on July 3, 2006
Half the usual retail price and you get top quality. This is a time-tested breakfast blend available at a good price in a reasonable quanity. And that's not all, you get a cute little tin box easily converted to a piggy bank or treasure chest. I use it straight and also blend it with other teas. But, don't overdo, this tea packs a respectable caffein punch. Best with plenty of milk and sugar to start your engine.
on June 8, 2008
Although often used as a quasi-blend name (particularly in connection with Indian and Ceylonese teas), "orange pekoe" is in fact a reference to a black tea's grade. Loose leaf black teas come in two basic groups - whole leaf and broken; in addition, there are "fannings" and "dust," the lower-grade remainders usually found in tea bags. Whole leaf tea grades are as follows (top quality within a grade is denoted by adding the number 1):
* Orange Pekoe (OP):
Long, thin, pointed leaves (larger than FOP, see below), rolled lengthwise and picked when the final buds open into leaf. Rarely contains "tips," i.e. the very ends of the bud's leaves, which constitute a guarantee of quality. Produces a light or pale color. The predominant whole leaf grade in Ceylon and Java.
* Pekoe (P) and Flowery Pekoe (FP):
Short, fleshier and less refined leaves without tips. Produces a stronger color than OP; found mainly in Ceylon and Southern India, but also in parts of Kenya.
* Flowery Orange Pekoe (FOP):
Fine, delicate, young leaves with a certain proportion of tips. Second grade tea in Assam, but top grade in most Chinese regions.
* Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (GFOP):
FOP with "golden" tips (tips of the particularly fine, golden-orange variety).
* Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (TGFOP):
FOP with many golden tips; the predominant grade in Darjeeling and Assam.
* Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (FTGFOP):
Outstanding golden-tipped FOP.
* Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe (SFTGFOP):
Highest grade FOP with a large share of golden-tipped leaves; very rare.
Broken leaf ratings correspond to those for whole leaf teas, i.e.:
* Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP):
Less refined black leaf tea; the main broken grade in Ceylon, Southern India, Java and China. Produces a rich color and full-bodied taste. BOP1 (sometimes designated FBOPF - Finest Broken Orange Pekoe Flowery) is primarily found in the lower districts of Ceylon's tea-growing areas and consists of approximately 40 % OP and 60 % Pekoe and/or BOP.
* Golden Broken Orange Pekoe (GBOP):
Less refined broken grade; inhomogeneous leaves, some tips.
* Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe (FBOP):
Less refined broken tea with some tips from Assam, Ceylon, Indonesia, China or Bangladesh.
* Tippy Golden Broken Orange Pekoe (TGBOP):
Refined broken grade with a substantial number of golden tips.
* Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe (GFBOP):
Top broken grade in Assam and the only tippy broken grade from Kenya.
* Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe (TGFBOP):
Highest-grade broken leaves in Darjeeling and some parts of Assam. High tip content and uniform leaves.
Twinings Orange Pekoe is an invigorating Ceylonese blend with a distinctive flavor: Nothing to splurge on, but a reliable choice for every day.
on January 9, 2009
Twinings is known for delivering consistency and value. This tea is no exception.
Most of the Twinings Darjeeling blend is black, but you can spot some green particles. The Twinings loose tea has no uncut leaves. The blend uses smaller, less-expensive particles which infuse more quickly than whole leaves. The Twinings tea has enough tannins to tolerate milk or a sweetener. It has some harshness when infusing is done at too high a temperature or for too long.
I suggest steeping not more than 2 to 2.5 minutes to control bitterness. You may even want to check every 15 seconds starting at two minutes, since Darjeeling can quickly 'bolt' to a point of unpleasant sharpness. To avoid particulate matter in your drink, use a strainer or infuser with a fine mesh. (Amazon sells Tovolo, Teeli, and Frieling/Swissgold filters with very small openings in their screens.)
To gain the best flavor, I recommend brewing at a temperature of 185F or cooler. (A clean candy or meat thermometer can quickly guide your efforts.) If you have been brewing with water that is near boiling, you will be shocked by the huge transformation from using water that cools a couple minutes after reaching the boiling point.
I have enjoyed quality Darjeeling, the 'champagne of teas,' for over three decades. And, how do I rate Twinings? A bargain. If your enjoy Twinings, I suggest trying some other Darjeeling teas, perhaps estate grown. The better Darjeeling teas come from the higher elevations where the cooler mountain environment slows leaf growth and develops a fine flavor. Where should you search? Check reviews at Amazon and other sellers. Among the brands packaged in tins, I love Peets - normally known for their coffees. Additionally, Lipton Darjeeling Tea (Green Label) bulk tea is a quite good and is inexpensively priced at Indian food markets. The Lipton package has a packing date, and if you can find tea packed past within the past 6 months you will be most delighted. Tea that has been recently packed can be a wonderful delight: Old tea does not go rancid, but even unopened packages of tea looses their aroma and flavor over time.
This Twinings tea is a bargain and a reasonable introduction to the wide range of Darjeeling teas.
on March 26, 2008
I have enjoyed a cup of tea, preferably green tea, for breakfast in the morning for over 50 years, and I'm here to say this is the very best of all. I never used to like bothering with loose tea but this is very manageable as it is rolled young tea leaves. It's actually fun to handle! You can make it as strong as you like it. For a green tea it is very robust, I'd call it the Irish breakfast of green tea. I'm totally spoiled for other green teas now and am very happy to be able to buy the multi packs. Thanks Amazon!
on January 23, 2014
This is a very tasty earl grey. I recommend using about 1.5 teaspoons for 3 minutes to get the best flavor out if it. It could use a little extra vanilla boost, but if it's the vanilla flavor you are after and that aroma of creamy vanilla laced with bergamot, you'd prefer the earl grey crème anyways:
Organic Black Loose Leaf Tea: Earl Grey Creme 4 oz. + FREE Bamboo Tea Strainer. This earl grey crème specifically is the best tasting I've personally encountered. Other than that I think it is a perfect tea.
Especially for those who are trying to switch off of coffee. Add a little raw honey and it makes up for that missing vanilla. Smells good, tastes good and it energizes you.
on July 14, 2008
A lot of the other reviewers describe this as basic, sort of low-end but decent tea--I think it goes beyond that. It is strong and it will get bitter if the brewing temperature is too high--so don't let the water boil! My husband and I have been drinking this tea for years now, and while we've tried much more expensive teas such as Teavana, we keep coming back to this over and over. It's our favorite and if it's brewed just right it has a tangy, smoky complexity that's just unbeatable. I always get sick of drinking other teas after awhile, but I never, ever get tired of this one. I drink it throughout the day--it's good hot or iced. How nice to find it on Amazon in bulk.
on June 29, 2006
Earl Grey is my favorite blend of tea by far - no competition there. The biggest secret with this tea once given to Earl Grey of Hoswick Hall (British Prime Minister in 1830 - 1834) by a Chinese manadarin, reportedly in gratitude after the earl saved his life, is to get just the right doseage of bergamot oil, a rather intense, tangy scent derived from the bergamot orange (which in turn is a cross between the pear lemon and the sour orange; the latter is native to South Vietnam, and its oil was probably the recipe's original ingredient). Using too much bergamot oil can easily obscure the black tea's natural flavor - but with Twinings you just can't go wrong, because the original Earl Grey turned to this very company for a match to the quickly dwindling supply he had received from his Chinese friend.
(From the Twinings website: "When the mandarin's tasty gift began to run out, Earl Grey asked his tea merchants, Twinings, to match it for him. Twinings unique blend was the Grey family's long-standing favourite. When guests inquired about it, they were directed to Twinings on the Strand, where they would ask for Earl Grey's tea by name.")
Unless you insist on having *all* your tea with cream or milk, I recommend having this one without any kind of milk products: not only does the original recipe not call for such an addition; in my mind it just plain ruins the blend's particular flavor. (But that's just me, of course.) Whichever way you have it, though, if scented teas are your kind of thing, Twinings Earl Grey should be right up your alley.
on April 11, 2008
Wonderful bold flavor. This is a morning wake up tea or an alternative to coffee after a large meal or with guests. Slightly malty flavor will stand up to being enjoyed straight or with a little sweetener.
Test your amounts. You will be surprised at how little makes a full strong pot. As the saying goes, strong enough for the church mouse to walk over. Overbrewing is not an issue, so it can make a rather good iced tea (hot, let cool to room temp, decant, refrigerate), but you can make it a bit too strong with too much tea.
Side note; this is a cut & tear leaf tea, meaning a coffee grounds like texture. You will need a mesh filter like the bodum press pot, which is great for tea. You -can- use a standard filter coffee maker. Clean the 'roof' by the water outlet and the filter cup throughly, removing all the coffee oils. Something to do regularly anyway. Then put a measure of this tea in a paper or mesh filter per normal. You'll need to adjust amounts for taste. Enjoy!
on October 10, 2008
A can't miss choice for a tea lover and a perfect tea to brew for any newcomer. Unlike many black teas, the Prince of Wales does not have any bitterness or acrid aftertaste. Also difficult to over-steep due to the overriding mildness of the blend. Bagged versions of Prince of Wales are out there; the taste tends to be flat and nowhere near as satisfying as the loose tea.
on December 14, 2014
Probably the best China black tea I have ever bought in a grocery store in the US. Certainly the best Twinings tea. Of course most tea sold in the US is not from China at all, and even Twinings more mass market blends are predominantly Kenyan or Ceylon teas with maybe some Indian Assam in their breakfast blends. Sorry, but the best black teas come from China. This apparently is a blend of Yunnan teas. Yunnan black teas can be superb, and can vary quite a bit in style, some being spicy, some lighter and flowery, some fruity. Some, like this blend, seem to be going after the Keemun style: rich, smooth, dark, velvety, slight cocoa notes, can be steeped long without getting bitter or astringent. They call Keemun the Burgundy wine of teas. This is of course a loose tea, and out of the tin it is small leafed, dark black, tightly rolled. Some have commented here that it's a broken leaf tea from the small size, but I think it is actually just small leaves. In other words, very much like a good quality Keemun (which can cost many times what this costs.)
Unfortunately it is now pretty hard to find Prince of Wales and I haven't seen it on a supermarket shelf in a few years. If you are an English Breakfast drinker or used to tea bags and want to try something finer, definitely give this a try, it's a LOT better. As with any loose leaf tea, you need to use quite a bit more tea than you think, especially if you are used to teabags. And by all means let it steep for a while as it will not get astringent - I do mine 3-4 minutes, or even 5.
If you like this style of tea then you might want to seek out the next grades of finer Yunnan and Keemun. While this Twinings works out to about $20 a pound, decent grades of these teas can easily cost $30-40 a pound and the better grades upwards of $100. And they can be worth it. But for a reasonable cost here you can get a good idea what all the fuss is about.