Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More Bitter Than Distinctive, My First Experience With Republic Of Tea, Earl Greyer, Disappoints.

The Good: Caffeinated, Environmentally decent teabags, Taste is not horrible.
The Bad: Not distinctly Earl Grey flavored, Bitter taste and aftertaste.
The Basics: A very disappointing first experience with the Republic Of Tea, I find their Earl Greyer to be weak and not possessing the distinct Bergamot flavoring.

Those who read my many tea reviews know that I am a huge fan of Earl Grey tea and that I have been expanding my horizons to branch out past my usual favorite brand, Celestial Seasonings. I am actually happy to try some new teas and the brand Republic Of Tea came to me highly recommended. For what it is worth, I anticipated being able to rate the brand higher than most because of the environmental responsibility of their teabags, which come unhindered by teabag garbage like strings and papers and individual wrappers. Unfortunately, my first experience with the brand was Earl Greyer and their version of Earl Grey fell drastically shy of my expectations. [FYI: Despite this review coming after my review of Republic Of Tea’s Orange Ginger Mint tea, this was actually my first experience with the brand!]

Earl Grey is a black tea that is made distinct by the oil of Bergamot present in it. Unfortunately, Earl Greyer is not well-endowed with that flavor. Instead, it is bitter, dry and anything but satisfying for Earl Grey fans. It might be a fair tea, but it is a poor Earl Grey and I can think of no good reason to stock up on it in the 50 teabag canister.


Earl Greyer Tea is a black tea from Republic Of Tea. Black tea is made from mature tea leaves that are dried on the tea plant. Republic Of Tea has its Earl Greyer tea available year round, but it falls short of being the ideal Earl Grey flavor. Earl Grey is what I call an adjective tea; the flavor is its own, the name does not hold it to any standard other than to represent what is generally accepted as that flavor. In other words, Earl Grey tastes like Earl Grey and Earl Greyer does not taste as good as other brands' Earl Grey!

Earl Greyer comes in Republic Of Tea's standard stringless tea bags. The tea bags are round, loose and come in a canister without any problematic wrappings or strings. The bulk canister of Earl Greyer tea comes with 50 tea bags.

Ease Of Preparation

As a black tea, Earl Greyer is ridiculously easy to prepare. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea and could be reused and make a second cup of Earl Greyer with surprisingly little loss of flavor. Indeed, this is one of the best teas for those who like to reuse tea bags. The second cup often comes out about 3/4 or 7/8 as strong as the first, provided the first steeping was not over the recommended time. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, though in this method, the second brewing is about 3/4 strength.

To prepare Earl Greyer tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags. This tea takes only three to five minutes to steep according to the directions. In my experience, it gets no stronger after five minutes and as a rather strong tea, it does not truly need to be stronger than it naturally is.


Earl Greyer tea, like any adjective tea, is somewhat difficult to rate on taste in that it is what it tastes like. There is no standard for comparison for Earl Grey, save other Earl Grey teas! Republic Of Tea Earl Greyer tea, however, tastes more like generic black tea than Earl Grey tea. The Earl Greyer has a very weak Bergamot aroma, so when it is brewed up, it does not effervesce the way most Earl Grey teas do.

Sadly, this prepares the consumer well for the taste of the Earl Greyer. Republic Of Tea's Earl Grey offering is oddly bitter, very dry and strangely watery. Yes, even throwing a third teabag into the pot, I found Earl Greyer to be disappointingly watery and not robust with Bergamot the way the tea ought to be.

With a teaspoon of sugar, Earl Greyer is less bitter, but no less watery in flavor and I was surprised when the milk I splashed into one mug overwhelmed the flavor. Cold, Earl Greyer is just bitter with no real flavor or taste depth.


The ingredients to this tea, which will explain my inability to describe the flavor, are quite simply: Black tea and Natural bergamot flavor. There are no other ingredients or flavors, nothing that cannot be pronounced.

In terms of nutrition, this tea is devoid of it. One 8 oz. mug of this tea provides nothing of nutritional value to the drinker. There are no calories (save what one adds from sugar, which I recommend), no fat, sodium, or protein. There is caffeine, though the Republic Of Tea canister does not have a caffeine meter to inform me how much. To be fair to this otherwise lackluster Earl Grey, it does perk one up when they drink it.


Earl Greyer tea is very easy to clean up after, provided one does not get it on fabric. The tea bags may be disposed in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. The tea itself will stain a mug a faint brown if it is left there for days on end, but otherwise may be cleaned up easily by rinsing out the vessel.

Earl Greyer is a rather dark tea and as a result, it will stain any light fabrics it comes in contact with. As a result, it is highly recommended that one not let it linger on anything they wish to protect and not have stained. It may be cleaned off if the spill is caught quickly, but if it lingers, it is not at all easy to wash out of clothes, linens or other fabrics.


Earl Greyer is a disappointingly bland rendition of Earl Grey and it tastes more like an average tea than anything extraordinary.

For other beverage reviews, please check out my takes on:
Stash Coconut Mango Oolong Tea
Duff Energy Drink
Zingers To Go - Peach Delight


For other food reviews of mine, please check out my index page!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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