Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Archer Farms Chocolateberry Earl Grey Tea Is A Great Twist On An Amazing Tea!

The Good: Excellent flavor, Nothing detrimental in the nutrition department, Good aroma, Caffeinated
The Bad: Superfluous papers, plastic and strings.
The Basics: A wonderful twist on the standard Earl Grey tea, Archer Farms Chocolateberry Earl Grey makes it worth braving the snow to get some tea!

For those who might not have read my many, many, many other tea reviews, I love tea. I love Earl Grey tea and my wife has a habit of picking me up various Earl Greys to try and compare. I appreciate that because I love the Bergamot flavor of Earl Grey tea so much. One of the most intriguing recent finds when it comes to Earl Grey teas that she has found for me is the Chocolateberry Earl Grey tea from Archer Farms.

I do not know anywhere off-line that sells Archer Farms teas like this, outside Target. But this tea is all the excuse one might need to go to Target!


Chocolateberry Earl Grey Tea is a black tea from Archer Farms of Canada. Black tea is made from mature tea leaves that are dried on the tea plant. Archer Farms has its Chocolateberry Earl Grey tea available year round and it is surprisingly good. Chocolateberry Earl Grey is what I call and 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.

Chocolateberry Earl Grey comes in Archer Farms' standard tea bags, which are pyramid-shaped tea nets. Each pyramid teabag is attached to an unfortunately short - 2 1/2” string. The string is attached to a paper tab and each teabag is sealed in a plastic pouch for freshness. A box of Chocolateberry Earl Grey tea comes with 15 individual plastic-wrapped tea bags. After years of drinking only Celestial Seasonings' tea, this seems remarkably wasteful now to have so much waste, especially with the plastic.

Ease Of Preparation

As a black tea, Chocolateberry Earl Grey 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 Chocolateberry Earl Grey with 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 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 - at best - about 7/8 strength.

To prepare Chocolateberry Earl Grey tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags. For Chocolateberry Earl Grey, roaring boil is just fine! This tea takes only four 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.


Chocolateberry Earl Grey tea is instantly inviting with its aroma. Whatever gimmick I might have suspected Archer Farms had in their name, they had me with the scent of this tea. Archer Farms Chocolateberry Earl Grey tea smells just like milk chocolate and Bergamot. Both scents are distinctive and this tea has them both, effervescing from the mug in the most incredible way.

Chocolateberry Earl Grey tea is a very strong tea and it carries the Earl Grey portion of its name expertly. This tea has a potent Bergamot flavor that drowns out the flavor from the black tea leaves in the mug. While there is a decent chocolate aroma to the tea, the taste does not have a noticeably chocolatey flavor. What the Chocolateberry Earl Grey tea does have is a lack of the cripplingly dry aftertaste that most Earl Grey teas possess. As the tea cools, it does take on a slightly dry aftertaste, but for the most part, this is a slightly sweet, very bold Bergamot flavored tea without the dry undertaste usually associated with Earl Grey.

With a teaspoon of sugar, the Chocolateberry Earl Grey becomes quite a bit sweeter, as if it had been infused with milk chocolate. It loses any sense of dry aftertaste with sugar without losing any of the strength of the tea. If ever there were a thirst-quenching Earl Grey, it is Chocolateberry Earl Grey with a teaspoon of sugar!


The ingredients to this tea are a bit more complex than some Earl Greys. Because it is infused with some chocolate flavors, the Cocoaberry Earl Grey includes several ingredients past the black tea, rooibos leaves and carob that top the ingredients list. Fortunately, there is nothing unpronounceable in this beverage.

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), no fat, sodium, or protein. There is caffeine, but how it relates to other beverages remains a mystery; Archer Farms does not put a scale on their boxes of tea. This tea is rather caffeinated, though and it will wake the drinker up.


Chocolateberry Earl Grey 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. If composting, though, one must remove the paper tag, staple and string, which is just a tedious extra step. 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.

Chocolateberry Earl Grey 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. Because of all of the extra packaging surrounding each teabag, Chocolateberry Earl Grey tea lasts quite a while. The box we purchased in early summer has a January 2013 expiration date and it is hard to imagine the tea going bad even then!


Archer Farms Chocolateberry Earl Grey tea is one of the better Earl Grey teas on the market. It is a nice change from standard Earl Greys in both its primary flavor and its lack of a dry aftertaste. That makes it a “must try” for anyone who considers themselves an Earl Grey afficianado!

For other Earl Grey tea reviews, please check out:
Celestial Seasonings Victorian Earl Grey
Twinings Earl Grey
Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey
Republic Of Tea Earl Greyer
Bigelow Earl Grey


For other food or drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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