Sunday, January 13, 2013

Review #10 - Tazo Earl Grey Bagged

If any tea could have a huge and lengthy write up it's this one. We could touch on the actual owner of Tazo of which we all know to be Starbucks. Then there is the recent purchase of Teavana by Starbucks which makes this even more news worthy. Will Tazo remain in it's current condition? Will any of the tea's formula change? Will Teavana's tea's replace Tazo's. As you can see there is much to discuss if you are into that sorta thing. Given how my background is not in business I will leave the forecasts and such to more qualified people and stick with what I know; reviewing Earl Grey Tea.


Before I removed the clear wrapper on the box I tested to see if I could pick up any escaping scents. I couldn't, so I moved on to opening one of the individual bags. I will admit I didn't get much of an aroma when compared to other teas I have reviewed. I can say I was happy to find no staples on the tag or pouch. As company's continue making strides toward more eco-awareness, I'm almost to the point when any tea company that refuses to ditch the staples should be shunned. Getting back to the aroma, there definitely was some aroma but clearly not the amount I was expecting. According to the box the tea is a blend of "the world's most sought-after teas, grown in the high-elevation gardens of Sri Lanka and northeast India" which is blended with the "essence of Bergamot".

Obviously Starbucks/Tazo know a few things about marketing their products so even though they told us alot in fact we really don't know what kind of tea is in that little bag. Then again we do live a world filled with secret formula's and such so I guess some info is better then none.(I know, I seem to say that alot)

Brewing Method

Here is the first shocker. As stated many times before after drinking so much Earl Grey I kinda default to a 4 minute steep time without really thinking about it. So when I actually read the box and saw them calling for 3, I had to laugh. Good for the Tazo I thought. They obviously picked a time which they thought would bring out the best in their tea and who am I to question them. The answer is obvious, I am.

That's right I brewed up a second glass and left it go for 4 minutes. You know what? Towards the end of the cup I did notice a touch of over cooked tea. So with that piece of data, I didn't push the matter any further. 3 minutes it is.

The Results

The best way to describe how I feel about this tea would be in a simple statement, "if only it were organic." Why the statement? Because if this tea were organic it would rank right up there with many of the best teas I sampled. On flavor, this tea is excellent. At the initial high temp right after steeping this tea had many layers to enjoy. As the tea cools the Bergamot really starts to shine and left this Earl Grey Addict looking forward to a second cup. Just to repeat, this is an excellent tea and for those of you who aren't as particular about your tea as yours truly, you can't go wrong.

The other shocker of this tea is the very dark color. For a bagged tea this has to be one of the darkest Earl Grey's I reviewed so far and that includes both loose and bagged. I also noticed the aroma intensified after brewing as well so what ever Tazo did in their mixing and packing they got it right.


There would be no shocker in this area. In my opinion this tea was design to give you a very good cup of tea for the first steep. The second steep is no where near the first and quite honestly is a waste of your time unless you're out of bags and must have another cup.

Final Thoughts

I think we've covered it all in this review so lets go over it again. Not much aroma until the steeping begins then everything comes to life. The flavor is wonderful and deep while the color is very dark. If they produced an organic version with the same result I would be buying stock in Tazo tomorrow. To end, do yourself a favor and try it for yourself.