Three Earl Grey Teas and Cream.

Lately, I have been drinking more tea. I tend to notice an affinity to drink coffee in the colder months, and teas in the hotter months. I have also been leaning towards more teas because of their wonderful health benefits. I have challenged myself to drink a cup of green tea, and black tea per day to increase my body’s immunity, fighting free radicals, and indulging in something that can stimulate me without the aftertaste of coffee. I love the variety teas offer and have been more creative in selecting unusual flavors and twists on classics.

Earl Grey Tea #1-Art of Tea’s Earl Grey and Creme.

I was at a local shop with a friend of mine, and noticed a bag of Earl Grey Creme by “Art of Tea”. As a side note, I had previously purchased their Coconut Creme black tea and found it’s tropical, nutty aroma true to life, natural and the richness of the tea a pleasant experience.  This caught my attention because I never imagined Earl Grey, it’s light, subtly floral flavor with the refreshing bergamot quality fused with rich and creamy French Vanilla. And its organic.

Perfect for first time introduction to your tastebuds, this individually packaged tea may not be enough it's so good.. I wish I bought the entire tin!

I sniffed the package, and inhaled a wonderful, strong aroma of bergamot and an underlying French Vanilla-custardy delicate note that encouraged me to buy it.  I reflected briefly and remembered my mom making this tea- Earl Grey with a splash of mil and a Vanilla flavored creamer, and wondered why she was so hooked. One taste, and I understood completely.

The first thing I noticed was the fragrance. Uplifting to the senses and emotions, I detected a strong current of bergamot, that married perfectly with the smooth vanilla flavor. Not only was this tea smooth and full in body, but the French Vanilla had toned down the citrus, but didn’t hide it too much. This was a delectable, dessert like treat that had depth. I added 2 teaspoons of white sugar, a little milk, and a Vanilla creamer (Coffee Mate’s French Vanilla). I was also able to make 2 additional cups after my first one, and although the flavor dissipated slightly, it was still strong enough to go around 2 more times. (One who for my friend) Impressive. I literally milked this tea to death-no cheesey pun intended. I paid $2 for this 1 bag, however, it was well worth it. As far as caffeine content is concerned, this tea has a medium amount, perfect to awaken the mind, but not too much.

Art of Tea Earl Grey Creme Yumfactor– 4 tongues and a tastebud. (4.5 stars out of 5) It’s rich, fragrant, citrus and sweet, perfectly balanced by that creme, and the black tea base itself is nothing but quality. True indulgence. Here is the link to their site- http://www.artoftea.com/

Earl Grey #2Bigelow’s Earl Grey Tea.

Since my first true experience with Earl Grey tea was nearly perfect, indulgent, and rich, I expected to have a similar one from here on out. I remembered my mother making Earl Grey Tea at home, and decided that all I had to do was to add French Vanilla, or regular Vanilla creamer to the tea, and I’d have a similar concoction as the prior. Boy, was I wrong. -_-

Bigelow’s tea to me is hit or miss. There are times I have had their tea and felt that the flavors weren’t strong enough. For instance, take their Vanilla Chai. Pretty packaging, however, too sweet. I have had other brands of Vanilla Chai and felt the Vanilla accented the Chai well, but still tasted the warm, earthy essences of the spiciness. The spices in chat make it chai! Now, I’m no Chai expert, however, I had the pleasure of tasting all types of chai, and even tasted Chai made from scratch by a native Indian on a regular basis in the past. I wasn’t expecting the same spice factor, but I wasn’t expecting to have a tea that was extremely sweet, either. I digress, though.

Earl Grey #2

So, upon making my Earl Grey with Vanilla creamer, milk and sugar, I noticed that the fragrance was lighter. Okay, not a big deal. I tasted it and compared to the first tea, noticed that the citrus undertones were a bit muted. The vanilla flavor was pleasant,(Coffee Mate’s Italian Sweet Cream Creamer) but the tea was overall not as strong and inviting as the other one. I realized  three things at this very moment: 1) Art of tea makes incredible teas. 2) I shouldn’t compare the two, because this tea doesn’t have the creme finish and it’s a different brand/quality. 3) According to my tastebuds, Bigelow teas are average in my opinion. Some flavors just won’t suffice for me because they are not full/strong. Then I stopped comparing, and realized that the tea itself wasn’t bad. It just won’t be one I drink on a regular basis.

Bigelow’s Earl Grey Tea Yumfactor– 3 tongues. (3 out of 5 stars) It’s not disgusting, but I was left searching for another brand. Specifically one with a stronger flavor of bergamot.

Earl Grey #3- Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey Tea.

I was at Target (which I love!!) and saw a tea sale, and went crazy and bought 3 different teas: Mango Coconut Oolong, Double Spice Chai, and Double Bergamot Earl Grey Tea. I figured the Double Bergamot would suffice because Bigelow made me feel lie it didn’t have enough bergamot. Maybe the bergamot flavor in the Bigelow brand was a bit shy, and didn’t want to be noticed. I understand, bergamot, don’t worry *pats it on its shy back*.

First and foremost, Stash teas are often lovely, full of flavor and priced at reasonable prices with a variety that is hard to ignore. I have often found myself pleased with the variety of teas, and the flavors they offer. Now, on to the tea.

Good stuff, Stash, good stuff.

I brewed a cup, and took note of the strong presence of the bergamot. Ah ha! I figured going off of the scent alone I would have a great replacement for the other brand (I was not able to make it to the store and get another box/bag/tin because of a few reasons so I needed a replacement). I added the milk and Italian Sweet Cream creamer and was pleasantly surprised with the similarity in body, richness and fragrance this tea had compared to the first one. I bought it for about $2.15 (for a box of 20 bags, which was *much*cheaper than the A.O.T, which was  $12/6oz tin of loose leaf. There was also the individual bags, but, you get the picture.) When I added the Vanilla, it danced gracefully with the citrus overtones, and completed it effortlessly.

Stash’ Double Bergamot Earl Grey Tea Yumfactor– 4 tongues. (4 out of 5 stars) It’s inexpensive, rich, delicate and is satisfying.

*Remember, all of these tea do contain caffeine, so be aware. If I had to rate according to faves, I’d say Art of Tea ranks in 1st place for innovative taste and over all quality, but is pricey, in my opinion. Stash follows closely behind, because of quality and value, although Art of tea’s Earl Grey has a stronger dessert like creamy presence. Then last, comes Bigelow, because, apparently, the bergamot in that tea has an inferiority complex and doesn’t like much attention.

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Opa! My First Greek Yogurt! (Then my second one)+ A recipe!

So, I have heard some talk about the epicness of the Greek Yogurt. Yes, I said “The Greek Yogurt” because people have been making it out to be the God of all Yogurts. Not only can it be consumed out of a small yogurt cup, but I was required to use it when I baked a “Pink Grapefruit Yogurt Cake” (<– Which was amazing), and have seen it being used in various exotic dishes on adventurous cooking shows. Dannon has also released their own line of Greek Yogurts, which I had the pleasure of trying. Firstly, this yogurt is NOT cheap in comparison to other yogurts(I’m used to paying $.50 for my regular ones). At Wal-Mart, I purchased one Dannon Greek yogurt for $1.00, however, I have seen other yogurts, standard size for $1.50 to $1.75. May not be a big deal to some of you, but I certainty was not expecting to pay that much (remember, I am a broke college student, and I’m exceptionally frugal as well, lol.)

Dannon's version of "The Greek Yogurt"

The first thing I noticed was the overall texture of the Greek yogurt. It was very thick and creamy, as if someone had frozen regular yogurt, and added a touch of cream after it thawed slightly. I actually thought the texture itself was fun, and an obvious change from thinner yogurts. Then, I tasted one spoon on the creamy yogurt, and first noticed a tanginess that was a little more obvious that regular yogurt- then a nice sweet cushion of vanilla sweetness. Overall, Dannon’s vanilla flavored Greek yogurt was pretty good, but I had to use the rest to make my cake, so I couldn’t really enjoy the whole serving. I did have enough to get an idea of why some people do like Greek yogurt. It’s thick, creamy, chock full of protein (12 grams!) and does vary from your typical very sweet yogurts out there. It also taste a tad bit more natural than say some other yogurts that are just full of sugar. Dannon also sells various flavors like blueberry, strawberry honey flavored, plain and of course vanilla. Other flavors they make I am currently unaware of. Anyone care to fill me in? I’d appreciate that 🙂 Yoplait also makes Greek yogurt, which I have not yet seen at the moment except online. *shrugs*

So…. I decided to buy another one, but only because I saw a coupon.  With the coupon and sale at Publix, I ended up paying $.75. That’s better. 🙂 I varied my brand, and purchased  Voskos Greek yogurt in exotic fig flavor.  The texture was a thick pile of yogurtness- so think that if you scoop some in a spoon and hold it upside down, it ain’t budging! As far as the fig flavor, it was not as sweet as the Dannon vanilla, and has more of a tartness to it. Quite honestly, it’s not my favorite flavor. I know that figs are not the sweetest fruit out there, but I have had figs where they were a tad bit sweeter. Sadly, this was the only flavor available for this brand at my local Publix, and although I so feel it is natural tasting and rich, I didn’t care for it by itself. However, I did add some Crunchy Nut cereal flakes to it,(I’ll review this later on) and WAO! it was better! 8) The hint of honey really danced delicately with the tart fig, and added a nice crunchiness to the yogurt. But eat it fast, for it gets soggy, and does NOT taste as magical! I’m pretty sure Greek Yogurts like these are ideal for mixing fruits and grains in them in you want, because the creamy texture I believe will accommodate any of the above additions and make for a yummy yogurt. Voskos also has other flavors available-honey, blueberry, strawberry and honey vanilla. I’m sure these probably have a higher chance of tasting better, and I may give it another try, because I truly think this yogurt brand has potential-just not in this fig flavor.

By the way, the nutrition facts for Voskos Yogurt is:

  • 0g of Total, Sat. and Trans fat, 0mg of cholesterol, 65g/3%  Sodium.
  • 170mg/ 5% of Potassium, Total Carbs. 28g/9%, 0g Fiber
  • 22g Sugars and 11g/22% Protein. <– My goodness! :O

The high protein content is perfect for those of you/us that work out regularly and seek healthy, low fat protein sources. That’s a plus.

Dannon’s Vanilla Greek Yogurt Yumfactor– 3 tongues and a tastebud (3.5 out of 5 stars) I bet this would be capable of getting a 5 if mixed with fresh, ripe berries or even mangoes. Yummy!

Vosko’s Exotic Fig Greek Yogurt Yumfactor– 2 tongues and a tastebud (2.5 out of 5) It was a bit too tangy for me, however bumped up to a 3.5, when I added the honey nut cereal. I would recommend trying it in another flavor perhaps.

Agree? Disagree? Think that Voskos is indeed amazing in fig? Upset that I tainted the figness by adding cereal? Agree that the cereal is great in it? Leave a comment/rate this post! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Here is the link to the Cake I made via Nutmeg Nanny originally By: