Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Gift from the Fam

My sister is no tea connoisseur. You'll see in "About Me" that I grew up on southern sweet tea. My sister did as well. Her interest in tea has never moved beyond that. So, though she's never said as much, I expect she thinks this little blog of mine is a bit quixotic.

Consequently, I was really touched this week when I opened a box from her and found... several boxes of Twinings tea (Earl Grey, of course) in the original packaging. Apparently, when I told her months ago of my frustration over the Twinings changes, she began scouring local groceries for the last remnants of the old tea. I suppose that in the South, where she now lives, stocks of Twinings and other fancy teas stay on the shelves longer than they do here in NYC.

Anyway, this week I was able to have a nice hot cuppa of Twinings Earl Grey from the original packaging. And I instantly noticed that the tea simply tasted better. Stronger, more flavor. A little bitter--which is good, and entirely lacking from tea out of the new packaging.

I still haven't undertaken more "scientific" testing, but this experience reassures me that the whole point of this blog remains valid. Further, comments continue to trickle in from all over the U.S. People take a sip of Twinings Earl Grey, and are so disappointed by the flavor that they do a little digging on Google to see if anybody else has had the same experience.

I still haven't heard back from Wayne Evans, the VP at Twinings who posted below. I hope the post was legit, and I do look forward to speaking with him more if he reaches out. I'll keep y'all posted.



    I'm a seasoned tea drinker, and the most discerning tongue I know when it comes to what I drink. Formerly I have chosen Twinings over Bigelow for its sharp and bold taste, a difference I can and have before ferreted out in a blind test. Recently I noticed the Twinings boxes started to change. I had laid in a good supply of my favorites (Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast and Earl Grey) in the old packaging, so I didn't take further note. Then when I ran out I noticed in ALL the aforementioned blends a difference in taste so severe that I emailed Twinings with questions, and to date have NOT received a reply. I'm freaked out.

    Sidebar: My mother grew up spending very much time on her grandfather's estate in Trinidad, from the 1950's on up to the 70's. She grew up having tea everyday as a matter of course and it was always Twinings English Breakfast for its sharp, bold flavor. Until recently she bought that as her regular breakfast and afternoon tea, and I find it interesting to note that SHE came to ME when, on her own, she noticed the difference in taste.

    I have just discovered this blog after being so fed up with having to switch to Bigelow that I decided to Google the problem, so if there is other information recently made available by the company then perhaps this comment is not one to cause alarm, as many other people would already know that changes were made across the range of their teas. But I thought it should be stated here on the off-chance that the company was still denying changing the blends, or the curing processes.

  2. Ha... I have a similar experience when I visit my parents. My mother knows I drink Twinings so she stocked up before the "change." So now when I visit I have a nice original cup of Earl Grey waiting for me. When I'm at home however... it's loose leaf or Bigelow. So sad... Keep up the fight!