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Earl Grey

Black Shuck Earl Greay/Wendigo Tea Co

Photo Credit: Wendigo Tea Co.

Continuing with all things Spooky. . . Black Shuck Earl Grey. . . .


I was a little afraid to try this tea, and not because of the legendary hell hound on the logo.

It was because of the bergamot.

Bergamot haters call it blergamot. I’m not a hater, but I am VERY particular about my Earls.
With a name like Black Shuck, I thought this one might run me over.

One of the worst combinations for me is bergamot on high elevation Ceylon tea, which already has loads of lemony notes. The result is SOUR. This tea promised natural bergamot orange zest on a delicate Indian black tea base. it delivered more than it promised.

I was expecting to be manhandled. It is called Black Shuck, after all. The aroma was rich and deep, and the bergamot was…mild? What’s this? Well-behaved bergamot? Not fake perfume to make my tongue curl up in despair?

It took me several minutes to figure out what the base is reminding me of. It smelled and tasted like a Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tip tea, known for its baked sweet potato aromas. The bergamot is just perfect in this for me. I really don’t like it to be “in my face.”

While they call this a delicate Indian base, I am inclined to call it an elegant Indian base with exactly the right amount of the right kind of natural bergamot.

Now who’s afraid of the big Black Shuck? Not me. Bring it on.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Wendigo Tea Co.

Description

am Black Shuck, and I haunt the graveyard of English Prime Minister Earl Grey. I am the bloodthirsty beast that dwells in the shadows. I am a legendary hell hound, and I’m ready to pounce.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Derpy Hooves/Friday Afternoon Tea -Ashmanra

Photo Credit: Friday Afternoon Tea

I have a stack of Friday Afternoon Tea blends to try thanks to the generosity of the Sisters! I tried Rue The Day first and really enjoyed the anise in that one. Today I thought I would try this blend with bergamot for breakfast.

First of all, this is a blend of black tea and white. It is said to be “inspired by Pegasus” but I have always pictured Pegasus as all white! And Derpy Hooves appears to be a My Little Pony character, but I know nothing about that fandom so perhaps the mix of these tea types comes from there.

When two teas with really different parameters of steeping are brought together in one blend, it is difficult to know what to do, so I followed the company suggestion…which was a really surprising one to me. I would have made this at 185F in deference to the white tea but they recommend 175F and I behaved and did so.

But the problem I had with this tea is not due to the mix of black and white teas or the difficulty of getting the best notes from each type in the blend. The problem for me is the bergamot. I like the smell of bergamot, and I like blends with bergamot as long as the base is not a super lemony Ceylon.

But this bergamot smells strange.  The flavor is somewhat better than the aroma, especially while I was eating, but honestly I couldn’t handle the aroma without food to cover up that smell. And although it says it contains cream flavor, I didn’t pick up cream at all.

I am glad of the opportunity to try it, and some bergamot lovers out there might dig it, but this one is not for me!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Friday Afternoon Tea

Description

Enjoy this creamy black and white tea with delicate pops of floral citrus to keep you steady on those flightier days!

Ingredients: Black tea, white tea, marigold petal, bergamot oil, natural vegan cream flavoring

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Original Earl Grey (TE10)/Upton Tea Imports -VariaTEA

Photo Credit: Upton Tea

I don’t really like strong bergamot flavor. Every now and then I’ll reach for an Earl Grey Cream or a flavored Earl Grey but a straight Earl Grey has never been my thing. However, a friend was kind enough to share a sample of Upton Tea Imports’ Original Earl Grey (TE10) and so I figured it was at least worth a try. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to try and make the best of it so I found a London Fog recipe online and got to prepping.

I steeped 3 perfect teaspoons in 8 ounces of boiling water for 4 minutes per the company’s steeping parameters. I used the 3/4 of cup of leftover coconut milk in my fridge, topped with some 1% milk to get to 1 cup. I frothed the milk with 2 teaspoons of honey and one removed from the heat I added 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract. This got poured over the steeped tea.

This is a super creamy latte with a whole lot of coconut and vanilla flavor. Coconut milk is always very rich but to me it is always a touch heavy and seems ever-so-slightly savory (for lack of a better word and maybe because I associate it with thai food more than anything else). I am glad I diluted it down with the 1% milk as well. The honey comes through as a nice balance to the coconut and vanilla, adding some sweetness but not as much as I expected, which is preferable for my tastes.

Of course, how could I talk about a London Fog without mentioning the earl grey itself. I actually am happily sipping away at this one because the bergamot is very nicely balanced. It adds a freshness and a nice citrus flavor but one that is more suited to the cool fall weather. Whereas lemon and lime are typically bright and zingy and make for a nice and refreshing tea in the spring and summer, London Fogs are more cozy. This definitely fits that description.

Unfortunately given all the other ingredients I can’t definitively say that this tea is good or bad but as a base for a London Fog, this tea is perfect. It’s got enough bergamot flavor to push through everything else in the mug without being too harsh or overbearing. Furthermore, from what I can taste, I would say this is good quality given the base is not bitter or astringent either. I still have a fair amount of leaf left in the sample but with this new recipe, courtesy of the Nourishing Gourmet .  I am sure I will make quick work of it.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea Imports

Description

China Black tea base with bergamot flavor. Produced for the British market, this tea has less bergamot than some American counterparts.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl’s Paradise/Bird & Blend Tea

Strawberry and papaya punch up Earl Grey in this tea by Bird & Blend!

Now that it’s the end of summer, I’ve been looking for the Perfect Fruity Morning Blend, and this one’s definitely a contender. If you’re tired of the same-old-same-old Earl Grey, there are plenty of other ones out there with additional flavors. Like this one.

I’m not sure I’d know a papaya if it hit me in the face, honestly. But I imagine it’s tropical. This tea tastes like eating a strawberry and then running under a sprinkler. It tastes like an afternoon in Disney World. It tastes like someone took sunshine, ground it up, and tossed it into a wishing fountain.

I feel like my clothes are going to disappear and I will be left in a yellow polka dot bikini. Which is awkward, because I’m at work.

Send clothes.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Bird & Blend Tea

Description

No one at The Nest (Bird & Blend HQ!) can start the day without a cup of this fruity, refreshing tea. Didn’t think you could improve the classic? We will happily prove you wrong! No words are gong to do it justice, it simply is paradise! Insiders tip: try it without milk for perfection.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

ENGLISH GENTLEMAN – EARL GREY VANILLA / The Tea Crew

Splendid. My tea is now cold. Still tastes good though.

The moment the aroma from the open packet entered my nose I knew I’d love this one. The aroma has a kick of bergamot with the perfect amount of vanilla to soothe it out. If you happen to go shovel and forget that you have a cuppa it will still have plenty of flavor when you get back. Personally though I think it’s better when its hot.

The black base comes out a bit more when cold and I found that interesting. Generally the bergamot and vanilla overpower the base at all times but not for this one. I’m excited to try this one as a latte or as they call it a London Fog Latte.

Before you get too excited and go off to order a pouch do note this company is based in the U.K. That being said it’s a really nice blend so maybe go order it anyway.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The Tea Crew
Description:

If our Earl Grey vanilla tea was a person it would definitely be Cary Grant. The epitome of sophistication, an English gentleman.

Full of flavour with a smooth creamy taste and vanilla overtones.

This goes exceptionally well with an afternoon tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!