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Apr 22, 2005 02:47 PM

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.


        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.


          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).