Review: Joy’s Teaspoon Earl Grey

Bergamot Tea, Black Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Joys Teaspoon Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I've had a lot of Earl Greys - a lot - but this is the first that had a gentle approach to its blend."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9.8/10
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Joy's Teaspoon posits an origin story behind Earl Grey that I hadn't heard before. Apparently in 1833, good ol' Earl Grey - then the Prime Minister - suspended the monopoly that the East India Company had on trade with China. (A decision that probably also influenced the creation of Darjeeling tea plantations.) Back then, the scenting of bergamot oil was added to black tea to protect it from mold during the long voyage. This is one of at least five origin stories I've heard. Earl Grey birth legends are like opinions, and opinions are like...well...I'm not going there. Point is, everyone has one.

The sample I had in front of me looked lovely enough. The leaves were crisp, jet black with flecks of lighter brown. I couldn't tell the varietal from sight or scent alone. The bergamot flavoring applied gave it a more citrus than sour lean, which I greatly appreciated. And, lastly, the leaves were fuller than the average small or CTC-cut. That was also a relief.

Brewing instructions called for 203-212F water and a four-to-five-minute steep. I try never to steep my black teas that long; the most I do is three. So, I went with my usual with boiling water instead; 1 rounded teaspoon-worth in 8oz.

The liquor colored to a beautiful light cherry infusion with a scent that reminded me of mandarins and chocolate. I assumed the latter nostril note came from the black tea base - simply startling. Taste-wise, wow. I've had a lot of Earl Greys - a lot - but this is the first that had a gentle approach to its blend. The citrus aspects were stronger than the sour rind ones, and they played well with the black tea blanket. Speaking of which, little astringency and no bitterness. If those are traits you desire, you probably won't find 'em here unless you steep longer. This is the best - and most balanced - Earl I've tried. It can have the monopoly for all I care.

— To purchase Joy’s Teaspoon 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.

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