Monday, June 17, 2013

Everyone's a Critic: Tea Total's Earl Grey Rose Tea

God but I love tea - it's no secret.

Business obligations call for the Mother and the Father to trip over towards Tauranga with a certain regularity, and upon occasion - I will accompany them.  (Yes yes, I am still staying with the parentals.  Every home needs a Daughter with a Doctorate.  Career soon, perhaps?).

In Gate Pa there is a shop called Gourmet Trader, and they stock a nice selection of Tea Total teas (amongst other very exciting/foreign ingredients for the cook or baker).  So - I have been sampling.

Lets start from the bottom.
Bengal Chai.  I like Chai, but this was a bit of an experiment.  It is very peppery.  In fact, if you make 4 tea cups-worth, by the second cup you can taste naught but pepper.

Disappointing.  I don't regret trying it (like with most nasty fruit "teas"), but I'll most likely never buy it again. 1.5 out of 5.
Earl Grey Special.  This tea is a complete delight to look at, dry.  Citrus pieces and Jasmin flowers - beautiful.  The flavour is nice, though it's a tea you want to drink with no other flavours clouding your palate, to really let everything grab you.  Unfortunately I don't find it as rich and...soothing, as I would like my pot of Earl Grey to be.

So - 3 out of 5.  Might be one to buy every now and again for a change.
Earl Grey Rose.  The rose flavour in this one is strong, which despite expectations is not always the case in a rose tea.  A little bit stronger than the Special, and a bit...warmer.

This one's a keeper.  4 out of 5, not an all time fav, but one to keep stocked in the cupboard.

Next up I want to try the Governor Grey (I quite like Lady Grey every now and again) and the Imperial.  A couple of pots to get through first.  And then maybe some of the other Chais and diving into the magnitude of Black teas.   Oh the hardship.  Every writer needs a pot of tea at their elbow.


  1. I was wondering if I had mentioned my thoughts to you about the Earl Grey Rose when I read the subject of your blog, but I don't actually think I have? I have to say, I actually find the rose flavour to be a little bit overpowering. By the bottom of the cup I'm sort of over it. But then maybe I'm just a delicate flower, I can only drink gumboot/regular tea if the bag is dunked less than 30 seconds. For new flavours I recommend the Nepal Masala, it's yum. The website describes it as a mostly cinnamon flavoured tea, but to be honest I hadn't realised that! I thought it was a nice, slightly citrusy, nutty chai. I must have a cup tomorrow and reflect on this.
    (Also just noticed the website sells $2 sample size bags...)
    p.s emailing you tomorrow!

    1. Interesting, you should try the Paris one, they say its got a more subtle rose flavour. You and my Nana are like the same person :P Knitting and weak tea.

      I'm a two-bags-in-a-bad-mood tea strength kind of gal. I like a pot well steeped.

      I'll have to try the Nepal Masala next, yum.