Friday, October 2, 2009

Like a Proud Mother...

The Earl is gaining some serious fan power! And like a proud mother, every time I hear gushing compliments I beam. About a year ago, I tweaked the recipe for our Earl of Grey.

It honestly all started with a downturn of the US economy. We were really hurting to maintain the price of our Earl while the prices of a few of its components were going through the roof, due to the strength of the US dollar falling through the floor. So in efforts to not raise the price or discontinue this tea, I attempted to match the precise flavor profile of our original blend by substituting a few components of our original European components with new teas that we could get custom blended. After obtaining multiple test versions of each new component, we chose the closest matches. Then came the task of finding the perfect blended proportion of each of the new components. After trying blend versions A1-Z900 (only a slight exaggeration), I kept getting close, but something was still missing. It was a creamy sweetness that was missing. Something was needed to round out the rough edges of citrus and black tea. The naturally sweet throat-coat of Licorice Root came to mind, so I tried adding some to the blend. The results were interesting, and it seemed like we were onto something. So there were another round of test blends A1-Z99 to find the perfect proportion of licorice root to add, and when we did.... mmmmmm.... our current blend was born.

Since then, we've received nearly all positive feedback from fans of our original blend, and from new people that discover this tea one way or another. Just this week, we received 2 unsolicited emails from people that took the time to write us and tell us how much they love this blend. Honestly, I was so flattered, since I consider the blend my baby, that it made my week! At risk of ego-boosting shameless boasting, here is one of this week's emails:
Thanks for your note. You are a sweet genius!

My wife brought the Earl of Grey home from Pier 1 as a small gift since I have fallen in love with black tea and the many possibilities. To be honest, I thought, "oh, a nice tin—I hope the tea is worth drinking". At that point I could no longer find the Russian blend I'd come to know and love in the local Russian food shop or on the internet. You know how having the box in front of you is really no help when you're searching in a different country and language.

To make a long and happy story a bit shorter; I was completely knocked out with your blend. It is so much like that licorice you had as a kid ... it just calls to you even though your mouth, mind and the licorice recipes have changed over the years ... you want it as you remember and you never want it to change or ever end. Recently, I finally found the licorice that tastes like what I remember AND I've found the perfect tea as a companion while I'm playing my guitar, writing songs and happy internet messages, sitting in the chilly mountain air on the deck, or just anytime I want to feel special. Honestly, I do feel a bit too pampered when I spoon out the tea. You have done a remarkable job. I bow to you.

Also, I share this with every tea drinker I know and try to recruit others into the ranks of mellow, satisfied folk by word of mouth, uh, keyboard. Half of my purchase will go to a new client and friend who will appreciate it. I was counting on Pier 1 to fulfill my pledge to him to bring him a tea he would enjoy and love. Unfortunately, they were totally out. Surprise? I should have anticipated that.

Anyway, I know I can point directly to you and say, "This is the nice lady who did it. She's my personal tea blender. She made my life better". Thanks again.

My very best regards and Cheers,

So if I've done nothing more for this world, at least I've done something positive for this one tea drinker. And who doesn't like to be called a sweet genius from time to time. I think I can die satisfied now.

1 comment:

  1. Nice informative post.
    Earl Grey tea is a favorite in Britain and in North America, and you can be sure to find it on the menu at any tea room, or in any supermarket.

    acai berry