Saturday, February 6, 2016

Pique Tea, Earl Grey

Pique Tea Description:

Handcrafted from organic whole leaves by our Tea Master. Pique Tea Crystals are an exquisite, nutritious tea in a modern sachet. Simply open and stir with water for the perfect cup anytime, anywhere.

Sample provided by Pique Tea

My Review:
Today we will look at a different way to have your daily cuppa - tea crystals. Pique tea recently launched their new tea venture and invited The Everyday Tea Blog to try them out and pass the experience on to you. I'll start by telling you about how Pique Tea works then share my tasting.

Currently this is a monthly subscription service. At the time of this writing Pique Tea invites you to sample their tea for free. If you like them you will be entered into their service.

There are multiple plans available. In the base plan you receive enough tea for one cup a day for 12 weeks. You are in control of what tea you receive by making 6 selections from 5 teas. You can make all 6 the same or mix and match. The cost is listed as $0.69/cup.

The first packet I grab is obviously going to be the Earl Grey. So what did I think?

Admission time, I had to overcome my negative mental image of the Nestea I drank in my youth. I hate to even admit I use to drink it, and today if I am handed a glass of it in a restaurant, I ask them to bring me water. I probably shouldn't bring up my nasty past experience but I did so to admit a certain bias going in to this review.

Pique Tea uses a proprietary method of crystallizing freshly brewed tea. The tea is prepared in a controlled environment. This means your result won't be over or under steeped. It is packed in individual serving packets, so there is nothing to measure. The serving size is pre-measured for an 8 oz cup. You do have some control of the strength by using a little more or a little less water.

A big advantage for on the go drinkers is there is no bag to mess with and no leaves to dispose of afterwards. The little packets fit easily in a pocket or purse. I didn't even need a spoon. As soon as the hot water hit the crystals they completely disappeared. It doesn't get more convenient.

Convenience is nice but taste is far more important to me - I admit to lowering my standards on rare occasions when I am feeling particularly lazy. I am hoping this is a truly convenient tea and not a lazy one.

I used 205F water per directions and immediately had a hot cup of burgundy colored tea. The color is spot on. There is a faint bergamot aroma. It is on par with many of the Earl Grey's that use a lighter touch.

It tastes way more citrusy than I expected. I do like the level of bergamot I'm tasting. Not heavy handed and not hiding in the background. The main comment I want to make concerns the briskness, or clean astringency, that runs through the entire sip. Totally unexpected and very welcome. This cup has guts - not the metaphor running through my head but this site is rated G for everyone ;)

So having decided this actually tastes like tea and tea worth drinking, I got the brilliant idea (I do have them occasionally) to try this cold. I grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and another packet of Earl Grey. The bottle is 12 oz, so I'm a little concerned about the strength of the tea. Added the packet. Replaced the lid, and shook the bottle. In just a few moments I had a icy cold bottle of Earl Grey! It is still citrusy and still has that bite that I expect from my Earl. The strength seemed fine and not diluted. Life is good.

I will reserve final judgment until I sample a few more of the Pique Tea packets. For now I can say my negative mental image has already been shattered. This is a truly convenient and tasty Earl Grey. I am very curious to see how well an unflavored tea stands up to the crystallization process. Stay tuned!

You can find Earl Grey and other tea types at Pique Tea

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