Sunday, August 31, 2014

Good Life Tea, Cream Of Earl Grey

Empty Sample Bag
Good Life Tea Description:
A twist on the English classic with the addition of "creamy" vanilla.  There is no cream in this tea, but you certainly can add it. Totally delicious.

Sample provided by Good Life Tea.

My Review:
Good Life Tea offered to send 3 samples to 14 people one Steepster who would agree to review their teas. Hey, that's what I do. Looking over their website I found this on the About Us page:
All our web orders will include 3 free samples of tea.  We want you to experience a new tea with every order.  If you are ordering up to 8 ounces of tea only, we can keep your shipping costs low by using US Postal Service 1st Class shipping. Please allow up to 7 days transit time. This option is a low $2.89.
The samples arrived in an envelope with each in its own resealable clear plastic bag. The top of the bag is folded over and fastened to the back with a small label with clear brewing instructions. Once opened the pleasant smell of vanilla and bergamot drift out of the bag.

Dry Leaf
Removing the leaf it shows some signs of abuse by the postal system. Bubble wrap mailers would have prevented this and I feel confident actual orders are better packaged. The uncrushed portion of the sample appears to be orthodox machine processed leaf. This is typical of most flavored black teas. It also has blue safflower petals which are always pretty in a blend.

I prepared this in my Bodum press. I used the entire sample steeped in boiling water for 4 minutes. The recommended steep time is 3 to 7 minutes. I couldn't bring myself to go the full 7 minutes for fear of stomach burn. At 4 minutes, the result is an orange liquor with a pleasant Creamy Earl Grey fragrance.

A Mug Of Cream Of Earl Grey
The sip is quite smooth. It is slightly drying. I am so used to my normal Earl Grey of choice that has a strong bite. This one does not. The black tea base is present and pleasant enough but remains a bit in the background. There is a fair balance of vanilla to bergamot. I can easily taste both and neither overpowers the other.

At this point I added some sweetener. This really brightened the flavors without making them more intense. It also brought out a floral/fruity kind of spicy note that reminded me first of cinnamon, and then Orange Creamsicle.

The more I sip, the more the black tea is present in the aftertaste. It remains a smooth pleasant taste. I do notice the insides of my cheeks are tingling which along with the dryness indicates astringency. That said, it seems like normal to low levels for an Earl Grey to me.

Final thoughts: I like that this doesn't overwhelm me with vanilla. I enjoy how smooth it tastes. I personally would like to see the bergamot be a bit more assertive but I understand a lot of people feel just the opposite about bergamot. For me, the lower bergamot is offset in this one by the Orange Creamsicle taste that appeared once I added sweetener.

You can find Cream of Earl Grey here.

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