My favorite Earl Grey tea is from Culinary Teas, so when I went to sample this creamy variation on my old favorite, I was enthusiastic to say the least! Although I personally prefer the strength and sharpness in their classic Earl Grey tea, this makes a naturally sweet vanilla alternative.
This tea leaves the same strong bergamot flavor on the palate, which is the perfect frame for the bright Ceylon tea leaves, with a very strong creamy vanilla overtone to the entire cup. Because of the naturally sweet vanilla, you may wish to use less sweetener than usually with this cup of tea.
Culinary Teas describes this tea as:
Our Cream Earl Grey tea is the world’s best Earl Grey with a extra kick of creamy sweetness. Made with all natural flavorings.
Country of Origin: Sri Lanka Region: Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula or Uva districts Shipping Port: Colombo Grade: OP (Orange Pekoe) Altitude: 4800 – 7600 feet above sea level Manufacture Type: Orthodox Cup Characteristics: An exquisite Earl Grey character mellowed with soft hints of cream. Truly a taste extravaganza. Infusion: Bright and Coppery. Ingredients: Luxury black tea, Cornflower petals, Natural flavors.
Information: Earl Grey is world reknown as a classic English tea – probably as famous as Tower Bridge or Big Ben, and if you are fan of Earl Grey and have not tried this, you are in for a treat. Cream Earl Grey has a taste that is smooth with vanilla overtones, which stand out above the premium bergamot flavor – the signature taste of Earl Grey. This is a tea that would complement a meal or any aristocratic occasion for that matter! One has to think that Charles Grey (1764-1845) would have approved of this delicacy.
What type of tea do we use, how do we flavor the tea and why do we use natural flavors?
Firstly… we only use high grown teas from the top 3 tea growing regions of Sri Lanka – Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula and Uva. These three high-grown districts produce flavorful teas that have classic ‘Ceylon’ tea character which is noted by floral bouquet and flavor notes, touches of mild astringency, bright coppery color and, most importantly – perfect for use as the base tea of our flavored teas. (We have tested teas from various other origins around the world as base stock for our flavored teas, but none of these teas made the grade.) Dimbula and the western estates of Nuwara Eliya have a major quality peak during Jan/Feb, whereas Uva and the eastern estates of Nuwara Eliya have their peak in July/Aug. This ‘dual peak period’ allow us to buy the best for our flavored tea blends several times during the year, ensuring top quality and freshness.
Secondly… we use flavoring oils not crystals to give the tea drinker an olfactory holiday before indulging in a liquid tea treat.
Thirdly… we specify natural flavors. High quality tea tastes good and natural flavors do not mask the natural taste of the high grown Ceylon tea. (The norm for many making flavored tea is to use overpowering artificial flavors, which can be used to hide lower quality tea). Natural flavors do not leave an aftertaste giving the tea a clean and true character. It should be noted that natural flavors tend to be somewhat ‘soft ‘ and the flavors slightly muted, but for many this is a refreshing change and one of the desired attributes of our naturally flavored teas.
I love my Earl Grey strong and bold, so I still prefer the “classic” over the “cream” style Earl Grey, but this sample from Culinary Teas is absolutely one of the highest quality cream Earl Grey teas available that I’ve had the pleasure of sampling. If you like your Earl Grey strong but sweet, give this one a try!