Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Review #65 - Typhoo Earl Grey Tea (bagged)

So we are back reviewing another tea that I bought, and then as luck would have it someone else bought it for me. I took that as a sign that maybe, just maybe I should review this tea next. Even more interesting, the tea comes from across the pond, jolly ol' England, but is apparently quite easy to find in the US of A. As proof I bought it from one place and the other person bought it in another store in a different state. That was enough for me. On with the review.


The box is technically not a TBDB because there is no front panel punch out but it looks just like one. When you open the top you are greeted by a silver/fin foil bag which contains all 20 tea bags. After opening up the bag I decided to take in the aroma from the whole thing. To keep things fair I also planned to remove a bag and just smell that one alone but there was no need. The foil bag smelled of black tea and not much else, and even that wasn't strong. Since I had two boxes I opened it up and performed the same procedure and got the same results. For my regular readers, aroma doesn't make or break a tea. I just have very few with no Bergamot aroma. So lets look at the ingredients to see what we have.

From the box:
Black Tea(98.7%), Flavouring(1.3%)
My initial reaction to this was, pure delight. We have precise percentages. We are finally getting to see what is in the teas I review. This will be great. No more hidden industry secrets, we'll know it all.

Then my engineering brain kicked in and quickly squashed my initial reaction. No tea information of any kind and no information on the bergamot included. So I checked the rest of the box and found this:
Bursting with flavour
No artificial colours or preservatives
 I don't want to sound harsh but looks like something some American companies do; Try our TEA -  "It Doesn't Contain Wheat or Soy". Ummmm, it never did so what's the point? Best we move on to the steeping section.

Steeping Method

From the side of the box
Use one bag per cup
Add freshly boiled water
Infuse for 2-3 minutes
Enjoy with or without milk
So given how much of this tea I have, I'm going 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes and then my typical stress test.

The Results

I decided to work my way up so I began with 2 minutes. The tea color was extremely light, there was still no aroma, and the flavor was just black tea. After letting it cool the flavor did not change.  I then moved onto the 3 minute time and found pretty much the same thing. Lite color, no bergamot flavor and only black tea. And a lite black tea at that. So I moved onto the 3 minute time frame and hoped for more flavor. Sadly the only thing that really changed was a bit of color in the water and a bit more black tea flavor. Cooling did not provide any improvements.

At the 4 minute time I finally started to pick up some citrus flavor but I would not define this tea as "bursting with flavour" at all. The balance was still mostly black tea, the color was still very lite and cooling again did not provide any improvements. That left only the 5 minute time and as you might have guessed by now, little to no real improvement. At this point in the review I guess we can safely say that 1.3% of bergamot flavoring does not make a well balanced Earl Grey. The side of the box describes this tea as:
Deliciously balanced and fragrant blend
Regrettably I was unable to obtain that type of tea in any of the above steep times.  Which means the only thing left to do was the stress testing and at 8 1/4 minutes this tea started to give off a burnt taste so I stopped. I tried the tea at 6 minutes and at 7 minutes and at best I could describe this Earl Grey as Very Light.


Given how lite this tea is, unless you are looking only for a cup of black tea, I would not suggest it.

Final Thoughts

I didn't tell you where I got my box nor did I tell you where the other box came from because I wanted to give this tea a fair review. But it should be stated that the place I purchased it from is known for 2 runs. Meaning if you want cheap import knock offs of things like tools, outdoor furniture, etc, this is the place. The other box came from a different store but again, not first run stuff. Sadly the review did not uncover a diamond in the rough, instead it matched the incredibly cheap price tag. Because of this, I cannot suggest this tea to anyone.

Note: While adding the url link for this tea to my list a few things caught my attention. The steep times were different, there was more info on the site about what kinds of black teas were used and the price; .99 British pounds for a box of 20.