take Earl Grey for instance. This was my Grandma’s tea of choice for everyday drinking; my Granddad was an anachronism – born a Scot but a Slav to the core, he preferred his Russian Caravans and his Lapsang Souchongs, brewed strong and black. It had to be loose leaf teaf and her preferred brand was Twinings and God help you if you served the tea in a mug or with milk. And so, over time, Twinings Earl Grey had also become one of my favourite blends. In fact, much as I enjoyed Russian Caravan, Prince of Wales and Ceylon Orange Pekoe, Earl Grey was my absolute favourite above all else and consumed throughout the day whereas the other blends were restricted to certain periods of the day.

If there was one thing that my ever so English Grandma despised – well, alongside the Scots despite marrying one, and the Irish despite having an Irish daughter-in-law and two Irish grandchildren (myself included – it was milk in Earl Grey. I actually enjoyed a splash of milk – it tempered the bergamot and I rarely drank tea black until the last year or so.

And therein lies the rub.

Milk and sugar tempers the tea, it eases the astringency and the tannins and harmonises the various flavours and tones much like salt does in food; and like salt, milk and sugar can also hides a multitude of sins – poor quality tea and ingredients, artifical or chemical tasting flavours and overpowering fragrances. Many teas which I use to enjoy with milk, I have found just not particularly enjoyable without. I can forgive blends like English and Irish breakfast, CTC blends or some of the Assam teas which are designed to be consumed with milk but I can’t turn a blind eye to a relatively expensive – although by no means a luxury or premium – brand that markets a tea designed to be consumed black.

There has been a lot of talk in the last couple of years of Twinings changing their Earl Grey blend in the UK and allegedly reformulating to a lesser extent their blend in other markets. There has also been mention of a gradual decline in Twinings products in the last ten years or so. I don’t know if this is necessarily true and perhaps my tastes have changed along with the way I consumed tea, but I now find the Twinings blend to be dull and flat. I love citrus fruits and the essential oils, whether it be eating the flesh of a blood orange, or a few drops of lemon or lime juice on food or in tea, the zest in salads and sweets, or the essential oils massaged into my skin on a summer’s day. Nothing seems to distill the essence of spring and summer like the fragrance of lemons. The scent is immediately uplifting and vivifying, so it seems wrong that a tea with the scent of the bergamot orange should be flat.

So I have started looking around for the perfect Earl Grey and will probably edit this post when I do a side by side comparison with three or four Earl Greys. Ideally, I would be looking for a strong bergamot which is pleasingly bitter and brisk, with an equally good strong tea base.

First on the list is the T2 Earl Grey. The very helpful lady in the Parramatta store gave me a whiff of the various Earl Greys available and suggested their standard EG blend. I tried a cup last night and I wasn’t overly impressed by it but I am sitting down now with another cup for review.

A few people had recommended a shorter brewing time with more water, so I steeped two teaspoons in 500ml of water rather than my usual 400ml. After three minutes, I took a few mouthfuls and while the bergamot was pretty close to perfect, the tea was so weak that I was essentially drinking bergamot oil in hot water, so I steeped for an additional minute.

The fragrance is beautifully strong which is just how I think it should be. Some people have commented that it is overwhelming, but this is down to individual taste and I love bergamot as noted above. The tea is serviceable, but the bergamot is the dominant taste – piquant and zesty, with gingery and slightly peppery tones, slightly bitter but an enjoyable, palatable bitterness. The colour is a strong, dark amber and the aroma is almost indentical to the taste.

I can’t say I enjoy the tea base, as this really needs to be full-bodied to stand up to and complement the bergamot. This tea base is mild with no real identity, which is all well and good if the bergamot was not as strong. I believe a strong bergamot really needs an equally strong tea base like a Ceylon Pettiagalla, but not as strong as, say, an Assam or a slightly smoked Chinese tea.

I will try my next cup with less water and brewed for three minutes and see if that makes a difference.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60
6 tasting notes

Well I must be a glutton for punishment.

I braced myself again for this tea expecting more of the same. To avoid this I did two things asked them to give me the tea bag so the water could cool more and allowed the tea to steep more.

What did this acheive? Well not much. Aside from the paper cup, the tea can’t help that, and the overly malted base there’s very little to the tea. It tastes smokey and burnt and the burgomot is this time nigh on overpowering the rest of tea. To me it’s in one word, “unbalenced”. Too much citrus and malt, and too little fruit and spice that dots the palate as you drink. And yet as it cools it’s evolving, rounding like a wine with age, dare I say balanced.

Maybe the tea is tempramental and requires some coaxing to pull it out. Maybe, but it’s got one more chance.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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87
17 tasting notes

Great aroma and flavor, very nice tea experience

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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70
26 tasting notes
I don’t think I’m giving this one a fair go – this tea comes from a presentation caddy I received more than 5 years ago. Due to the protestant “waste not, want not” ethic drummed into me by my late grandmother, I simply CANNOT throw out the remnants of a box of high end tea! It caused real angst to throw out even some generic green teabags that I discovered lurking at the back of my tea cupboard.

Sidebar – Yes, I have a tea (& coffee) cupboard, which has overflowing embarrassingly to boxes in my spare room! That is because the other trait I inherited from said grandmother is buying “stuff” for a rainy day, especially when there is an offer going. These two qualities mean that I am a pack-rat of the highest order, something that my beloved hubby has endured without complaint (or rather, only the occasional comment) since we met…
But I digress – so I have a moral imperative to wade through any tea, only disposing of it if has become completely undrinkable. So here I am, trying out the teas from my lovely presentation tin (T2 Sixteen Classics – sadly, discontinued) & while some teas have weathered the distance, others have become tainted by the other flavours, or lost their potency. I suspect this has suffered a bit of both.
I’m also a bit wary of Earl Grey after a fanatic flatmate tainted everything in our cupboard with the smell of her Earl Grey stash! And that included the food. I spent months eating bergamot scented EVERYTHING. Blech!
Much time has passed, & because I am getting back into tea again & Earl Grey is rightly a classic, I decided to get reaqcuainted…
First off – that hit of bergamot aroma was missing when I opened the tin. Not a good sign…
I brewed for 2 mins & the tea started looking suspiciously dark so I added my obligatory dash of milk (I really struggle with drinking tea black) & cautiously took my first sip.
Hmmm – a faint bergamot scent, along with a pretty robust but uninspiring black tea taste.
If it was new I would have given it no more than 50/100, but I have given it the benefit of the doubt and upped it by 20.
Sigh. This means I’ll have to obtain another sampler in order to give it a fair go…

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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80
621 tasting notes

Sampler Sipdown September! I’ve been trying to sipdown all my EG samplers, and sure enough, there was an EG in the T2 sampler horde. I believe there was also one for their French Earl Grey, but since I already had that tea, I believe I simply dumped that one into my larger stash of that tea. T2’s French Earl Grey was actually the first Earl Grey tea I ever tried, and was my “stepping stone” into acclimating my palate to bergamot, since I had read on a tea blog that it’s fruity notes made it a “good Earl Grey for people that don’t like Earl Grey” (and at the time, I loathed Earl Grey). I have a review of that one already on Steepster, and continue to dip into it from time to time. Come to think of it, I’m probably not that far off of sipping down the original 100g of that tea now, too…

Took a thermos of this to work. I actually found this one to taste very similar to Lupicia’s Rooibos Earl Grey, just in terms of the flavor and intensity of the bergamot — that is, the bergamot was a very nice taste and not sour or overwhelming. It had that sort of slight grapefruit/lemony taste and I found it more pleasant than I’ve found bergamot in other Earl Grey blends. Of course, I enjoyed this more than the Rooibos Earl Grey just because being on a black base gave the bergamot a stronger foundation, and the black tea was nice, not bitter or astringent like many Earl Grey blends tend to be. This was actually an Earl Grey I found myself easily able to drink without having to add milk, because it didn’t have that bitter/sour/astringent quality many have. It still isn’t my favorite plain EG I’ve ever had (that would still be Steven Smith Teamaker’s because I loved the black currant notes I found in that blend) but I would rank this one my second favorite as far as plain EG’s I’ve tried. But I do still prefer EG blends more than plain EGs, so I’d take T2’s French Earl Grey, that has that slight lychee note paired with the bergamot and that subtle floral flavor to this one between their EG offerings.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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59
69 tasting notes

As I mentioned in my last post, I tend to despise Earl Grey. The bergamot is always just too harsh for me to enjoy, despite my best efforts.

When I got to this packet in my T2 sampler today, I almost skipped over it in favor of the more appealing “Creme Brulee”. However, I began to think it through and quickly realized that if I put it off till Monday, when spirits are typically much lower than a happy Friday morning (and I was in a particularly good mood for some reason this morning) then I will continue to delay trying it, and still never be excited about it.

I bit the bullet and steeped up a cup. To my chagrin, I didn’t hate it, but I can say it was among the least favorites of the group so far (looking, at you Ginger Spice). The bergamot wasn’t as bold and off-putting as it is in most blends, which makes it much easier to drink.

Don’t take my decision to NOT recommend this tea to heart. If you’re cool with Earl Grey, you’ll most likely enjoy this light blend.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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100
3 tasting notes

Wonderful example of an Earl Grey. Traditionally an Earl Grey is a tea which is flavoured with Bergamot essence, extracted from the Bergamot orange. I find most Earl Grey’s to be flat and uninspired, whilst T2’s version is rich with refreshing and uplifting Bergamot scents and taste which trumps its competitors. If you like real Earl Grey, and not the piddly stuff with extras added to it, this is your brew. Recommend a shorter brewing time so that the Bergamot does not become overpowering.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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