Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturdays #54 & 55 -British Black Tea Blends

Since this is the last Saturday before Christmas, and the next-to-last Saturday in my year of tea tastings, I thought it would be appropriate to sip out of a Santa mug this week!

Category: British Black Tea Blends

Purveyor: Harney and Sons

Dry leaf appearance: Smallish pieces of broken tea leaf, with the Earl Grey a bit darker in appearance than the English Breakfast.

Wet leaf appearance: Both these teas had that wet mulch look.

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 212 degrees, 4-1/2 minutes (because I'm not one who likes my tea too strong).

Scent: Dry: Earl Grey's famous bergamot scent is unmistakable. The English Breakfast smelled like strong black tea but with a hint of that "woodshop" scent I've been detecting in recent weeks. Wet: Earl Grey had the classic and lovely Earl Grey scent. The English Breakfast had a pleasant, if somewhat strong, black tea scent.

Color: Medium brown.

Flavor: While I liked the English Breakfast blend just fine, Earl Grey will always be one of my favorites. That bergamot flavor is one I love in tea, in cookies (made with Earl Grey tea leaves), whatever. Occasionally I get weary of Earl Grey and then "rediscover" it, always happy to realize that a good Earl Grey never disappoints.

Additional notes: Of the English Breakfast, Michael Harney says it "was designed as a simple tea for the average middle-class citizen to start the day." He notes that Earl Grey is one of the best-known teas in the West and says it is "a gateway tea for novice palates." I *love* that particular description because Earl Grey was definitely "a gateway tea" for my own enjoyment of this beverage!

Next week's teas: Puerhs


  1. That is a cute Santa mug. I enjoyed your tea review. I've always liked the traditional British blends.

  2. Thanks for the review. How would you compare Harney's Earl Grey to other brands of Earl Grey? Of the main stream brands I've tried I like Twinings the best. (I actually like their Lady Grey better than their Earl) I've never tried Harney's before.
    I think you've shared that mug in Christmas' past. It makes me smile every time I see it. My Grandma had a set of those mugs. I don't know what happened to them after she passed away, maybe I'll ask my parents.

  3. I have a similar mug. I'm not sure who/where it came from, though.

  4. My darling I wish you and yours all the joy, love, hope, blessings, peace, laughter, miracles, good health and boundless wealth during this holiday season and always.

    Love & Hugs


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