Review: Culinary Teas Cream Earl Grey

Bergamot Tea, Black Tea, Ceylon Tea, Cornflower Tea, Culinary Teas, Earl Grey Tea, Vanilla Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The aroma was so strong I caught it as I was pouring. It was pure candy."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8.9/10
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culinary-tea-logoThis Cream Earl Grey from Culinary Teas uses one of the finest bases for a black tea blend I know of; that being Ceylon. Since I consider Ceylon black teas to be a cleaner and more floral type, they make for a smooth base for flavored blends. In my not-so-humble opinion, anyway. Sure, Keemun and Assam add a robust characteristic, but when you want to taste the flavored nuances, they don't really cut the mustard (blossom?).

This blend utilizes teas from Nuwara Eliya (my favorite), Dimbulla, and Uva - the three main tea producing areas in Sri Lanka. Rounding out this blend are cornflowers - blue blossoms that don't contribute to flavor, only decoration - and natural flavors. No mention of the type of bergamot oil used, Calabrian or otherwise, or whether vanilla extract was utilized. Not a big deal, though.

On first whiff, the first aspect that struck the nostrils was obviously the vanilla. The flavoring agent used was creamy and nutty, almost like a white chocolate bar with peanut. I give them props for whatever flavor type they used, for it smelled like natural vanilla bean nibs. I didn't really get an impression of the black tea presence. Visually, the cornflowers dotted the black tea canvas in little pocket marks, not too boldly, though.

Brewing instructions for this blend - as per usual with Culinary Teas - were remarkably detailed. I could paraphrase here, but that would take up a paragraph. I went for a lighter approach - 1 tsp in 8oz of boiled water for three minutes. They suggested one could go as high as seven minutes, but there was not way I was chancing a tannic AND citrus-sour cup.

The liquor brewed to a chestnut brown. The aroma was so strong I caught it as I was pouring. It was pure candy. Any bergamot scenting or black tea bite was masked by a creamy shroud. To the taste, it was something different entirely. The creamy aspect was markedly more reserved in lieu of the citrus and mild black tea bitterness. I was thankful that I could tell it was still a Ceylon even beneath the other flavors.

This is an Earl Grey for the middle-road folks. It's not too light, not too hearty, just wonderfully moderate. Another word for moderate or middle-ground is "vanilla". This would please just about any fence-sitter, which probably explains why I liked it.

— To purchase Culinary Teas Cream 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: Geoff Geoff Reviewer
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