Review: Friday Afternoon Red Earl Grey

Bergamot Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Friday Afternoon, Herbal Tea, Rooibos Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A very deceptive h-"Earl"-bal infusion."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9.3/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 9/10, Sophie gave it 9.4/10
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Friday Afternoon presents a bergamot-scented rooibos with the obvious title of "Red Earl Grey". I've had other permutations of the bergamot/rooibos pairing. Some skimped on the citrus so much that the result was more like citrus rooibos. This, however, had a scent that I couldn't discern from a normal morning cup o' Earl. It was all bergamot, and nary a nut-sweet rooibos to be found in the aroma. I was also pleased to see the rooibos pieces were the mid-to-long-cut variety - the "whole leaf" equivalent for rooibos grading, promising a fuller infusion.

Brewing instructions weren't present on the Friday site, but rooibos wasn't a hard customer to cup. Generally, an even infusion of six minutes in boiled water did the trick. I went with that using 1 tsp. in 8oz.

The liquor infused to a light copper with a nut-sweet nose trailed by a faint bergamot bite. Some shifting of priorities must've occurred during my six-minute wait. Rooibos was making its presence known. The flavor said differently. Of all the faux-Earls I've tried, this is the closest to the real thing out there. The initial taste was a citrus-sour sock to the tongue, followed by a smooth middle. Aftertaste was relegated for rooibos to impart a sweet finish. A very deceptive h-"Earl"-bal infusion.

— To purchase Friday Afternoon Red 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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3 Responses to “Review: Friday Afternoon Red Earl Grey”

  1. Jamie Says:

    h-earl-bal…masterful, geoff!!!

  2. Geoff Says:


  3. Karina Gronnvoll Says:

    I ordered this tea based on this recommendation. I love classic Earl Grey, and I was looking for a good low- or no-caff version. This tea was just dreadful. I suspected I would be disappointed as soon as I opened the package, and the overpowering reek escaped, but I pressed on. I followed the brewing directions perfectly, and I soldiered on past the first sip, believing it might be an acquired taste. It probably is, but I simply can’t acquire it. I ended up tossing the entire package in the trash, and scrubbing out my innocent tea canister. It still smells faintly of this horrendous disaster, but I hope that will dissipate in time.

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