Tag Archives: Ceylon

Black tea: Earl Grey

Earl Grey

Fragrant and special. Do not consume daily.
Black tea* » Indian** » Ceylon teas (Sri Lanka), ★★★

Earl Grey is a Sri Lankan (Ceylon) tea blended with highly-fragrant bergamot oil.

The blending process is crucial to the final taste, and every tea manufacturer will blend their Earl Grey differently. This blend, from T2 in Australia, is particularly pungent.

Unfortunately, bergamot oil is slightly toxic. Studies have shown that it interferes with any medicines you might be taking, and makes your skin blush and sunburn more easily. Check this example from Wikipedia:

In one case study, a patient who consumed four litres of Earl Grey tea per day reported muscle cramps, which were attributed to the function of the bergapten in bergamot oil as a potassium channel blocker. The symptoms subsided upon reducing his consumption of Earl Grey tea to one litre per day.

I thus remove two stars. Drink it only occasionally.

That said, Earl Grey pairs well with either milk (best in winter) or a slice of lemon (very refreshing in summer). It suits traditional, British tea/garden party in summer, and ices well, too!

I’m don’t usually support adulterated tea (see my reviews of Gorgeous Geisha or Ginger Baimudan) but I do like Earl Grey. This is one of few tea-innovations that, taste-wise, the West should be proud of—even if it isn’t good for your health. ★★★

* It’s technically not a Scented Tea because the fragrances have been blended with the leaf and not infused.

** The “Indian” branch of my Tea Types 2012 chart represents teas from the Indian subcontinent (of which Sri Lanka and three Indian regions are all sub-categories). It’s geographically rational, but politically wrong. I do this because tea trees don’t care about politics.

Black tea: Ceylon FBOPFEXSP

Ceylon FBOPFEXSP

Milk chocolate taste with light, smokey notes and a nonsense acronym attached.
Black tea » Indian* » Ceylon teas (Sri Lanka), ★★★★

This tea tastes a little harder than the softer Assam teas, especially the nutty-chocolatey Assam from Nonaipara Estate.

First, you’ll notice a milk chocolatey taste and mouthfeel. It’s pleasant and would handle lemon or milk and sugar very well. Traditional, British tea-drinkers would love this Ceylon.

Second, you’ll feel a very slight smokiness that becomes a little more evident in later brews (as the sweetness wanes). It’s not overpoweringly smokey—it’s not a smoked tea. By comparison, the smokey taste is on a similar level to that of Gunpowder Green (another unsmoked tea).

I have no clue as to what those letters in “Ceylon FBOPFEXSP” stand for. That’s not because I don’t understand the grading nomenclature, but because there is no such acronym for describing a grade of tea. Google the acronym on its own and you’ll be directed to the product page for my local tea store, T2. I’m wondering whether “Ceylon FBOPFEXSP” is just another clever marketing trick by T2. Bless them.

I would definitely buy this tea. ★★★★

* the “Indian” branch of my Tea Types 2012 chart represents teas from the Indian subcontinent (of which Sri Lanka and three Indian regions are all sub-categories). It’s geographically rational, but politically wrong. But tea trees don’t care about politics.