Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Paisley Tea Co, Organic Double Earl Grey

It’s the 4th of July and that seems like an appropriate time to review an English style tea. Hopefully it doesn’t end with anyone throwing tea in the harbor.

I was recently contacted by two leaves and a bud and offered the opportunity to review their new line of tea – Paisley Tea Co. According to the two leaves press release the goal in creating Paisley tea is “to offer premium quality tea that isn’t often seen in the world of affordable everyday tea.” Here at the Everyday Tea Blog, I do on occasion get to test some pretty high dollar teas but the real inspiration and motivation for my writing is to point out the best in everyday affordable tea. If Paisley lives up to its press release, this will be a perfect match up. So let’s get started.

The box is simple but attractive. The contents are 24 English style tea bags (no strings or tags). Most boxes of tea in my experience have 20 bags, so you are getting 20% more bags here. Each bag contains 10% more tea, @ 2.2g, than most American tea bags, @ 2g. Paisley tea is certified organic and fair trade. It also says it is gluten-free, vegan, and Kosher. 

I do have one complaint with the packaging. Inside the box is a sealed bag containing the tea bags. The bag has a paisley print on it, which looks cool, but once opened it can’t be resealed. While I prefer Twinings individually wrapped bags, I understand that is a bit wasteful (though it keeps the bags fresh for years). Lipton at the other extreme makes no attempt at protecting the freshness once the outer wrap is removed, so this is leaps and bounds above that packaging. I guess my desire would be to see this with a resealable zip lock type bag similar to the Prince of Peace tea I have used in the past.

I used one bag in my cup and poured fresh boiling water over it. The cup turned dark quickly. I let it steep for 3 minutes. There are no brewing instructions on the box, but I am not certain how important that is as most bag drinkers have their own set method of preparing their cup of black tea. 

This makes a bold cup of strong tea. It’s basic and good. It is not bitter. It does have some astringency to it, meaning it has bite (a good thing) and it gives you a bit of a dry mouth feel. This is typical of most English style teas and is why many people add a splash of milk to their cup. I did not find that necessary.

Ok, this is Earl Grey so lets get to the important stuff – the bergamot! This is labeled as Double Earl Grey, which made a little nervous. Double means different things to different people. I was concerned this was going to be an in your face overdone cup. Let me assure you, that is not the case here. The taste of the bergamot and the tea base are pretty evenly blended. That is actually kind of rare. For comparison purposes - Harney and Sons Earl Grey Supreme, is very light on the bergamot, as it is mostly about the taste of the base tea (it’s also expensive compared to this tea). Twinings Earl Grey is bright and citrusy with the tea taste less prominant. If you find Twinings to be a bit too much of a good thing but you don’t want to have to analyze the cup too realize it is an Earl Grey, then Paisley Earl Gey is a good fit for you.

I found this on Amazon and the price was very reasonable. Two leaves know what they are doing and I wish them well with this affordable Everyday Tea.

Visit the Organic Double Earl Grey webpage.