Tea Pigs! Darjeeling Earl Grey

Another in the Tea Pigs line! Also, of course, from Alisa, as was their Earl Grey Strong. The Strong has a picture of a bull dog on the tag; the darjeeling has a picture of a dachshund, which is… more refined? or something? Not sure. They also add cornflowers – just for the appearance, I think.

Steeped for 3 minutes, as recommended. It’s always fun to see whole leaves unfolding in a bag as the tea steeps; this is one of the more interesting things I’ve learned about tea over the last few years. I’m still not sure if I can tell the difference in taste, though, I admit.

The dry leaves didn’t have a whole lot of scent, and it wasn’t particularly smelly when it Unknown.jpegwas brewed either. The taste is not hugely citrus-y, although it’s quite a nice tea – as apparently I should expect, it being real darjeeling. One of these days I guess I should learn about the tastes of different black teas. But probably not this year.

I added lemon, which is their recommended way of serving it; I don’t think I’ve ever had Earl Grey with lemon before, now that I think about it. And it was quite nice. I then added just a dash of sugar, which I think enhanced the citrus a bit. Again, quite a nice tea, although not going to be a favourite.

Wiltshire Earl Grey Blue Lady

As with The Tea Makers of London, The Wiltshire Tea Company sent me some samples when I was in London last year. So cool!

The first I tried with their Earl Grey Blue Lady. This will be an Earl Grey sin to some, because it includes (gasp) cornflower, and mallow blossom too. This is not a problem for me as I quite like cornflower.

The recommended steeping time was 2-3 minutes, so I went with 2, to see what it was like.

I tried this a few hours after The Tea Makers’ Mary Grey, because I thought they would make an interesting contrast, and I was right. Blue Lady earl_grey_blue_lady_leaves_1024x1024.jpgisn’t as strong as Mary Grey, and it’s certainly less citrus-y and a bit more flowery. Again, I initially tried with sugar, and preferred it with just a little bit of sugar to take a bit of bitterness off.

It’s a very pleasant Earl Grey, although it doesn’t especially stand out; it’s a great one for people who prefer their citrus a bit more on the subtle side. I’m going to be very happy to drink this a few more times but it’s not one I regret not being able to access easily.



The Tea Makers: Mary Grey Special

charlesgrey2.jpgWhen I was in London last year, I took the opportunity to ask some English tea companies to send me samples. And, delightfully, some of them did! The first one I want to talk about is The Tea Makers of London’s Mary Grey Special.

Unknown.jpegThey describe it as the ‘delicate’ version of Earl Grey. I thought I could see bits of orange peel in it, but I may have been wrong about that according to the ingredients list which says it has marigold flowers (so maybe that’s what I saw) and essential citrus oils.

The recommended amounts were 2tsp of tea and 4 minutes of steeping, so I followed their instructions.

Unknown.jpegIt has a very citrus-y scent, which is unsurprising given the oils listed in the ingredients. The taste is also quite citrus-y – but not too much. It was slightly improved, to my taste, by the addition of sugar; I did decide to try this unsugared at first because of the citrus. I think the sugar took the edge off the slight bitterness which I don’t love.

This is quite a strong Earl Grey in flavour; it’s definitely not one for the Earl Grey doubters. It’s not overwhelming like the T2 Earl Grey – there’s no oiliness. Instead it’s exactly that lovely orange-y, not quite flowery, taste that I really enjoy about Earl Grey. I’m looking forward to drinking the rest of this sample, and wish that shipping from the UK wasn’t so painful…