If you’ve ever stayed in a chain hotel in the UK, chances are, you’ve slept in the same room as this tea! It’s weird but true. A well-known British hotel chain room is exactly where I picked up Lichfields Earl Grey tea for the first time.
Lichfields (not to be confused with ‘The Litchfield Tea Co’ which is a totally separate business) provide budget tea in teabag format. I’ve picked up a handful of their teas and I’m starting with their Earl Grey blend, because it’s a classic and one of my personal favourites.
In this tea review, find out what to expect from the flavour, the best method/timing to brew it, and where it’s available to buy in the UK.
Lichfields Earl Grey Tea at a Glance
- Blend: Plain black tea with bergamot citrus flavouring
- Flavour: Classic Earl Grey with great bergamot notes and an average black tea base
Overall, this tea is nice. It’s not amazing, but the bergamot is flavoursome, and the tea base isn’t overly bland or bitter. Lichfields isn’t winning any awards, but you can’t really turn your nose up at it either!
Full Review – Earl Grey Teabags
- Type: Tagged paper filter teabags
- Tea: Black tea
- Additives: Bergamot flavouring
- Flavour Notes: Fresh bergamot, citrus, floral, shortbread, bitter
- Aroma: Smooth, slightly sweet, herbal, brisk, biscuity
- Milk or Lemon: Milk, if desired
- Where to Buy: Amazon UK
This was one of those Earl Grey teas where you think the bergamot is going to be a no-show. The initial aroma when you rip open the tea bag wrappers is of smooth, slightly sweet black tea with a hint of something herbal. It’s odd, and there’s no bergamot present.
Thankfully, the brewed tea is a different matter. It creates a very dark brown-black tea liquid, but it’s still a warm and inviting tone. Steam swirling up from your cup has a brisk black tea aroma. Generic? Yes. But there’s also a hint of biscuity sweetness that’s unexpected!
That sweetness carries into the flavour too. The bergamot is strong and fresh, but it’s that odd sweetness that takes centre stage. Imagine that you’ve dunked a nice finger of shortbread in your tea for just a second too long, and the crumbs and sugar have dissolved a little. That’s what the flavour of this tea is like.
As for the black tea base, it’s quite generic and there is a slight bitter note. That’s why I recommend drinking this tea with milk, rather than plain.
How to Brew Black Tea with Bergamot
With strong citrusy notes from bergamot, Earl Grey teas tend to favour shorter brew times. Lichfields Earl Grey is no different. You only want to brew these teabags for 2 minutes and no longer. The finely chopped tea leaves infuse incredibly fast, so it gets dark and flavoursome quickly. Make sure you use fresh water in the kettle to get the most of this tea.
Add a decent splash of milk and you’re good to go. Although, a few biscuits on the side wouldn’t go amiss.
Why Lichfields Teabags?
Lichfields are very proud of their Fairtrade certification for this tea – you’ll find that familiar logo stamped all over their packaging. And you can’t blame them for it, really. It’s a brilliant achievement.
As for the quality of the tea leaves, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a cheap teabag brand. The leaves are finely chopped, dusty, and infuse very VERY quickly. The bergamot is those white dots, which are flavouring that dissolve into your tea when water is added.
So, what’s really impressive is how fresh the bergamot in this tea tastes. That’s a good sign that it has been well-blended.
Lichfields Earl Grey is easy to find in the UK. Some supermarkets stock it, and you can find it on Amazon easily (I’ve added a link below, for convenience). But there is no official Lichfields tea website, as far as I can see. This combination of easy availability in hotels and on Amazon, but lack of an official brand, makes them both obscure and mainstream at the same time!
Regardless, I do recommend you check out Lichfields Earl Grey tea. It’s a smooth, nice cuppa.
My range of Earl Grey tea reviews is growing fast! To help you find the right tea quickly, just head to my Tea Review Index, then click on ‘Earl Grey’ to see all the classic Earl Grey teas I’ve reviewed to date. You might find some other classic tea blends to explore in the index too…