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Review: Decaf Earl Grey tea

Decaf Earl Grey tea from Acquired Taste, an Edmonton tea shop with a good selection of decaf teas.

Why is it that if a restaurant has decaffeinated tea, it’s always something herbal? Peppermint Rosehip Bliss, Midnight Chamomile Moonbeams, etc. Why is it so damned hard to get decaf black tea?

Part of the problem is that there are scads of decaf tea alternatives to black tea that have been around long enough to become entrenched. Even otherwise wonderful specialty tea companies — ah, Silk Road — often only have one or two decaf black teas on offer. It’s not fair.

Personally, I’m not big on herbal tea. I’ve tried plenty, and none (except maybe rooibos) have jumped out at me. So, what’s a black-tea drinker to do when they want a cuppa that won’t encroach on their sleep?

Thankfully, the Acquired Taste Tea Company has my back.

I have a special spot in my heart for Earl Grey, my childhood standby at afternoon tea. Silk Road’s Canton Orange, a fancy version of Earl Grey, is my go-to caffeinated tea, and Acquired Taste’s decaf Earl Grey has taken over the prime caffeine-free spot on my crowded tea shelf.

I use about 2 teaspoons of tea per three cups of freshly boiled water, which yields a strong pot of tea after only five minutes.

I find the Acquired Taste Decaf Earl Grey to be more floral than a lot of other Earl Grey teas I’ve had, with a lovely bergamot taste and aroma that isn’t overpowering (as is often the case with Earl Grey teas). It lends itself perfectly to a bit of sugar and a slash of milk, and pairs well with a freshly baked scone, slathered in butter and jam.

So there you have it. A delicious decaffeinated black tea. At long last.


Cost: $6.30 per 50 grams.

Value for cash money: Good.

Availability: Through or in person at the Edmonton shop.

The verdict: A really nice decaf tea that satisfies my occasional evening need for a cup that won’t keep me up until 4 a.m.

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