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Best Earl Grey (Reposted)

  • n

I'm addicted.

What are people's favorite brands? I grabbed some Republic of Tea Earl Greyer at Whole Foods, but would like something with more bergamot. The selection of my local WF was surprisingly low (SF, on California). I only saw two higher end Earl Greys ($10-ish a tin), and a couple of brands like Celestial Seasonings for under $5 a box.

I've also had nice vanilla Earl Grey at teahouses, but am willing to add my own vanilla syrup/extract to regular Earl Grey.

On that topic, is bergamot oil something I can buy and add to black tea myself, or is that a disgusting notion?


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  1. like the previous poster on the cooking board, I buy Twinings in England. Looseleaf. US twinings doesnt seem the same to me.

    at work I drink Replublic of tea earl grey all day long cos it is provided for us free. It reaches the spot, but i thik the twinings has the edge, especially when properly brewed in a pot.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sixy Beast

      Perhaps I'll have to convince my office to switch teas as well!

      I've found that many US brands of tea just don't taste the same. My cousins in Taiwan raved about Lipton's and Starbuck's teas to me the entire time I was there. I refused for the longest time because they're both godawful here. I finally caved, and they were delicious (neither was packaged in the States).

      I don't suppose there's a web source for looseleaf Twinings from England?

      1. re: nooodles

        I drink the US version of Twinings Earl Grey Tea loose tea brewed in a pot. It is the only tea I drink.
        Here is the UK website to order the English version
        of Earl Grey.

        Link: http://www.twinings.co.uk/mail_order.asp

        1. re: nooodles

          come to think of it noodles,
          I don't think I have compared the US Loose leaf twinings v the English, only the bags.

          maybe we should have a comparative tasting.

          I have one small packet of loose EG left I think.

      2. I favor Twinings loose leaf too and have only had the US kind, which works very well for me. In fact, I generally like their whole line of teas and stay away from Republic of Tea, which I find to have off flavors. Twinings is clean and classic. You might be able to order their England-packed teas from their website or a US purveyor.

        Since you like a strong bergamot flavor, you might want to look into the Trader Joe's EG (bag is only available I think) for a convenient option for work or to go. IIRC, the bergamot flavor is stronger than Twinings, which caused my husband to insist that we not buy it again.

        1. When I lived in Boston I used to frequent a place called Tealuxe because they had "extra Bergamot Earl Grey". My friends found it a bit strong, but I liked the change from the basic Earl Grey.

          Here in CA I just buy the basic foil packets of Bigelow for my day to day. (I am a tea fanatic, about 25 different teas floating around in my cabinet right now) I also like Twinnings "Lady Grey" too for a lighter/fruitier taste. Unfornately, a lot of my loose teas are in little containers and packets and are not labled with the stores they came from.

          Kinda off the topic but my favorite flavor of tea right now is "Elderberry" black tea. I can only seem to find it in Half Moon Bay, CA at the Half Moon Bay Coffee Roasters cafe, verrrry nice tea. Anyhoo, they may be able to provide you with a good Earl Grey. They sell online too.

          Link: http://www.tealuxe.com/goto/ourteas.html

          1 Reply
          1. re: gp

            i prefer the lighter twinings lady grey to earl grey. it's got lemon & seville orange to tone down the bergamot. here in los angeles you can find it loose leaf (UK) in persian markets, along with other bergamot-flavored black teas.

          2. Stash makes a double bergamot Earl Grey. Surprisingly, I didn't like it--more orangey than I think Earl grey should be, despite bergamot being an orange. But it may be what you're looking for and they are sold in a lot of health food stores and cafes.

            Right now, I've been lucky to get high quality looseleaf tea--there is a deli that imports tea and a bulk store that has many kinds of loose tea. But I don't think there's a specific brand. Run by an Englishman, natch.

            Good luck

            1 Reply
            1. re: devon

              I've heard mixed reviews of Stash's other teas (never tried 'em myself) but I love their Earl Grey black & green tea mix. Good stuff.

            2. c
              Caitlin Wheeler

              I recently discovered Revolution teas, and they make a lavender Earl Grey that may be my new favorite tea ever (but I'm a sucker for lavender). I bought tea bags, which are full leaf and not tea dust, and the tea bags are this nifty nylon. (I'm also a sucker for packaging).

              Link: http://revolutiontea.com/hot-tea.html...

              1. Upton Tea has about 10 different Earl Grey's, including the Extra Bergamot English Earl Grey, which they describe as:

                "Specially blended for those who prefer a richly scented Earl Grey. Our most popular Earl Grey. Rated "best overall" by the Wall Street Journal's Catalog Critic."

                I myself prefer a lighter touch of Bergamot on tea from Ceylon, such as their Earl Grey Ceylon Select, which they describe as:

                "The base for this tea is a quality broken-leaf Ceylon tea. Just the right amount of bergamot is added to achieve a balanced cup. A gold medal winner at London's Fine Foods Fair."

                Link: http://www.uptontea.com/

                1. I love the Earl Grey Bravo from Adagio Teas. Just floral enough, and a good black tea base, with the right touch of citrus. I buy it loose and brew it in their Ingenuitea tea pot.

                  Link: http://www.adagio.com/

                  Image: http://www.adagio.com/images2/product...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ElBee

                    BTW, if anyone is interested in ordering from Adagio, I'd love to send you a $5 gift certificate. Just email me at brogan.sully AT gmail.com

                    1. re: ElBee
                      ChowFun (derek)

                      I have the Ingenuity teapot as well ...great design!
                      If the certificate is still available, I'll try their Earl Gray!

                  2. I'm no tea expert, but I really enjoy Peet's Earl Grey -- loose, of course. Taylor's of Harrogate is also good. (http://www.englishteastore.com/eagrte...


                    Link: http://www.peets.com/shop/tea_detail....

                    1. i find these online sites sell excellent scented teas
                      www.the fragrantleaf.com

                      1. what is interesting about this is , the fact that I e mailed Bigelow tea who make Earl grey tea, after I saw a commerical on TV, for Earl Grey Ice tea. I did not know who was putting it out I thought of course it was them. Well low and behold it was not, they do not put it out,
                        Snapples does. I wonder if Snapple's got permission to use the Earl Grey name or one company is some how with the other. Wonder if this is going to cause a law suit.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: windyblue

                          I'd be very surprised if "Earl Grey" is trademarked - loads of companies make Earl Grey tea.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            It was named after Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey, b.1764, d. 1865. If you believe wikipedia, Twinings was the first commercial producer of Earl Grey's Tea, at his request, because they were his tea purveyor.

                            There are probably hundreds of Earl Grey types of blends, from England, India, Russia, US, and other places. I would recommend trying as many as you can find on line, in Slavic import markets, Indian grocery stores, gourmet shops, and even at Cost Plus World Market. Enjoy!

                            And it is quite good iced. Better than straight black tea iced with lemon.

                        2. I know this is a very old thread, but I want to see if tastes have changed - or if anyone has tried the Earl Grey from Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: sobriquet

                            For me the best all time Early Grey was Jackson's of Picadilly. Good tea to begin with and just the right amount of Bergamot without going overboard. Alas, I can't seem to find it anywhere. Maybe they went out of business? The next best thing is Fortnum & Mason. You can order it from their website now. I think it is $20 for a large tin (4oz?) of loose leaf. Expensive, but not more so than teas like Mariage Freres.

                            Have not tried Intellegentsia. I have been burned too many times by crappy Earl that I rarely try new ones now. Upton's varieties are all sub-par, I think, but I like almost all their other teas.

                            Anyone tried Devi Tea's Earl Grey?

                            1. re: laguera

                              If this thread is really coming back to life --- then I strongly suggest
                              Harney's teas, Millerton, NY, a wonderful place, worth the trip if you're anywhere in the CT-NY area. You can sample teas in the tasting room, and have a wonderful lunch or afternoon tea. They mail order, of course, but since it's near us, we go when we can.
                              Earl Grey lovers, try the Earl Grey Supreme. It's heaven.

                          2. Is there a Coffeegeek-like site dedicated to tea? I'm looking for somewhere with reviews.

                            1. I recently ordered two Earl Greys from Mariage Freres -- Earl Grey French Blue and Earl Grey Impérial. The French Blue has blue cornflowers in it and I liked it (not sure if I can taste the cornflowers, but find it a very pleasant blend). The Earl Grey Impérial seems like Earl Grey on steroids (the smell is overwhelming), and I don't like it at all.

                              Mariage Freres has dozens of other Earl Greys as well, but I haven't tried them.

                              1. if you like a strong bergamot flavor in your earl grey, i'm a big fan of the ahmad's of london brand, i often find it very cheaply (teabags or loose) in middle eastern markets, and sometime more expensively in "gourmet" shops. it's got a really enjoyable flavor and lots of bergamot, worth a try if you find some.

                                here's their website - http://www.ahmadtea.com/

                                1. Hands down, Dilmah's Earl Grey is the best -- and I grew up drinking Jackson's (R.I.P). Dilmah is a Sri Lankan, single source tea company. You can get it online (http://www.teadog.com/Earl-Grey-Tea-s...).

                                  Dilmah's story & practices here (http://onlineshop.dilmahtea.com/


                                  I wouldn't drink most of what you can buy in a grocery (Bigelow's EG tastes like dirt).

                                  1. Been buying Paromi brand since came on market about 4 years ago. Bags are cornstarch, leaves are whole, and they use two different bergamot oils. When you open the jar, it smells like the best perfume. One bag makes about 4-5 cups.

                                    2 Replies
                                      1. re: ossauiraty

                                        Used to sell at D&D, but with new buyer, was not on shelf last time through. Try the company direct for locations. They are extremely small and extremely friendly. WWW.paromi.com , or