Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Turvani: Earl Grey, Tea Review (With a Twist)

Woo! The update for Ark came out and it fixed the Center problem! I signed on expecting to have to start all over again, but they were able to retrieve the save data for local hosting, so that was a pleasant surprise. Now I am not an expert on electronics, but I really do find it odd that single play and local hosting of small servers (the limit for non-dedicated servers is 4 players) save data is not stored on the individual's Xbox and is instead saved in the cloud and at the company's server. I certainly understand the restrictions with the big servers, but I feel like a lot of this could have been avoided if the save data was on the user's machine (like my Minecraft data is, it is both on my Xbox and in the cloud) but I am no programmer. 

Ok guys, confession time, one that will shame me and probably get me disowned by my English relatives...I don't really like Earl Grey. I haven't for a while, I was ok with it when I was younger, but considering black tea and citrus in my mind don't mix, it is not a surprise...but I do love London Fog. That is, for people not in the know, a tea latte mixing Earl Grey, steamed milk, vanilla, and sweetness of some sort, if you don't have a steamer you can cheat using a whisk and a stove which is how I do it. London Fog or Masala Chai is my go to drink if a restaurant boasts a tea menu and only offers bags but has lattes, it can be tough to be me sometimes. So when I opened the bag of this Earl, it was an immediate smash of bergamot, like super intense...like an citrus radar Ben, the lover of Earls, was hovering around seeking a cup as soon as I opened the bag (how does he always know?) So I made him one and set about getting lost in a fog bank. Man, this bergamot is intense!

Brewing the tea portion of my latte filled the room up with bright citrus sweetness and a nice malty base. I could smell the bergamot from across the room, and it was very refreshing and bright, like a small orange sun burning on my tea desk. Adding the milk (which I failed at frothing this time, boo, good flavor though, yay for not scalding!) and the vanilla mellows out the bergamot but it is still strong, it smells good, but the aroma of bergamot is probably my favorite part.

The real key to a perfect fog is to brew the tea super strong, like stronger than I would ever brew it if I was just going to drink it straight, because the sugar, milk, and vanilla tends to be potent on their own and you don't want to lose the taste of the tea. The fog is gooooood, the bergamot is very strong, which shines through perfectly, I barely needed to add any sugar because this tea is naturally sweet and the briskness is mellowed out by the milk. There is a reason that this is one of two teas I ever drink as something other than just straight. But you are probably wondering what the local Earl obsessed (or Erlkoenig) thinks of it, so here is the Tea Barbarian with his thoughts:

I love Earls Grey.  I especially like ones with enough Bergamot to make people cough.  So, to me, this tea poses a question: can you have too much of a good thing?  It has a strong citrus taste.  Very strong.  On the plus side, this means that it doesn't run into the issue which afflicts a few Earls, where the oil or leaves turn bitter during steeping – it certainly tastes like tea and zest.  On the other hand, it doesn't really find a balance between those tastes – the zest is crowding out the tea leaves, which therefore end up being distracting instead of enriching.  It's a little bit like just brewing black tea in orange juice and calling it a day.  Alexsia tells me it makes a good London Fog, and I believe it – a little dilution could be just what the doctor ordered to get this overpowering flavor where it belongs.  But what the barbarian ordered was something strong yet soothing to wake up with all on its own, and I didn't find that here – it's just a little too much Earl, and not enough Grey (or, um, black) to pull it off.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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