Classic Earl Grey tea is my all-time favorite; it features both lemony and malty notes. These contrasting flavors make the beverage a distinctive tea that is beloved by many.
Earl Grey is a quintessentially English tea, but its origins may actually stem from China. It is known that Chinese tea masters worked diligently for years to create new tea blends that would entice western traders and please the ruling class. They used everything from lychee fruits to jasmine and chamomile flowers to create new flavored Chinese teas. Bergamot flavored teas were simply another example of a long history of tea experimentation.
Bergamot flavored black tea didn't make its way to England until the early 17th century with the earliest mentions of the blend in Europe found in 1824 but there is no mention of ‘Earl Grey.’ Some argue that the tea is reportedly named after Charles Grey — known as 2nd Earl Grey — who was the British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834, others argue that it did not get that name until much later in the 1880’s when Henry Grey – 3rd Earl of Grey – was alive. The story of its inception in London is fuzzy but there are several stories of Charles Grey receiving Bergamot infused tea as a gift, however the basis of the gift is debatable. Yet others argue that it was tea merchant William Grey who imported large quantities of the tea to London around 1852 who was responsible for its popularity, and he added the ‘Earl’ to the name to make it sound ‘more posh.’
Whatever the true story, the popularity of Earl Grey was solidified through its consumption by the royals, rich and elite. Lady Grey served the tea during political and diplomatic meetings with a host of nations. It is accepted that the Grey family worked with Chinese tea experts to create a special blend designed specifically to offset the flavor of lime that was present in the water near their Howick Hall estate.
Often associated with class and simple sophistication, this tea is known today simply by the name Earl Grey. We at Tea4usa believe it is a superb selection for our customers who love a classic tea.
There are several reasons this refined tea has become so highly recommended and prominently consumed. Black tea on its own is one of the most popular varieties of tea, particularly in North America and in Europe. It is produced when withered camellia tea leaves are rolled and allowed to oxidize and dry, developing the natural flavor, color, and body of the leaf. Being more oxidized than other types, this tea has a bolder body and flavor that many tea drinkers have come to savor. This strength also helps it to retain its flavor longer than other varieties, making it ideal for shipping and trade.
With half the caffeine of a cup of coffee, black tea boasts many health benefits as well. Black tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols. Studies from highly acclaimed institutes have shown a variety of ways their consumption may bring an advantage to overall health: a strengthened immune system, improved cognitive functions, lower cholesterol levels and chance of cardiovascular disease, less fatigue, lower blood pressure, a slowing of the aging process, and reduced stress.
Now, add bergamot essential oil to the flavor and healthfulness of black tea, and you have a traditional Earl Grey tea. The inclusion of this oil adds even more character and health benefits to the tea’s complexion. Coming from the rind of bergamot orange fruit, the oil brings lush citrus flavors and striking aromas to your cup, and it is thought to aid in digestion and improve circulation as well.
At Tea4usa, we delight in celebrating this classic tea by bringing you the Tea4U selection of Earl Grey teas. Offering both full leaf, and tea bags, we find that this tea is perfect for a mid-morning or afternoon tea. Our Earl Grey tea is delicious by itself, or made even more decadent with the addition of milk, honey, or both.
We are proud that our Tea4U Earl Grey is widely accepted as the best-tasting blend; steep a cup for yourself to see why!
Hope you are enjoying a cuppa as you read this,