Organic Earl Grey - Organic

Picture of Organic Earl Grey
Brand:Trader Joe's
Style:Earl Grey Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Region:Blend
Loose/teabag:Teabag
Product page:Organic Earl Grey

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Reviewer pic70 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
(285 reviews) on

Several better Earl Greys exist in bags, but for the price (around $2.50/20 ct.), it's hard to beat. Dry-bag scent was firm and plain, but pleasant and strong, more so than most bagged Earl Greys. Closer inspection revealed likely why. Even though all the tea was settled at the bag's bottom, each bag itself so far has been stained a faint orange-yellow color, evenly, up and down and all around. Was it because the bag absorbed excess oil off the tea, but somehow uniformly and where there wasn't tea, or did the manufacturer oil the bags directly?

Either way, I took this minor mystery as a good sign that the tea would bear robust flavor. It did, but more in terms of tea than bergamot. The bergamot flavor is unmistakably there, but somewhat flatly. The tea itself is fairly rich and strong, which I prefer, but also gets both dark and bitter quickly. The website (for as long as it exists) only says about the base tea's origin: "an invigorating, floral black tea from Africa". That's a big place. Where in Africa? I didn't detect floral flavor or aroma, but maybe more discriminating palates would.

Let this brew more than around 3 minutes, which I often do with teas in general and especially organic ones, and the bitterness gets borderline obnoxious. Steeped right at 3 minutes, and it was very good for a store-brand bagged tea, with no sacrifice of the slightly above middling level of bergamot in the taste. Curiously, the strongest and sweetest bergamot flavor or aroma I found was in the aftertaste; it sticks to the sides and back of the tongue for a good while, quite enough to flavor the next mouthful. The wet bag has little aroma, clearly giving almost everything up in one steeping. Probably you shouldn't bother re-steeping this, if you usually do so with tea bags.
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