Sunday, September 17, 2006

Go with its Strength: Accept its Weakness

I have yet to undertake further testing as recommended by a few of our astute contributors. I plan to do so, but I keep getting delayed. In the meantime, I thought I would humor you with a story of how I have come to cope with the weak flavoring of Twinings new Earl Grey.

The new blend is so weak, I have found, that no amount of steeping can overcome it. The upshot of this is that I can be profoundly lazy. Here's how I have turned the weak flavor into a strength that brings morning happiness.

Where I live, the summer has been hot and humid. I wake up each morning wanting something cold and crisp to quench the thirst that developed in the night. A warm cuppa simply won't do. I am very pleased, however, with the alternative I have developed. The night before, I throw a Twinings Earl Grey teabag in a mug with a bit of sweetener, pour boiling water over the top, and set it in the fridge to steep overnight. Yes, overnight. As I said, it will never in a million years steep too long to be palatable.

When I wake up in the morning, I remove the bag, give it a quick stir to wake up the sweetener, and chug it down as an ice-cold pick-me-up. It doesn't have a strong taste, but it does a nice job of quenching my thirst and washing away whatever muck collected in my mouth overnight.

On that note, goodnight all...


  1. I am very particular about my tea. I finally used up all of the Earl Grey with the old packaging that I had on reserve and opened my first package of the new stuff. I honestly can detect no difference whatsoever in the flavor -- and I was really looking for it after reading your blog entries. It's the same old familiar Earl Grey I've always known and enjoyed. I tried some of the decaf as well, and I agree with you that it is a bit lacking in flavor, but I have never found a decaf tea that tasted great.

  2. I finally finished my old batch of Earl Grey up today and tried the new stuff. I would definitely say that it is lacking flavor... although I do like the new packaging.

    I did notice something interesting with the packaging though:

    The old packaging says:

    “Blended by Twinings of London, England. Packed by R. Twining & Co. Ltd., Greensboro, N.C. 27406 U.S.A.”

    The new packaging says:

    “Blended & packed by R. Twining & Company Limited, London, England WC2R IAP.”

    And if you look around some more, on the new packaging, you will find the following:

    “Twinings North America, Inc. 777 Passaic Ave. Clifton, NJ 07012.”

    I wonder why the moved from North Carolina to New Jersey and why they stopped packaging it here.


  3. I don't think the new weakness in flavor is entirely correlated with the new packaging. I have been getting Twinings Earl Grey in the new packaging for a while now, in both the 25 and 50 bag sizes, and experienced no taste problems at all.

    However, the latest 50-bag box that I bought, also in the new packaging, is *horrible*. From taste alone, you would barely know it was supposed to be tea. As you say, it is so weak that no amount of steeping can correct the problem.

    This led me to search the web re changes in formulation, which led me to this blog.

    I might try buying another box from a different store, but if this change is ubiquitous, then I don't plan to buy any more Twinings.

  4. This problem is everywhere! I mean I live in Italy and the new earl grey tastes of bergamot more then the old...c'mon Twinings I want my tea back!