Monday, October 26, 2015

Review #55 - Tea Chest Classic Earl Grey (bagged)

I mentioned in my last review that I had tea coming from different people / companies. Well one of those shipments arrived which meant they were going to be the next. I'm also happy to mentioned that Tea Chest was cool enough to give my readers a little something special. It should be noted they offered up this deal before I even had their tea so I like their confidence.

"we'd also like to give you and your followers an exclusive offer to get two free Earl Grey teas with the first 20 orders of 10 teas from us."

So if after reading this review you feel like you would like to support this company, head on over and make sure to tell them you heard about their tea from the Earl Grey Addict. Onto the review.


The rectangular and somewhat flat box arrived with all of it's Royal Mail stickers in proper order on one side, along with a neat hologram sticker seal on the front. Contained within was a boat load of samples. Since I was able to pick the ones I wanted from their site I selected 2 Earl Greys to make sure my review was not based upon just one attempt.

The samples, as you can see in the picture, were silver coated on one side and clear on the other. The bags within were more of a triangle pouch then just your traditional flat bag. The bag ripped open very easily letting me get my first chance of an aroma test. After a few deep breaths it was clear this tea was very subdued. You could barely pick up on the tea but I didn't detect any perfume at all.  A quick trip to their website provided this:
"Our blend has no artificial flavours and has been created using only the finest Bergamot essential oil. "
I like seeing this information but at the same time I like to know what I am drinking. I would have liked to see which black tea they choose for their blend with maybe a location but as I have said before, I understand that trade secrets are just that. Yes, yes I know I sound like a broken record sometimes and to be fair they do have a "India" tag but I just like knowing.

Next stop, steeping info.

Steeping Method

I will let their site do the talking:

Temp: 100C
Steep: 3-5 mins
So with two sample bags in my possession I decided upon 4 and 5 minute times.

The Result

Starting where I always do, at 4 minutes, I found a very lite tea with a lite color to match. The aroma improved a bit but this is a very lite tea. So to make sure I wasn't missing anything I went back their site and did some additional research and sure enough this is what I found:
Taste: Crisp, Floral, Fresh, Fruity, Lite, Mellow, Mild.
So that made me feel better. I knew I only had two bags so I wanted to get it right. As I did all this the
tea cooled and the flavors blended a bit more and just like TeaChest had said, this mellow and mild tea arrived. With that knowledge in mind, it was off to the 5 minute steep time to see if letting it cool would bring more flavor as well.

At the 5 minute time the color got darker, the aroma improved a slight bit but most importantly the flavor improved. We are still talking about a lite tea but at the 5 minute mark the flavors seem to blend more giving a more balanced tea. To complete this part of my testing I let this time cool a bit and again I got the same result. A bit more balance, still mellow and mild but now it had some fruity parts to it.


Given the already mild and lite flavor I really didn't expect much from this tea. At the 5 minute time there was very little flavor left so for me, re-steeping was not an option. At the 4 minute time, and if you let it cool a bit, AND if you like your Earl Grey on the very lite side, I guess you could re-steep.
So 4 on the 1st, 4 on the second.

Final Thoughts 

Going back to my tried and true wine analogy this tea is in the Chablis arena. I on the other hand prefer a Chianti or Cab Sav. I can appreciate that not everyone enjoys tea the way I do so I will say this. If you are like me, then I would probably suggest a bolder tea, but if you like your tea lighter, then I would have no problem suggesting this tea because it's exactly what they said it would be.