Who would have thought that of the thousands of teas I’ve tried…and literally the hundreds of different Earl Grey teas I’ve sampled, many of which I’ve reviewed on this very blog…that my favorite all-time Earl Grey tea is not only from a fairly common brand-name company, but it is in fact a BAGGED tea. Yes, that’s right, the Tea Guru’s favorite Earl Grey tea is a bagged tea.
A lot of people might question this, as bagged tea are not usually considered to be of any discernible quality by tea enthusiasts because historically “bagging” tea has been used to hide the crappy quality of the tea dust that was inside the small, mostly opaque white bag. However major strides in tea have been made in the past decade alone, and now most bagged tea offer a very good quality, but above and beyond quality, they also offer *consistent* quality through different batches, and the major selling point…convenience!
Tazo Tea is one of these tea companies who has presented bagged tea with a never-before-seen quality and flavor. Their Earl Grey is a fantastic example of this, because I would consider this the “perfect” Earl Grey tea. Tazo does offer a “full leaf” version of their Earl Grey in sachets, but it’s not at all the same (or as good in my opinion!). This tea is the only tea on earth I would actually testify that “it’s simply better bagged”.
Each bag is individually wrapped as shown in the photo above…the lovely purple packaging is bright and lively and very elegant as well. Because of the quality individual wrapping, each teabag is very fresh when you open it.
When you tear open the purple package, the strong scent of black tea and bergamot jumps out at you! And – one of this tea’s most endearing qualities – is that you can actually see the oil of bergamot soaked into the teabag itself, and the perfumed fragrance of the bag is heavenly!
Tazo describes this tea as:
A more aromatic version of the Earl’s celebrated black tea, scented with the citrusy (sic) essence of bergamot from Italy. Harmoniously blended, the tea flavor and astringency of Tazo Earl Grey are perfectly balanced with the slightly spicy, lavender-and-lemon taste of bergamot.
Traditional black tea scented with the essence of bergamot, Tazo® Earl Grey is blended with some of the world’s most sought after teas from Sri Lanka and India. Scented with pure essence of bergamot from Southern Italy, Tazo® Earl Grey tastes like it’s from another place and time. And it is.
Ingredients: Black teas blended with the essence of bergamot orange
Tazo® was created for one purpose: to reinvent tea and the tea experience. By using high quality ingredients and a tremendous amount of experience and creativity, Tazo® has produced unique products that create an emotional connection with the consumer at many levels. Tazo® continues to expose consumers to the ancient traditions of tea, but presents this in a way that is bold, interesting and intriguing.
Unlike other tea companies, Tazo® purchases teas in their original container as packed at the garden to ensure the tea inside the chest or bag stays garden fresh and is not exposed to the heat and moisture in a blending facility at one of the tea shipping points.
The blending process is a very subtle art form that relies on subjective measurement of taste, color and aroma. Tazo® constantly tastes and determines which teas will go in which blend in what percentage, so flavor profiles remain consistent and of the highest quality possible.
The name Tazo® has roots in many civilizations. Tazo actually means “river of life” in the Romany Gypsy language and was used as a toast to life by ancient Greeks. Tazo also means “fresh” in several Hindi dialects. In ancient Babylonia, Tazo was a rejuvenating elixir thought to have magical properties.
The black tea base is very strong and pronounced, with a slightly astringent edge that’s most pleasant on the palate! The bergamot is crisp and strong….MMMMMmmm…best bergamot oil in a tea EVER!! I don’t know how Tazo does it, but it’s the PERFECT bergamot flavor. The aroma of the brewed tea is just as rejuvenating and invigorating as the taste is. It’s just so bold and flavorful! An all around fantastic tea, for any time of day, with or without sweetener, and perfect to take with you to work or on-the-go.
From the Tea Guru’s lips to yours…the perfect Earl Grey.