I grew up on southern sweet tea. Combine a half dozen lipton tea bags, several cups of sugar, and a gallon of water, and steep it in the sun or boil it on the stove. I swear it had more sugar than tea, but boy was it good.
My eyes were opened, however, when I married into a family of tea drinkers. A military family, they spent a number of years in England, where they learned how tea is really done. They returned to the U.S. as tea snobs, which at first was a little off-putting, but at some point they converted me to their ways. At least enough for me to sit here and establish this blog.
I like lots of teas. In our cabinet right now, we have Taylors of Harrogate loose leaf - Earl Grey, Pure Ceylon, and English Breakfast. We have some organic decaffeinated Earl Grey, and an organic chai. A number of Celestial Seasonings Blends - honey vanilla camomile, plain chamomile, peppermint, bengal spice, almond sunset. We love Yogi tea, and currently have cocoa spice and vanilla hazelnut. We usually have a Yogi rooibos as well. We have a straight black loose leaf by Highland Tea Company. We also have a lovely Mango Ceylon loose leaf provided by FreshDirect. Finally, my wife has a couple of interesting blends I have not tried - a loose leaf "pregnancy tea," Mother's Milk tea by traditional Medicinals, and a homemade loose leaf herbal blend that is supposed to help with breast feeding.
But nothing -- NOTHING -- works for me like a mug of good old fashioned Twinings Earl Grey. No other Earl Grey comes close. What a perfect blend of black teas and bergamot oil. Never bitter, faintly fruity. Yummm. This appalls my wife, but I even like it iced. I take it with sugar, occasionally with milk.
Unfortunately, Twinings Earl Grey no longer compares to Twinings Earl Grey. The reformulated blend is weak, literally. I suppose the change is designed to appeal more broadly to the American market--my guess is the original is still offered in Europe. Thank goodness my mother-in-law found a stash of the original on the shelves of a grocery store in Pennsylvania. We have enough stock to last a couple of weeks. I have a 50 bag box of the new blend, but it is going nowhere fast. Once the original runs out, I'm high and dry. So I welcome recommendations for other sources--either of the original Twinings, or of another good Earl Grey. I also welcome shipments of the original blend!
If you support my plea, please comment here, contact Twinings, and spread the news to your friends. Maybe it is not too late. Consumer pressure brought back Coke Classic, and it can succeed here as well.