Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tea Therapy - T2 French Earl Grey

In this new feature, Tea Therapy, I'll be looking to review the fun loose leaf teas which I acquire throughout the year. This first installment features T2's French Earl Grey which I first encountered in their SoHo location. The brand itself is from Australia, but they have expanded their first US shop to NYC. After going to the Novala appearance at Baby a few weeks back, a few friends and I spent a good bit of time window shopping around SoHo. We stepped into the wonderland that was T2 to escape the cold a bit, and what better safe haven than a tea shop? Browsing through the Earl Grey selections, one of the attendants suggested that we look at the French Earl Grey. Opening up the tea cube, we were all entranced by the sweet aroma which wafted out of the open container. Though I did not end up purchasing anything that day, I opted to make an order from them quite recently of a new infuser and the one small tea cube of French Earl Grey.

The tea itself has a very sweet and fruity scent one would expect from any kind of readily available herbal tea. What is interestingly absent from the usual Earl Grey aroma is the bergamot. Though there is still a strong presence of citrus, it's not the same heaviness that so often accompanies bergamot. Visually, the dried tea is very colorful with everything from oranges and yellows to deep pinks and light lavenders. 

After steeping the tea for the recommended 2-3 minutes, I was pleasantly surprised by how light the flavor was. I had originally been anticipating a much sweeter version of the usual Earl Grey due to the smell of the loose leaf itself, but when steeped it lost nearly all of that sweetness while retaining the hints of fruit. The citrus was still present, but not to the same overbearing level many cheaper versions of Earl Grey are infused with. Instead the tea had a nice light flavor while still maintaining the heart and soul of a true Earl Grey. I am a huge fan of black tea and instantly made T2's French Earl Grey a classic. While a number of black teas can be difficult for some people to drink straight without milk or sugar, French Earl Grey achieves a light and slightly fruity flavor without treading into the territory of overly sweet. I'm looking forward to figuring out what kind of tea time snacks would best pair with this particular tea, and hope to have equal luck with any future purchases I make from T2. For the smallest size, the cube, French Earl Grey will run you $13.00, but with an infusion that includes hibiscus, sunflower petals, rose petals, and mallow flowers - it's hard to go wrong.

Do you have a favorite kind of Earl Grey? Share in the comments below!

Until next time - much love,

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