Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tea #2 and #3: A Creamy Earl Grey Face-off

Earl Grey is my go to tea. Lady Grey by Twinings is what made me first like tea, and Teavana's Earl Grey Creme brewed in milk with a little vanilla syrup is one of the most tasty things on the planet. I found The Tea Tables Earl Grey Cream and thought they looked pretty similar. I ordered 8oz (paying only $1.91 an ounce) hoping that it would be the same as Teavana's. Below are the results. Let's start with the competitors!
Number: 2 0f 175
Date: Tuesday February 7th, 2012
Tea Name: Earl Grey Creme
Tea Brand: Teavana
Tea Type: Black
Link: http://www.teavana.com/the-teas/black-teas/p/earl-grey-creme-black-tea
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Steep Temperature: 192* F


Number: 3 0f 175
Date: Tuesday February 7th, 2012
Tea Name: Earl Grey Cream
Tea Brand: The Tea Table
Tea Type: Black
Link: http://www.theteatable.com/p/EGC/Earl+Grey+Cream
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Steep Temperature: 192* F

For each of the teas I steeped 1 tsp in 8oz of water for three minutes. I did it at the same time so I could truly compare. Teavana's Creme had a very overpowering dry leaf. It does not smell like vanilla or citrus or really much of anything, but whatever it is, it is strong. The Tea Table's (TTT) Cream was not as strong, but had a similar scent, although it was a little bit earthy.
Teavana's brewed up a cloudy light brown with a hint of red and had a very pleasant light vanilla scent. TTT was a clear red brown and had a nice smell, but it was more fruity than vanilla.
I tried each tea three ways. Plain, with milk added, and then with honey added on top of the milk.
Teavana's was very nice on its own. You could taste that it was an earl grey and the vanilla was just barely there. Once milk was added, the creaminess really started to shine through. I like my tea sweet, and if there was no sweetener available, I could easily drink this tea with just milk and really enjoy it. Once the honey was added, what I had before me was a cup of creamy earl grey deliciousness. Yum.
TTT was not drinkable by itself. It tasted a little bitter, as if the tea had been steeped to long. I will have to retry with a shorted steep time later. I did not get any hint of vanilla in the steeped tea. Once the milk was added, the bitterness mostly disappeared, and the creamyness began to surface. Add honey, and you have a decent cup of tea, but with a slight bitter aftertaste.

Verdict: At about $2.80 an ounce, Tevana's earl grey is better, by far. Although I may have saved $8 buying the Earl Grey Cream from TTT, I don't see myself going through my stock as fast. Hopefully when used to make London Fogs, I won't be able to tell the difference.

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