The Good: Caffeinated, No aftertaste, Intriguing somewhat orange tea taste, Powerful taste
The Bad: Individually wrapped
The Basics: Flavorful and strong, Double Bergamot Earl Grey is an Alpha among the black teas and a success for Stash!
A few weeks ago, I had cause for celebration. It was new steeping pot day for me and I was exceptionally excited about my new steeping pot from my wife. My wife bought me a new 32 oz. steeping pot to replace the one that came crashing to the ground about two months ago and it's been a real challenge to find a new ceramic steeping pot. So, to commemorate the grand event, she bought me a grand new tea on the hopes that I would love it. My wife played a hunch, knowing my love of Earl Grey teas and snuck a box of Stash Premium Double Bergamot Earl Grey black tea into our cart the other night. As she expected, I was blown away.
Stash teas are fairly new to me, though I've been generally pleased with the brand. Even so, I found their Earl Grey to be a little bit more mild than I would have preferred. With Double Bergamot Earl Grey, however, Stash creates an Earl Grey which is robust, delicious and has an aroma which could fill up an entire floor of a house!
Double Bergamot Earl Grey is a tea from Stash. It is a tea that has caffeine and it is a much stronger Earl Grey than most, making for a delightful tea experience for anyone who loves flavorful black teas. Double Bergamot Earl Grey comes in Stash's standard individually-wrapped tea bags, means that each tea bag has a wax papery envelope it is sealed in for freshness. Each tea bag has a five-inch string with a little paper tab at the end, which is quite a bit more waste than I like from a tea bag. When I make pots of tea, I tend to use two bags and making a steeping pot of Double Bergamot Earl Grey reminds me of why I like the easy environmentalism of Celestial Seasonings' stringless bags. A box of Double Bergamot Earl Grey comes with only 18 individually-wrapped tea bags, which is a little more expensive than their standard teas.
Double Bergamot Earl Grey is marketed as a tea-flavored tea and it is exceptional in that regard, but it easily rivals Celestial Seasonings and Twinings when compared to other Earl Greys. In fact, in a head-on competition between the three, the Double Bergamot might well be the winner these days! If one wants something that is flavored like tea leaves this will do it. I tend to like flavorful teas and this is a wonderful one.
Ease of Preparation
Double Bergamot Earl Grey is a black tea, which means preparation is as easy as boiling a pot of water! Double Bergamot Earl Grey, as the directions clearly state, require water that is boiling. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea, though reusing the tea bags yields little more than hot water. These tea bags can be reused and the resulting beverage is about 3/4 strength and has a more potent dry aftertaste than the original brewing. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, even for a second pot.
To prepare Double Bergamot Earl Grey, simply boil up some water, and pour it over the tea bags in a cup, mug or steeping pot. This tea is recommended to take three to five minutes to steep and after a couple pots (it has been a good day already!), I've found that with boiling water, the tea is ready at the four minute mark and letting it steep longer does not truly change the results. Letting the tea steep more than five minutes does not net any additional flavor, nor does it denature the flavor of the tea.
Double Bergamot Earl Grey is a tea that tastes like what it is. Double Bergamot Earl Grey is a tea flavored tea that is defined by the flavor of bergamot. Sadly, that's the best way to define it as Double Bergamot Earl Grey is a mix of black tea and bergamot. Ideally, Double Bergamot Earl Grey has a forceful flavor that assaults the taste buds and overpowers virtually anything that is combined with it. It is a very masculine tea and one that is strong, rich in aroma and uncompromising in its flavor.
Stash's Double Bergamot Earl Grey, is exactly what it promises to be. The aroma opens the consumer up for the flavor of bergamot and the flavor is all black tea with a dry and slightly fruity taste to it. Stash's tea does have a hint of orange to the flavor, but the Bergamot clearly wins out, making a tea that is strong, dry and powerfully black. It is what it is and it tastes like exactly what it smells like; strong bergamot flavoring!
With a teaspoon of sugar, Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey becomes a little fruitier, a bit sweeter, but no more strong. Similarly, milk does little for the tea, but it is unable to overwhelm the tea flavor. This is not an ideal tea to have iced, unless one likes cool, dry and sour for their beverage choices.
That Stash’s Double Bergamot Earl Grey tastes like Double Bergamot Earl Grey is no surprise, as the only ingredients are premium black tea and oil of bergamot. Double Bergamot Earl Grey tea is all natural, gluten free (apparently), Kosher, and does contain caffeine. There is a lot of caffeine (the box does not say how much there actually is in this, but it does seem like it is sufficient to keep one awake, especially when drunk late at night).
Were it not for the sugar I add whenever I make pots of Double Bergamot Earl Grey, this tea would be devoid of any nutritional value. It contains no calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates or protein.
Double Bergamot Earl Grey is supposed to be a fairly dark black tea and Stash’s lives up to that. As a result, cleanup is rather simple, save on fabrics. The mugs and steeping pot easily rinse out. This tea will stain if it is left on fabrics, so simply do not let the tea cups or mugs linger on light colored materials that might stain! This is definitely a tea that demands that the brewer wash out the steeping pot before brewing any other tea in the same pot, otherwise the oil of bergamot lingers in the pot.
Double Bergamot Earl Grey is easy to clean up after - the tea bags may be disposed in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. One of the nice things about this tea - like most - is that so long as it is kept cool and dry, it can last for a long time and it is easy to clean up. However, like all Stash teas, there is extra waste from the strings, paper tabs and individual wrappings around each bag.
Close enough to perfect, the Double Bergamot Earl Grey tea is one worth picking up for anyone who likes strong, flavorful tea. Not for the feint of tastebuds!
For other Stash teas, please check out my reviews of:
Coconut Mango Oolong
Chai Spice Decaf
For other food reviews, please visit my index page!
© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.