The pros: Trader Joe's Earl Grey de la Creme is one of two new loose leaf tea blends to hit store shelves.
The cons: I found the measurements to be a bit off, but then again that comes down to personal preference. Floral nature of this tea might not work for everyone.
The verdict: As a full time middle school teacher, I can honestly say that I've seen various challenges work their way through schools. Some are well meaning and productive like the ice bucket challenge that helped those with ALS. Some are fun to watch on YouTube or walk in on a class performing the Mannequin challenge. Others leave you scratching your head wondering what is going on like the Charlie Charlie challenge or the cringe-worthy-as-a-teacher Andy is Coming challenge. My first sip of this tea had me wondering whether or not I was taking part on the Tide Pod challenge (which is completely unsafe and should be discouraged at all times). And yes, that is actually a thing right now.
Now, I bring up that last challenge for a reason. I followed the directions and used the recommended amount of loose tea. After being brewed and sipped, this tea tasted like detergent quite a bit. It was very floral, but the loose tea in the bag smells so pleasant that I couldn't figure out why my cup of tea was so pungent. Back in the kitchen it went. A second cup came out to halve the original cup. Both cups were diluted to about 50% of what I started with. Suddenly, drinking this was less like the newest viral challenge and more of a pleasant experience. If you can handle this at full strength, good for you. Otherwise, those of us who are sensitive to floral products, you might want to hold back lest you too will feel like you are drinking a laundry product.
This shares so many qualities of an Earl Grey. Most notably the bergamot flavor. On the back end of each sip was the sweet flavor of vanilla. If you drink yours with sugar, then that will also give it a bit of a creamier tasting finish. Now, I'm not affiliated with Trader Joe's in anyway, but I noticed that this year the Black Tea with Vanilla and Cinnamon, yes the one with the lemur on it, did not return to shelves this past season. While there is not a taste of cinnamon, this might be the replacement. Or at least something for them to experiment with to see how customers react to it.
If you had the opportunity to try Trader Joe's Tasting of Ten Teas or Trader Joe's Tea Party over the last two holiday seasons then you too might have found that their loose tea was very good. Just unavailable other times of the year. Perhaps this might be a sign of a new trend towards loose leaf teas. If you have your own fine mesh tea infuser, then you'll find this is a pleasant tea. For $3.99 this is a bit pricey, but what loose leaf tea isn't? It's worth trying, but I would use either less tea or more water to start with. I'm glad this did not finish the way it started.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The bag of Trader Joe's Earl Grey De La Creme:
The ingredients and how to prepare:
After being brewed you get:
Would I buy this again? For me, Trader Joe's Earl Grey De La Creme is a wait and see. Loose tea takes a bit to use up in my household. It's completely drinkable, it's a good Earl Grey with the subtle sweetness of vanilla.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!