You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘earl grey’ tag.

2016-09-01

If you have seen an episode of the Great British Bake Off, you will notice some of the contestants explaining their ingredients. If you hear names like “caster sugar”, treacle, or “black treacle”, you may be familiar with it or it may leave you scratching your head, depending on which side of the pond you are from.

When I am not making or drinking tea, I am baking and I tend to bake A LOT. When I first started to bake British recipes, I noticed that in order to have the best results, British ingredients are the best. I tried to use American ingredients like granulated sugar in place of caster sugar and the difference is a huge one. The difference between caster sugar and granulated sugar is that caster sugar is much more fine than the granulated sugar. The crystals are much more easier to dissolve when being stirred in and baked. Demerara sugar is a much different story. Demerara is much more coarse than caster sugar and looks much similar to Turbinado sugar, a certain sugar that we in America see in a little brown packet. This sugar has a toffee/molasses-like flavor. Other popular sugars in the UK are Muscovado sugars. Much like the brown sugars we have here in the US, there are light and brown versions. Muscovado sugar is a naturally brown sugar while brown sugar has molasses added to it. Muscovado sugar usually gets its color from sugar cane juice

It is not just the traditional ingredients and flavors that the competitors have used. Contestants bring their own flavors from home, ones they or their family enjoy that bring them such sweet (or savory) memories. They have made their own flavors from simple fruits like Morello cherries to sweets like Pontefract Cakes, and even cola flavors. Some of these flavors are combined, such as mango, hazelnut, and rosemary and made into a sweet treat that you would not believe. These home cooks have such incredible skills that it is astonishing.

You can also add tea to your baking, wet or dry! Tea loaf cakes are a common bake in the UK, which involve actually BREWING tea, soaking dried fruits in it, and adding it to the batter! If you prefer to use dry tea leaves, Stash Tea has a recipe that you can use to make Earl Grey Tea Bag cookies!

-CD

Advertisements

July has arrived! It may seem like the past few months have been flying by, but we’re here to give you a little bit of tea encouragement. The teas listed below offer special pricing that will last all month long (no code needed.)

tolstb_egrreg-25p_earl-grey

(c) English Tea Store – Earl Grey Teabags

The first tea is our Regular Earl Grey Tea in Fine Loose Leaf or Teabags. The Earl Grey Tea blend from English Tea Store is a blend of Ceylon and Indian teas. The tea receives its unusual and unique flavor from oil of Bergamot – which is a small acidic orange. The Bergamot orange is a cross between the sweet or pear lemon (Citrus Limetta) and the Seville or sour orange (Citrus Aurantium). The sour orange is native to Southern Vietnam. The Earl Grey Fine Loose Tea is available in 4 different sizes: 4 ounces, 8 ounces, 15 ounces, or 80 ounces. The Earl Grey Teabags are available in a 25 pouch, 25 tin, 50 pouch, 100 bulk, or 500 bulk.

Curious about the benefits of drinking Earl Grey Tea?

  • Good for your teeth – That’s right! Tea contains very high levels of catechin, which is an antioxidant that fights oral infection. Flouride is a naturally occurring component in Earl Grey.
  • Promotes good digestion – Earl Grey can aid and relieve painful digestion, colic, and nausea.
  • Fights anxiety and depression – Unfortunately, in today’s world many people suffer from anxiety, depression, or both. Maybe you’re looking for other routes instead of medicine? The Bergamot in Earl Grey has a calming effect and has natural aromatherapy qualities.
  • Weight loss – Like most teas citrus teas, Earl Grey an induce weight loss. It is thought that calories are broken down into food for your muscles or released through the metabolic process. Try adding some extra citrus like lemon!
  • Hydration (It’s Key!) – Hydration is so important for your body…and it’s not just because tea is made with water. Earl Grey has a high potassium content so it keeps your fluids in check.
TOLSLL_DRJMIM_-Mim-Estate-tea-loose-leaf

(c) English Tea Store – Mim Estate Loose Leaf

Moving on to our next July tea – Mim Estate in Loose Leaf. The Mim Estate blend from the English Tea Store has a distinctive “Muscatel” character with a hint of currant. This tea is a 2nd flush Darjeeling and comes from the Mim Estate in Northern India. The genus of the Darjeeling tea bush is the Chinese Jat, which gives it the distinctive muscatel character. The fragrance and taste is a complex bouquet that travels right out of the cup. Some may describe the taste as nutty, black currant, or muscat grape-like.

The final tea of the month is actually multiple teas in a sampler (What more could you ask for?!) – The Fruit Kick – Loose Leaf Sampler. This is great if you’re looking to try something new and adventure out of your safe zone. Each sampler pack comes with 1 ounce of each of our favorite fruit flavored loose leaf teas: Apple Spice Black Tea, Blackcurrant Black Tea, Pomegranate Lemon Black Tea, Wild Blueberry Organic Tea, and Florida Orange Rooibos Tea. We recommend brewing in water, that has been brought to a boil, for 3-5 minutes.

Okay – I think we’ve given you a lot to think about. Tell us your favorite flavored tea!

Is it grey, or is it green? Our second Tea of the Month for May is both! Enjoy 15% off the forever favoriteTOLSLL_GRNEGR-16oz_-00_Earl-Grey-Green-Tea-Loose-Leaf-16oz made fresh with bergamot and green tea. Bergamot is a small citrus orange that blossoms in winter.

Tea was originally flavoured with bergamot to imitate the more expensive types of Chinese tea. This practice dates back to the 1820’s in the UK. In 1837 there is a record of a lawsuit against a tea maker who was found to have supplied tea “artificially scented, and, drugged with bergamot in this country.”

The Earl Grey blend, or “Earl Grey’s Mixture,” is assumed to be named after The 2nd Earl Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s and author of the Reform Bill of 1832. Lord Grey reputedly received a gift, probably a diplomatic perquisite, of tea flavoured with bergamot oil. The English Tea Store is one of few who takes this original Earl Grey blend and surprises you with a base of green tea.

Editor’s note – I love the word perquisite – so much nicer than today’s “perk.”

ETS EG Cream Metro

(c) Crystal Derma for English Tea Store. All rights reserved.

One tea that has definitely caught my taste buds by surprise is the English Tea Store Brand’s Earl Grey Cream Blend. I made this on a rainy day a few days ago and was very surprised at the taste! A little milk and sweetener helped make this stand out.

I wanted something caffeinated but something different from my usual PG Tips. Then I remembered I had a bag of Earl Grey Cream, so I opened that up while I had the kettle boiling on the stove. As I waited, I studied the tea leaves and noticed there were little purple flower petals in the bag. I later found out that they were corn flower petals. Found them to be very pretty, though.

This tea tastes very much of smooth, creamy vanilla, especially after the milk and sweetener were added. It made me want to have a scone right then and there! It feels very much like a dessert tea. Or better yet, skip the sweet treat and just have another cup of tea!

In my research, I learned that 98 percent of this tea comes from estates that are part of the Ethical Tea Partnership. The ETP website explains they they are a non-profit organization working to improve tea sustainability, the lives of the tea workers, and the environment in which the tea is produced. They are a worldwide organization that includes tea companies big and small. Some tea companies that are partnered with the ETP include well known British tea brands like Ahmad Tea and Twinings.

~CD

Following on from my explorations of Tregothnan’s Classic Tea, I also had a chance to find out how their Earl Grey stands up to the other Earl Grey blends out there. As mentioned in my previous article, the Tregothnan teas currently being stocked by Waitrose appear only to be sold in bagged form. For the Classic Tea this did not particularly bother me; however, I do prefer most of my other teas loose – a rule to which Earl Grey is no exception. Nevertheless, I wanted to try Tregothnan’s Earl Grey, and decided that a tea bag was not going to come between me and my tea tasting.

Tregothnan Earl Grey (photo by Elise Nuding, all rights reserved)

Tregothnan Earl Grey (photo by Elise Nuding, all rights reserved)

Coincidentally, I am writing this article on the 250th anniversary of the birth of Charles Grey, the Earl who eventually gave his name to the world-famous tea blend. And, as an additional interesting fact, the family who own Tregothnan estate are direct descendants of the Earl, and as such have an especially close connection to the tea. In fact, they state that their Earl Grey blend “aims to be the ultimate tribute to the man himself.” A lofty ambition indeed! [Editor’s note: see this article on the blog about Twinings who made that tea famous.]

They go about fulfilling this ambition by combining tea leaves from the Tregothnan estate with Assam leaves and pure bergamot oil. Like most black teas, a steep time of 3 minutes should produce a good brew for an Earl Grey, and so this was where I started. Tregothnan’s blend is definitely on the lighter, more fragrant end of the Earl Grey spectrum, but the bergamot flavour was still clear and distinct in this first brew. I prefer my Earl Grey (like all black teas) with a little added milk, and found that this did not compromise or mask the flavors of the pure tea, which is a good sign. For my second brew, I let the tea steep for 4 minutes. This produced a slightly darker brew with a slightly stronger taste. Although the first brew was complemented well by the milk, I found that the stronger brew coped even better with it, producing a more balanced cup. This preference may well reflect the fact that I tend to enjoy stronger black teas, so some tea drinkers might find the lighter steep more to their taste.

As a lighter, more subtle blend of flavours than some of the more robust blends out there, Tregothnan’s Earl Grey is better suited as an afternoon tea- at least for my tea drinking preferences. I don’t know about being the ultimate tribute to the original Earl Grey, but I certainly enjoyed my experience of Tregothnan’s Earl Grey tea, and suspect that it would elicit an even more positive reaction in loose form.

See more of Elise Nuding’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Many tea lovers are probably aware of at least the bare bones of the Earl Grey story. Earl Grey, the tea, for those of you who may not be clued in yet, is a type of flavored black tea that has been doctored up with the highly fragrant and distinctive oil of bergamot. Bergamot is a small citrus fruit that’s primarily grown in Italy.

Earl Grey, the person, is the guy Earl Grey tea is named for. He’s more properly referred to as Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, and if you’re like me and you have no clue what an Earl is or what they do you can get more info here. There are several conflicting versions of how Earl Grey came to be the namesake of this tea. Look for a brief overview of this issue here.

Howick Hall Gardens - Take a tour and then have a spot of tea in the tea house

Howick Hall Gardens - Take a tour and then have a spot of tea in the tea house

What a lot of tea lovers may not know is that if you’re ever traveling in the vicinity of Northumberland, in England, you can have the rather unique experience of drinking Earl Grey tea on the grounds of the very same place where Earl Grey lived. That would be Howick Hall. It’s “the ancestral seat of the Earls Grey” and has been owned by the family since 1319. Nowadays the property is operated as a tourist attraction known as Howick Hall Gardens. It includes the Earl Grey Tea House and various other attractions.

The tea house doesn’t have quite the pedigree as the rest of the property, having opened only a few years ago, in 2004. Since then operation has been leased to various parties and, as the Web site notes, ” they serve a variety of teas, home made and local produce, snacks and light lunches, sometimes on a self-service basis.” Potential visitors will also want to note that “the Earl Grey Tea House is open whenever the gardens are open, but exclusively for visitors to the garden. It is NOT open to other members of the public.”

While we’re on the topic of Earl Grey tea it’s as good a time as any to again mention the recent Twinings Earl Grey fiasco (or publicity stunt, as some have suggested). When Twinings made a change not so long ago to the formulation of their popular Earl Grey tea there was of an outcry from unhappy fans. The end result was similar to Coke’s fix way back when for the New/Classic Coke debacle. Twinings decided to keep selling the new blend of Earl Grey and also release a Classic Edition. For more on this issue, look here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Earl Grey can be something of an acquired taste for some tea drinkers, present company included. But for those Earl Grey fans who have acquired the taste, it’s one that they’re quite passionate about. If you need any proof of that, then consider the outcry that recently broke out when Twinings changed the formula of their Earl Grey blend, arguably one of the most popular blends in the world.

Earl Grey Classic

Earl Grey Classic

Earl Grey is typically made with a black tea base to which oil of bergamot has been added. There can be minor variations on this theme, including Twinings’ own Lady Grey, which also adds essence of lemon and orange peel. Bergamot is a citrus fruit that’s primarily grown for commercial use in southern Italy, though it is also grown in more modest quantities elsewhere.

Twinings has been making Earl Grey tea for nearly two centuries now but they slipped up recently in a blunder reminiscent of the new Coke debacle of some years back. Fans of the tea boiled over when Twinings dared to change the formula, adding lemon flavor and more bergamot than they previously used. The thoughts about this change from unhappy Earl Grey lovers were expressed in no uncertain terms, using such no-nonsense words as “foul,” “gross,” “dishwater,” and “vile.”

Is Earl Grey happy about this?

Is Earl Grey happy about this?

As the furor increased, a Facebook campaign was launched and the news spread from the expected British press sources to such far-flung media outlets as Canada, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, and more. Here’s what the Telegraph had to say about the fiasco. To their credit (and quite likely to the benefit of their bottom line), Twinings responded to all of the fuss, promising that “Earl Grey The Classic Edition” would be brought back to calm down all the fans who were up in arms.

As the company put it, in a statement at their Web site, “Whilst many love the new Earl Grey, a group of Earl Grey fans have asked us to make the previous blend available. Not wishing to disappoint, we have introduced Earl Grey The Classic Edition.”

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Versailles Lavender Earl Grey Tea

Versailles Lavender Earl Grey Tea

Name: Versailles Lavender Earl Grey

Brand: The English Tea Store

Type: Black tea, flavored

Form: Loose leaf

Review: Looking for an elegant, refined tea perfect for summer sipping? Try Versailles Lavender Earl Grey, a tea that is a pleasure to look at, sniff and sip. A very nice combination indeed!

The base tea appears to be a Ceylon, with surprisingly long, twisted leaves. These very dark leaves are blended with lavender and blue cornflowers,  creating a visually stunning blend. If you are looking to impress someone with your tea service, try presenting them with a bit of this tea before spooning it into your teapot! The nose, a blend of tangy bergamot and lavender is also quite nice, albeit strong.

I was concerned that the flavors may be too strong in the cup, so I infused my first pot of Versailles Lavender Earl Grey for only three minutes. The tea that resulted wasn’t bad, but not quite as flavorful as I hoped. Four minutes did the trick, though, and produced a lovely honey-colored liquor with moderate astringency. The base tea provided a hearty foundation for the citrus and floral flavors, making this tea a nice treat and a lovely, floral alternative to traditional Earl Grey.

Recommended, particularly as an inexpensive but delicious “special occasion” tea.

Preparation Tips: Be very careful about the amount of leaf you use when preparing this tea. Too much lavender can result in a strange-tasting tea. Stick with one teaspoon per cup and adjust the steep time if you like a stronger tea. I found that a four minute steep makes a very flavorful cup in which both bergamot and lavender flavors emerge without any harsh notes.

Serving Tips: Works fine when sipped on its own, but I confess to really enjoying this tea with a bit of dark chocolate. Nice on ice, too.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

British Earl Grey Flavored White Tea

British Earl Grey Flavored White Tea

Name: British Earl Grey Flavored White Tea

Brand: English Tea Store

Type: White tea, flavored

Form: Loose leaf

Review: For those who enjoy the flavor of bergamot but crave a lighter, cleaner tea during the summer should enjoy this offering from the English Tea Store. This is a “white” Earl Grey, blended from Pai Mu Tan white tea and natural bergamot oil. The subtlety of the white tea and the crisp citrus flavor makes for a wonderful summer beverage.

Pai Mu Tan (also known as “white peony”) is a “new style” white tea made from minimally processed tea leaves. It produces a light-bodied, yellow-green liquor with a sweet, slightly fruity flavor that reminds me a bit of green apples. In combination with the bergamot (which is applied with a light hand), these qualities create a tea that is astonishingly good served either hot or cold. I’ve long been an advocate of white peony teas as a gentler alternative to fierce black breakfast teas: Sometimes I want to wake up slowly, and a cup of this tea would be a perfect way to do so.  It is also a wonderfully soothing afternoon tea.

I strongly recommend this tea: A delicious, unusual blend sold at a very reasonable price.

Serving Tips: Like many white peony teas, British Earl Grey Flavored White Tea is more subtle in flavor than black teas, but more substantial than traditional silver needle white tea. I recommend serving this tea on its own or with simple foods, such as cucumber sandwiches. Do try it as an iced tea: It is absolutely delicious and very refreshing.

Preparation Tips: Because this tea leaf is both large and fluffy, it can be difficult to consistently measure. I recommend weighing out the leaf on a gram scale and using about 3 grams of leaf per eight ounces of water. Cooler water will result in a sweeter, fruitier tea as well: Take the water temperature down to 185F and steep for three minutes for best results.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lady Londonderry tea

Lady Londonderry tea

Tea has been seen as a “woman’s beverage” in Europe and the U.S. since it was popularized in Britain by Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza after her marriage to Prince Charles II. As tea became more popular, a lot of tea rooms became havens where women could go and not be seen as wild or get “hit on” by strange men. Even today, tea time is more popular with women. It’s only natural, therefore, that many teas and several herbal tisanes have women’s names.

One of the best known is “Lady Londonderry,” named after Princess Catherine. It’s a tea blend starting with a base of black tea and flavored/scented with dried orange, white daisies, and other natural flavors that are great both hot and chilled. Then, there’s “Lady Grey,” a version of “Earl Grey”; the Twinings version is made with lemon and Seville orange in addition to oil of bergamot (see tea sipper Lainie Petersen’s review). Another one is “Blue Lady,” a tea named after a common image that occurs to people who think they have seen a ghost; the blender takes a high-grown Ceylon tea of finest quality and adds citrus (grapefruit and orange) plus passionfruit and grenadine flavors for a sweet taste that stays with you like the ghost (that blue lady) it’s named after.

A somewhat heartbreaking story is about “Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling” tea garden. Margaret was the youngest of two daughters of Mr. Bagdon, the owner of a tea garden in the Darjeeling area of India in the 1930s. He lived in London but visited the tea garden regularly. On one trip, he brought both daughters with him. Margaret fell in love with the tea garden and, on the voyage home, told her father she hoped to see it again soon. Sadly, she became ill on the boat and did not recover. Mr. Bagdon changed the tea garden’s name to “Margaret’s Hope” in remembrance of her.

Oolong lovers will know this tea name: Tie Guan Yin (“Iron Goddess of Mercy”). Not a real woman, but the idea of a woman — strength yet mercy rolled into one package.

The Republic of Tea Pink Lady Apple Green Tea

The Republic of Tea Pink Lady Apple Green Tea

Some other examples I’ve come across:

  • Queen of Hearts — An early season green tea, formed into heart shapes, that is fit for a mad tea party! And not one shouting “Off with their heads!”
  • The Republic of Tea Pink Lady Apple Green Tea — A blend with a unique flavor from “pink lady apples” (also known as “blushing apples”) added to a delicate China green tea.
  • Lady Hannah’s Whole Fruit Herbal — Caffeine-free and naturally sweet with the taste of lemon and strawberry combining with natural dried apple pieces, hibiscus, rosehip, pineapple pieces, papaya pieces, brambleberries, blackberries, raspberries, and natural flavors. A pleasure both hot or chilled.
  • Godiva Roche Flavored Rooibos — You don’t need to ride a horse through the streets of Coventry England with naught between you and the elements but some very long blond hair to feel like you’re doing your part to protest high taxes. Just a sip of this tisane will do the trick. South African rooibos with chopped vanilla pieces, cacao bean and peel, and natural flavoring oils.
  • Empress Green Sampler — A regal collection of green teas that will give you a nice sampling of the finer options out there.
  • Lady Orchid Oolong Tea — Oolong tea leaves combined with powdered ginseng and liquorice grass. Health claims include replenishing energy and soothing a dry throat and cough.
  • Auntie’s Pumpkin Pie — Straight from the oven to your nostrils and tastebuds, the enticing aroma of fresh backed pumpkin pie compacted into a teacup! Black tea with cinnamon, caramel, and pumpkin spice.
  • Anastasia — The royal Romanovs, last in a long line of Tsars of Russia, ended rather tragically. One daughter, Anastasia, is said to have miraculously survived the massacre of her parents and siblings. The tale has been told in several movies, including one with Ingrid Bergman and another with Amy Irving. This blend of Chinese and Ceylon black teas flavored with natural essences of bergamot, lemon, and orange blossom will fill you with the spirit of mystery surrounding Anastasia.
  • Rosemary Herbal Tisane — Rosemary is a name that has been around for a long time. It is also the name of an herb. This tisane made from it is said to help your health in lots of ways. One of the best uses is as a breath freshening mouthwash.

On a side note, there is a female name spelled “Tea” but pronounced “TAY-ah.” It’s Italian in origin and is a short form of Teresa and Teadora.

By the way, these teas may have feminine type names, but you fellas can enjoy them, too!

Don’t miss another female name but for a tea time treat: Madeleines, as described in the article by Jess Hodges!

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Categories

Explore our content:

Find us on these sites:


Follow Us!     Like Us!     Follow Us!     Follow Us!     Plus 1 Us!
Follow Tea Blog on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Tweet This!    add to del.icio.us    add to furl    digg this    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit     post to facebook    technorati faves

Copyright Notice:

© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blog Affiliates

blogged
Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory

Networked Blogs

%d bloggers like this: