The next piece of the puzzle comes in how I drink all of my tea. Absolutely plain. No milk, no sugar, nothing is ever added to my hot/warm tea. I declared a temperature range because with Iced Green tea, I still brew the tea plain but will sometimes add extras when I pour. Lemon and cranberry juice are two of my favorite options with local honey being a third. So with those two pieces of info lets begin with the actual review.
I'm going to show my hand a bit and talk about what I went through to get the most out of this tea. Most Earl Grey's I've tried call for a 4min brewing time. So that is where I started. Now keep in mind what I talked about earlier. I tried this tea before I was doing these reviews so I approached this tea without doing much research. My first result forced me to attempt longer steeping times. In fact, I worked all the way up to 5 1/2 mins to get the flavor I was looking for and expecting. I guess that means it's time for the meat of this review.
I'm not going to lie, when I first tried this tea I was very disappointing with the flavor, or should I say, lack of it. The 4min brewing time basically gave me the same amount of flavor that I would get with other loose tea with a 2nd steep. That's why I tried going with a longer brew time. I also went with a teaspoon and a half. As mentioned I eventually got to the 5 1/2 min mark, which coupled with the extra tea finally got me closer to what I was both looking for and expecting from quality loose tea. Now to let this tea off the hook a bit.
Remember how I said I did no research when I first tried it, well this time, since I'd be blogging about it I headed over to the Zhena's Gypsy Tea site and did some reading. That's when I found this:
Needless to say this causes a problem with my review since I don't put milk in my tea. At this point you are probably expecting to see me redo my review using milk. To be perfectly blunt, the reason I don't put milk in my tea is for a very simple reason, I don't like it. It's funny because my earliest tea drinking memories involved being told that I should put milk in my tea. Drinking plain tea was just not done. Why would anyone want to drink tea solo? For many years I avoided tea for that very reason. Until I was able to sample some green tea at a college friends house. They served Japanese green tea without milk which reversed any negative opinions regarding tea I had up to that point. I was hooked and began my tea drinking journey.
Our Earl Grey is specifically blended for those who enjoy their tea with milk – its addition will compliment rather than overwhelm this tea.
Given how the tea has a thin taste without milk to begin with re-steeping is just not worth the effort. I tried but the flavor was nearly gone and going any longer then 5 minutes just burnt the tea.
So, would I buy this tea again? Yes, if I had run out of all other loose Earl Grey's and had to have tea for the next day. Plus I'd be supporting a local business so like I said, yes. Should you buy it? Do you like milk in your tea? If yes, then by all means try it and let me know so others can learn from your experience.