Review: California Tea House Vanilla Creme Earl Grey

Assam Tea, Bergamot Tea, Black Tea, California Tea House, Ceylon Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Nilgiri Tea, Sunflower Tea, Vanilla Tea Add comments
Dan’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This is probably one of my favorite Earl Grey teas. It is comparable to come other Cream Earl Greys that I've tried, but outshines them all in its elegance and simplicity, and mild, gentle, sweet flavors - all while maintaining that distinct bergamot spiciness underneath it all."
Dan’s Teaview: 9/10
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californiavanilla-earlgreyCalifornia Tea House, you've done it again. The sole Earl Grey offering in the CTH stable is a true winner, sure to have mass appeal. I am unsure if the original true-to-form Earl Grey "recipe" has a specific base tea to it or not. I tried researching the subject briefly, but to no avail. However, here, CTH blends Assam, Ceylon and Nilgiri teas together, which undoubtedly has a subtle impact on the flavor of the tea. Of course, as expected by the "Vanilla" and "Earl Grey" portions of the product's name, you know it contains vanilla flavoring (here in bean form) and oil of bergamot. There is also the addition of sunflower leaves, which make for a lovely visual enhancement in the dry leaf format.

The aroma of the tea is at-first pleasant, and then, after some deep inhalation, and/or coming back to it a few times, it begins to give off the aroma of furniture polish, which is slightly off-putting (if not pleasant smelling in its own right). The dried leaves are of medium length, and fairly uniform in their mahogany shade. Bits of blue, yellow and white sunflower petals make the blend quite attractive.

CTH recommends a full tablespoon of leaf per cup, and a 3 minute steep with boiling water. While I agree with the temperature and time, I began my enjoyment of this tea with about half the amount of leaf, and found the results satisfactory. There may be a *slight* bit more vanilla flavor and creaminess in using more leaf though - but it's hard to say for sure. As the leaves steep, the sunflower petals wilt into a semi-uniform white shade. The cup produced is deep amber/tea color. And the aroma in the cup is much more inviting than the Pledge-scented dried blend.

On the palette, the tea truly shines. This is a soft and smooth Grey, not too sharp, as with so many other bergamot-flavored offerings. The vanilla helps to tone things down, and the marriage of the two flavors provides that creaminess. The slightest addition of a cream, milk, or half-n-half product just enhances that creaminess, but it's not even necessary. While this tea is perfect on its own, CTH suggests the addition of cream and sugar to create an instant "dessert". All in all, this is a versatile tea - perfect morning cup, a sublime afternoon tea, and - as CTH suggests - a delicious sweet treat to cap off dinner.

This is probably one of my favorite Earl Grey teas. It is comparable to come other Cream Earl Greys that I've tried, but outshines them all in its elegance and simplicity, and mild, gentle, sweet flavors - all while maintaining that distinct bergamot spiciness underneath it all.

— To purchase California Tea House Vanilla Creme Earl Grey, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Dan Dan
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One Response to “Review: California Tea House Vanilla Creme Earl Grey”

  1. Lisa B Says:

    I love Earl Grey and Vanilla, I will have to try this and check it out. The review is good and thank you!

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