There seems to always be at least one tea that you keep falling in and out of love with. For me, that tea is earl grey. Earl Grey tea is generally made with a black tea base (such as Ceylon) and flavoured with oil of bergamot. My history with this tea goes back to when I was a child and first started drinking tea. The first time I ever tasted an earl grey it just tasted like fruit loops cereal to me. I didn’t exactly think that was a good thing though. There are a few earl grey teas in the past that I have tried and helped me shake off that feeling. Since then, I enjoy tasting different earl grey blends, tea bag or loose leaf, to see if that feeling returns.
The history of Earl Grey tea is a bit unclear, but the story I know begins with whom it was named after. In 1831, Richard Twining was asked by Prime Minister Charles Grey (the 2nd Earl Grey) to replicate a tea he was given by a Chinese Mandarin tea master. Richard did just that and that is how Twinings classic Earl Grey came to life. From that day forward the blend was named after the Prime Minister himself and to say thank you he gave the tea his royal signature of approval. If you have ever bought a box of Twinings Earl Grey before, you may have noticed it was signed with a letter, too.
The letter on the boxes is as follows:
“Twinings has been blending my family tea for years. Legend has it that my ancestor, the second Earl Grey, was presented with this exquisite recipe by an envoy on his return from China. He liked it so much, he asked Richard Twining to recreate it for him. Generations of my family have enjoyed Earl Grey tea and today, I am proud to continue this tradition with the tea celebrated throughout the world known as Twinings Earl Grey.”
During Hot Tea Month last month Twinings Tea added three new blends to their Earl Grey tea collection. As a tea enthusiast, I’m a firm believer in trying every tea I can at least once. When I first saw the news about the new collection, it occurred to me that, even with my earl grey tasting obsession, I don’t think I have actually tried Twinings’ Earl Grey tea before. Eager for my tasting, I steeped the three new blends from Twinings Tea and decided on my favourites. Did any of them bring back those fruit loop cereal memories? Continue reading to find out (psst.. there’s also a giveaway at the end!).
Earl Grey – Lavender
“Sit back and relax with the soothing taste of this warm, inviting tea.”
Ingredients: Black tea, Natural bergamot flavour, lavender
I was most excited to try this tea blend first. Earl grey and lavender have always, in my opinion, complimented each other well. After 3 minutes, it steeped a red liquor and provided a lovely floral aroma. This was definitely my favourite from the new Earl Grey tea blends. I would recommend this one the most and I think it’s perfect for those who enjoy a bold steep, but with a very soothing taste. It’s perfect for unwinding with a great book and no fruit loops were detected here! We’re off to a good start…
Earl Grey – Jasmine
“Delight in the smooth, uplifting taste of this jasmine scented tea.”
Ingredients: Black tea, Natural bergamot flavour, Jasmine scented green tea
I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical with this tea blend as I was worried it may be overly floral with the jasmine. But it ended up not being too floral, which was a plus for me. After 3 minutes, it started out very light, but steeped a reddish-brown liquor and I found that the addition of jasmine created a much calmer aroma and taste. In fact, it was slightly sweet as well and no fruit loops were detected with this blend either!
Earl Grey – Extra Bold
“Awaken your senses with a more intense version of this classic tea.”
Ingredients: Black tea, Natural bergamot flavour with other natural flavours
I was actually expecting this one to be my favourite out of the three. I assumed I would appreciate a bolder cup that wasn’t floral, but to my surprise, this was my least favourite of them all. After 3 minutes, it steeped a lovely ruby red colour and was quite fragrant. I may even say the aroma was a bit too harsh for my liking. It was the most robust, citrusy steep out of the three and the bergamot oil is definitely intensified in this tea blend. However, once I reached the bottom of my teacup, I decided that this tea was a bit too strong for me which brought back those fruit loop memories.
Out of the three I would definitely recommend Earl Grey Lavender and Earl Grey Jasmine. But, if you’re someone who likes Twinings’ classic Earl Grey already, then you may not be disappointed in the Extra Bold. I do appreciate that, unlike most tea bags I have tried in the past, Twinings uses natural Bergamot flavour instead of artificial. Perhaps artificial or stronger brews are what makes Earl Grey teas taste like fruit loops to me. Or maybe my taste buds are just crazy! Feel free to let me know if you have experienced something like this before with an earl grey and if you actually liked that it tasted like fruit loops, unlike myself.
Also, Twinings Tea was thoughtful to support my tea blog and sponsor this post giving one lucky reader a chance to win The Art of Earl Grey prize pack. Thank you Twinings Tea!
To enter, leave a comment below telling me which one of the three new blends you’re more interested in trying. I’ll select a winner at random on February 16, 2017 and announce it here.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATS TO WINNER Sheramy Bundrick!
The Twinings Earl Grey flavour extensions are sold in the U.S. and available for purchase online here.