If tea could walk about with spats and a cane to show it had class, Earl Grey would not just walk so much as it would strut. This common British favorite is a unique offering in the world of tea. Long before there was industrial flavoring and scenting technologies, Earl Grey stood apart as a naturally flavored tea. We’ve seen a lot of advances since then in the “flavored tea” market, but this simple, citrus-flavored blend has been a tea lover’s favorite for over 200 years!
The distinctive taste of Earl Grey comes from the blend of hearty black teas combined with the soft citrus undertones of the Bergamot Orange. The Bergamot Orange is a cross between a Seville (or sour) orange and a pear lemon – of which a sense of both the orange and the lemon can be detected in its taste and fragrance. The oils are extracted from the rind and added to the blend of black tea.
The namesake comes from Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey, who was also the British Prime Minister in the 1830. Legend has it that he was presented with this special blend of tea from a Chinese Mandarin as a token of gratitude after his son was rescued from drowning by one of Earl Grey’s men. Whether or not this has any truth is the stuff of legends. What we do know is that the tea became popular in British society in the early 1800’s and Charles Grey’s name lives in infamy because of it.
If you’re looking for a fine example of this British triumph, look no further than The English Tea Store, who offer 2 varieties of Earl Grey. Their regular Earl Grey is a fine representation of this historic gift of diplomacy and gratitude. From the very moment you open the bag, the pleasing aroma of the tea grabs your attention. The blend of Indian and Ceylon teas gives their tea a brisk yet malty structure, decorated elegantly with the essence of orange and the almost creamy after taste. For an even more robust taste, check out the English Tea Store’s Double Bergamot Earl Grey. Reflective in the name is an extra boost of Bergamot-induced happiness. Both of these teas are excellent when enjoyed straight up or sweetened. Due to the strength of class and character about Earl Grey, explore enjoying it “British style” with a touch of milk and sugar (pinkie raised, optional).
Her blog, Mad Pots of Tea!
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