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As I've mentioned a few times now in reviews, being caffeine intolerant makes me have to be careful what food and drink I have. I've made a few mistakes over the years drinking or eating something that I shouldn't and believe me it's not a good feeling.
Finding Twinings did a decaffeinated version of their Earl Grey Tea made me sublimely happy as I absolutely adore Earl Grey Tea, and when I first found this I'd not been able to have any for several years.
What IS Earl Grey Tea?
Earl Grey tea is regular black tea blended with oil from the bergamot orange. Actually this is its origins, however today you get other blends which as long as they still include the bergamot oil are still known as earl grey. Twinings Earl Grey however is still made with a blend of black tea.
Did you know?
Did you know that bergamot oil can block potassium intake? Apparently it can, so if you're someone who suffers from cramp (like me) you should avoid drinking too much of it, however, when they say too much, apparently we're talking several litres per day, so most of us don't need to worry too much.
Making a cup of Earl Grey
There is the traditional way of drinking Earl Grey Tea, and the way I do it.
The traditional method is to infuse your Earl Grey tea in the hot water, let it steep, and then add lemon and if you like it, sugar or honey. Now I'm not keen on it like this. I prefer to make and drink my Earl Grey more like a regular cuppa with milk and two sweeteners. I know some people think this is odd, but I enjoy it like this, and I figure as long as I do so why should I worry about whether it's the traditional way to drink it or not.
Twinings Earl Grey Decaffeinated Teabags are a god-send to me as I've said. They've allowed me to have back a drink that I'd effectively lost for a few years. It's hard for me to compare the difference between this and Earl Grey with caffeine in because I've not had any for so long, but I will say that compared to ordinary tea this is much more subtle in flavour. The bergamot gives it an almost fruity hint without actually being like oranges at all. It's more like when you add the zest rather than the juice of a fruit to a cake, it gives it a 'hint of' rather than making it taste of if you see what I mean. Some would say that it gives it a 'perfumed' flavour which actually is quite a good description when you taste it, but until you do doesn't actually explain anything unfortunately.
These are not cheap teabags. However, considering they're counted as a specialty tea, they're not actually particularly expensive either, and unlike ordinary tea there doesn't seem to be an additional price hike added because they've been decaffeinated either. In my Tesco store these are £2.38 for 50 decaffeinated or regular. It would be nice if they were cheaper, but I don't actually object to paying for them as it's such a lovely thing to sit down and enjoy a mug of steaming hot Earl Grey Tea.
Overall I love these, and would be extremely unhappy if Twinings ever stopped making them. They make a fantastic cup of tea and one I welcome at any time and for any reason.
Tea ? the best drink of the day. Well for me it most certainly is. I think a cup of tea is so therapeutic. It helps people cope with a multitude of circumstances. If someone has suffered a shock, what do we say? ?I?ll just pop the kettle on for a nice cup of tea, that?ll help you?. If a loved one has died then again, the first thing we do is ask the relative if they want a cup of tea. If we are thirsty, a cup of tea will quench that thirst. So, in effect, it is kind of like a natural form of medicine! Before I tell you about the product I am reviewing let me explain a little bit more about tea Not only is tea packed with flavour but it is also packed with history. From the 1600s the Dutch and Portuguese traders brought tea to Europeans who were very sceptical about it at the time.. High taxes and lack of competition stifled the British tea trade. During the 1700s the risk and rewards for smuggling tea were high and this period also saw the end of taxation on tea. During the 1800s more and more people started drinking tea which obviously increased the sales and tea became an essential part of the British way of life. The 1900s saw a worldwide market for tea. Now the Chinese have been drinking tea for both health and enjoyment for nearly 5,000 years. Here is a little tale. The Emperor Shen Nung was going to drink some boiled water near an overhanging tree and some of the leaves blew into the pan. Because the Emperor was inquisitive he thought he would taste this and made the discovery that all tea drinkers all over the world know today ? that tea is such a refreshing drink. A little teaser ? do you know how the phrase ?a cup of char? came into being? No, then I shall tell you. ?Cha? is the Mandarin word for tea so consequently people would say ?a cup of cha? which later became ?a cup of char? and basically means a very strong cup of tea. Earl Grey tea takes its name from Charles,2
nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. Now this PM was known to be a great reformer but he is best known for the tea which was named after him. Apparently, an envoy had been sent to China by Earl Grey and, because they did a good deed for the Mandarin (details unknown!) the Mandarin in turn sent this blend of tea to the Earl. The Earl asked his tea merchants, Twinings, if they could match it because his supply had run out. This they did and guests used to ask where they could buy this tea. They were always directed to Twinings on the Strand and they would ask for Earl Grey?s tea hence this particular blend became known as Early Grey Tea. Now, to the tea in question. The square-shaped tea bags are usually packaged in a grey/purple foil lined box containing 50 tea bags. The foil helps to retain the freshness of the tea. There is a picture of Earl Grey on the front and the words Twining, Earl Grey Decaffinated, delicate flavour. There is a tab on the side of the box which you have to pull and it easily tears around the three sides of the box. The lid opens and there is another lid which you have to push on the tab and open it up. This is necessary to retain the flavour of the tea. Because Twinings became increasingly aware of the concerns of some of their customers regarding caffeine, they introduced the decaffeinated variant of this popular blend of tea. They choose only the finest of tea leaves which are carefully blended before being decaffeinated. The caffeine content is said to be less than 0.1%. Twinings decaffeinated teas are ?decaffed? by using carbon dioxide under super critical conditions. Now carbon dioxide is a natural substance (as we all know it is in the air we breathe) and it doesn?t leave any residue in the decaff tea. It?s recognised as being safe and the food industry widely use it ? it is the ?fizz? that we hear in carbonated drinks and is produced by yeast fermentation (like the one that ma
kes bread rise). The tea originates from China. The flavour of Earl Grey tea is very light, should be pale gold in colour and has a delicious delicate flavour of the citrus fruit bergamot. Twinings has fully recognised that it has a duty to provide safe, nutritional tea to its consumers and minimises the level of pesticide which can be residual in food. They buy the tea on the open market but have no control over how it is grown. Apparently they say that any pesticide residues in tea provide an insignificant contribution to pesticide intakes from dietary sources. However, they do monitor the raw materials for the residues and work with concerned parties so that, where practical, these pesticides can be eliminated. However, where the use of pesticides is unavoidable then they are used at minimum levels in accordance with good agricultural practices and legislation. Now how can I describe the taste and smell of Earl Grey tea. I think this blend of tea is one of those products that you either love it or hate it ? rather like Marmite. Now, I love it but my husband hates it. I haven?t always loved it. About 15 years ago I picked up a cup of Earl Grey tea by mistake and actually spat it out. I thought it tasted like a cup of perfume. However, since then my taste buds have changed. I got bored with drinking ordinary tea which I find can be too strong at times. I wanted a taste that was lighter and more refreshing. When you open the box of Earl Grey you instantly get a lightly flowered scent smell. It?s not too heavy but just right. I usually leave the tea bag in so that I get a stronger taste. When I take my first sip of tea I can smell the light perfume of bergamot and the tea tastes so light and goes down my palate very easily unlike some heavy tasting refreshed after drinking my decaff Earl Grey tea. One other benefit of drinking decaff tea is that the liquid intake can count as part of a water intake. To try and exp
lain myself more fully ? last year my company had a ?health day? and I went to see what was on offer. There were various stalls relating to health and I had a body mass index taken and the nurse told me that I should drink 8 glasses of water a day. I told her that I found this to be too much of plain old water. To which she replied, do you drink decaff tea/coffee. No, I don?t. She said that if I did then the amount of decaff liquid I drank would be counted in the 8 glasses of water per day. So you see, it?s really healthy too! Now, not all people can make a good cup of tea. Here are the basic steps to making a good cup of decaff Earl Grey tea: 1. Always use fresh water from the top ? never use water that has previously been boiled. 2. Always warm the teapot before putting in the boiling water. 3. Always use the recommended suppliers suggestion of tea bas per cup. 4. Always use boiling water to pour into the teapot. 5. Always leave brew to ?mass? (as we say up North). 6. Always stir the brew before serving. 7. If required, serve with a little milk. To taste this brew at its best serve neat or with a little slice of lemon. 8. If required, use sugar or sweetener but as this tea is slightly perfumed I don?t really think it is necessary. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? ======================= Well, I usually pay £2.69 for a box of 50 which is quite expensive but I really do think they are worth it. Sometimes, I must admit on very rare occasions, I managed to get it on a special offer at £1.49. In any case, I usually buy 4 boxes at a time because the supermarkets do not always have this variety in stock. Perhaps if customers bought more of it then the price might be reduced. Try it, taste it and see what a difference it makes. Happy tea tasting.
Character: This black tea, scented with the oil of Bergamot, gives a most refreshing sensation. How and when to serve: Black or with very little milk, but never lemon which detracts from the Bergamot. Some have it for breakfast, most in the afternoon, and some in the evening. Origin: China. Strenght 1.