Review of Earl Grey Decaffeinated

2 of 103 of 53 of 537 of 100

As of this writing, the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain has started offering this tea as their mainstay Earl Grey for service, without telling the customer up front that it is decaffeinated. My wife ordered hot tea, expecting the usual (if tolerable) Lipton rubbish, and got this rubbish instead.

I need to qualify that insult just a tad. She received this whilst expecting a normally caffeinated Earl Grey. Instead of returning it, she simply asked for some black tea that wasn't decaffeinated. They generously brought her four (!) bags of Twinings English Breakfast and I got this. Thanks...I think. :-)

Admittedly my preconceptions were jaded by previous experiences with typically weak teas of this brand. "This stuff already has two strikes before stepping up to the plate: it's Twinings, and it's decaf!" Perhaps the cratered expectations led to a surprisingly high (albeit still poor to mediocre) rating. It didn't get a base hit, but it did stand still for four balls and earn a walk.

I stared at the dry bag and sniffed, then poured and sniffed both cup and wet bag some more, and didn't detect much -- maybe a very faint hint of bergamot and perhaps lemon. In essence, it has almost no scent. Then I braced myself for the ultimate in blandness, and instead, got a flavor recognizable not only as tea, but tea with bergamot. It wasn't bad. It wasn't ravishingly good either, but at least this compared favorably to some of the poorer-quality store-brand and food-service teas I've had, and to any other Twinings tea. The flavor still has all the imagination of Soviet apartment architecture, but it's at least more tolerable to experience.

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