Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review #12 - Dev-o-tea Earl Grey White Tips

As you recall I was teapot-less for last weeks review. Well my two, yes two, new teapots arrived on Sat so life in the loose lane is back. While picking out my Chatsford replacement I found a cast iron pot as well so that's why I now have two. Why does this matter? Because while picking out my pots at I noticed they also sold...wait for it...tea. Go figure huh? So I grabbed a few of their Earl Grey Offerings and decided one of those teas will be my next review. That's how we arrived at this review. Normally that's all there needs to be said but in this case I gotta hand it to them, their sample pack have to be one of the coolest  pouches I've seen. I mean come on, it's clear so you can actually see the tea. What a great idea for a sample pack. Think about it, you're at a store, and you see the front of the tea pouch. You ponder, sigh, and wonder  if you should pull the trigger and try their tea. All the other teas will be bought site unseen, but this tea lets you see exactly what it looks like. Pretty cool. Ok, enough about the see through bag, onto the review.


After cutting off the top, I opened the resealable (yes, for a sample bag, told you it was good) bag and took a deep breath. I was greeted with a wonderfully fresh and clean aroma. You could smell the tea but the Bergamot was definitely there and it wasn't on the perfume side of things. No, this one elicited thoughts of being in an orchard. I would definitely describe it as natural, clean and fresh.

As stated before one side of the bag is see through while the other contains all the information. They describe the tea in the following way:

Fine China Teas with abundant white tips (the most prized leaf) blended with the finest oil of bergamot available. Incredibly aromatic and flavorful    

Most times I take issue with the marketing aspect of certain tea brands but I must say, this IS one very aromatic tea so I'm going to agree with them. With the aroma out of the way, onto the most important part, the flavor.

Brewing Method

Taking directly from the bag here are the instructions.

Use 1 teaspoon per cup
Pre-Warm the pot
Add hot water 205F or above
Steep 2-4 minutes
Remove tea, pour, enjoy 

 As typical for most of my reviews, I test all times given and stress test the tea a bit. So I tried 2, then 3, then 4 and even though not listed, I even tried the tea at 5 minutes. Which brings us to the results.

The Results

Everyone has their own special way of enjoying tea. Some like it a bit strong, others a bit milder. For me the 4 minute steep really got my attention. The aroma continued well into the glass leading me to believe I was going to like this tea. The color of this tea tuned out very nice as well. Dark but again not artificially so.  And then we have the flavor. If I had to describe this tea in one word it would have to be "blended". (real word?) I guess I should explain what I mean by that.

Some teas are too light on the bergamot and end up tasting more like just a black tea then an Earl Grey tea. Then you have the opposite where the flavoring over powers the black tea (no small task). That's why I enjoyed this tea alot. It was so well blended. The only negative I could give it was it's lack of complexity when it cooled a bit. There are some Earl Grey's that for whatever reason act like wine and actually "change" as they cool. If you've ever been to a wine tasting event, you'll know that your first taste should remain in your mouth a bit to allow all the subtle flavors to be enjoyed. With really good Earl Grey, the flavor changes ever so slightly as it cools. The only thing this tea is missing is that cooling effect. Beyond that, a very good Earl Grey.


Given how well blended this tea was I thought for sure it would provide a bit more for it's second steep. Don't get me wrong, it's second steep is still good, it's just a step down on flavor quantity. So in an effort to remain fair and neutral I'm going to leave it up to the reader's choice. For me, it would depend upon my mood. I'll give this a positive because at least you have the option.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this tea and have no issues recommending it to anyone. The flavor was consistent, the color was good and depending upon your preference, you can even get a second steep out it making it cost effective.
Do yourself a favor and try it.