Tea may be seen as a “woman’s beverage” in Europe and the U.S., but men play a very significant role in the growing, processing, distribution, and enjoyment of this wonderful beverage. While many teas are named after women, there are some named after men, too. Plus a host of tea companies with men’s names.
Members of Royalty often have teas named after them, sort of “currying favor” with the “high and mighty.”
Let’s start with a favorite for many of you tea drinkers out there: Earl Grey. Black teas from China are flavored with oil from the bergamot, a citrus fruit. The blend is named after Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey and the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1830 to 1834 and obviously a lover of tea. Both Twinings and Jacksons of Picadilly claim to have the original recipe, supposedly entrusted to them by the Earl. These days, though, this particular flavor blend is presented by a variety of tea vendors and with some variations:
- Harrisons & Crosfield Earl Grey — black tea flavored with Italian citrus oil of bergamot, imported to U.S. from England.
- Earl Grey Cream Tea – Metropolitan Blend — high grown Ceylon tea (5500+ feet above sea level) and natural flavor.
- Harney’s Winter White Earl Grey — white tea with oil of bergamot.
- Crazy Earl — a version that contains black tea and oil of bergamot but also throws in some orange and grapefruit peel.
Twinings also has a special light-tasting tea blend called Prince of Wales Tea. First blended to satisfy the palate of the man who held that title in 1921 (who later became King Edward VIII) and who gave Twinings permission to use that title as the blend name, this recipe satisfies tea lovers still. The title “Prince of Wales” dates back to the 12th century in the days after the Romans lost control of the British Isles and before the Normans conquered them. Many title holders went on to be King of England, while others did not. Charles is the 24th man to hold that title.
Some more teas named after men and/or the titles men sometimes go by:
- Monk’s Blend — a black tea (high-grown Ceylon) with grenadine (essence of pomegranate) added, great both hot and chilled.
- Czar Nicolas Russian Caravan — a mix of smoky Lapsang Souchong and malty Assam. Czar Nicolas was the last Czar of Russia and was executed by revolutionaries. (My review)
- Toasted Samurai — a version of Genmaicha, that wonderful green tea with toasted rice. Samurai are male warriors from the feudal days of Japan.
- Emperor Long Jing — made using very fine, first flush tea leaves and supposedly the most perfect tea in terms of color, taste, fragrance and shape. Grown in the Zhejiang Province, this tea is said to have been so utterly irresistible that during the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Kang Xi would trek out of the Forbidden City for a taste of the freshest version.
- Wise Man’s Caravan — starts with Assam black tea and revs up the flavor with some orange peel and commonly used spices (cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, white peppercorn, allspice, ginger, nutmeg), plus a touch of the exotic (myrrh and frankincense).
- Prince Vladimir — black teas from China flavored with a bit of vanilla, citrus, and unspecified spices. Prince Vladimir was a grand prince of Russia, crowned in 1015 A.D. He did quite a bit of conquering, empire building, and even gained his bride by slaughtering those who guarded her. Ewww!!
- Buddha Hand — an oolong tea with a sweetness and slightly floral aroma that is also evident in the steeped liquid, which is a beautiful green-yellow color.
Some tea vendors named after men or otherwise “male oriented”:
- Mellow Monk
- Barry’s Tea
- Monkey King
- Jade Monk
- Mad Monk Tea
- Davidson’s Tea
- Mystic Monk Tea
- The Emperors Tea
- Emperor Tea
- Taylors of Harrogate
- Tea Emperor
- Man Teas
Isn’t knowledge fun? Remember these stories behind the names the next time you enjoy a cuppa any of them.
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