Mr Earl - not grey... or beige.

Mr Earl - not grey... or beige.

We were sent a sample pack of three Mr Earl teas (green tea powder, earl grey and fresh mint) to try and, if we felt inclined to, blog about. I (Tom) took the teas because we are rarely sent vegan products to try (hint hint) and I feel left out. Other than receiving the product to review, I wasn't incentivised in any other way. See our disclosure policy for more info.

Mr Earl
Mr Earl - Because life's too short for average tea.

First up, I wouldn't describe myself as a tea snob but I like a good cuppa and being a bit of a tech head, I needed the right equipment for making my tea. I recommend getting a kettle that allows you to select the temperature of the water for the type of tea I'm about to drink. Mine is from Breville but there are plenty of models out there. Failing that, boil your regular kettle and add ice to the water to cool it down to the required temperature. I recommend getting yourself a metal thermometer from your local kitchen equipment store so you can check the temperature of your water before steeping your tea.

Mr Earl - Breville Kettle
Breville kettle - my second fave gadget.
I decided to crack open the sample teas on a Saturday morning which was perfect timing for my cup of Earl Grey. The packaging of the sample teas is great, the foil bags are strong and resealable. Each bag is 50g - enough for quite a few cuppas!

Mr Earl - Deitea - No.7 French Earl Grey
Mr Earl - Deitea - No.7 French Earl Grey
When I tore open the bag, the fruity floral scent hit me right away and I knew I was going to enjoy it. The leaves are chunky and mostly still whole, as are the hibiscus flowers, sunflower blossoms, mallow flowers and rose petals. I heated the water to 100 degrees and allowed the tea to steep for about four minutes. One teaspoon served me well for 2 good sized cups (I made a pot). The tea flavour is bold and earthy and hits you first before the floral flavours from the petals sneak in the back of your palate and remind you of winter days, curled up on your couch with a glossy foodie mag.

Mr Earl - Deitea - No.7 French Earl Grey
Mr Earl - Deitea - No.7 French Earl Grey
After lunch, I'm a fan of mint tea to help with digestion (and to get rid of onion breath). I cranked up my kettle, washed out my teapot and polished a fresh mug (I don't really polish my mugs, honestly).
Informal Tea Co. - Fresh Mint
Informal Tea Co. - Fresh Mint
As with the Earl Grey tea, the leaves are whole and I could see the ingredients; mint leaves, rosemary and lavender. The smell of spearmint is so refreshing after drinking so many peppermint teas and the light lavender fragrance is homely and relaxing.

Taking my first sip, the mint is powerful and hits hard, followed by the lavender and finishes with the rosemary that hangs around with the mint for a while. It's refreshing and full of flavour - it's certainly not a weak mint tea! I wonder, if I was at work, would the lavender ruin my productivity for the day? I'll nap on it and let you know...

Informal Tea Co. - Fresh Mint
Informal Tea Co. - Fresh Mint

...I managed to fall asleep after my mint tea but that's probably down to laziness. To wake myself up, I cracked open the green tea powder. I have fond memories of green tea powder from our trip to Japan. We spent a day learning about traditional Japanese methods of calligraphy, tea making and incense burning. Traditional Japanese green tea is made with powder and whisked with a wooden brush to produce a creamy froth.
Mr Earl - Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder
Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder
 The Kenki Tea powder looks and smells very similar to the tea we used in Japan and I could barely wait for the kettle to boil (to 80 degrees).

Mr Earl - Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder
Inside the packet - it's a powder, not leaves.
I tipped about 1g of powder into my cup and soon realised, I should've followed the instructions and sifted it.

Mr Earl - Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder
I should've sifted it... like the directions suggested.
Once the kettle boiled, I poured a small amount of water into my cup and whisked it with a small hand whisk. I didn't get the same result as when I used a wooden brush in Japan but once I topped it up with water and drank it, the flavour took me back to my tea making class.

Mr Earl - Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder
Not as good as my effort in Japan but not bad, considering I used a whisk.
The tea has an intense flavour but it's not at all bitter. It's much more creamy than loose leaf green tea and has a delicate, sweet, grassy flavour. This is definitely my favourite by and once it's available on the Mr Earl website, I'll be ordering a packet.

The best way to describe Mr Earl is a "tea club". You can subscribe for one, three or six months ($20, $45 or $78 respectively) to receive three different samples of tea each month. Each delivery
also contains a tasting card with instructions of how to brew the tea and a little bit of info about the ingredients and tasting notes (I found these super handy). Once you've tried the teas, there's an online community where you can rate, review and discuss the tea samples you received. At the time I tried the teas, the online community wasn't available. Naturally, the sample teas are also available in full size versions from Mr Earl.

I like the idea behind Mr Earl and I'm already considering buying a subscription for friends and family. It's not something I would buy for myself but I'll definitely visit the store to buy full sized teas and read reviews in the online community.

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