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Another Aspect of Earl Grey Tea
[DateTime:2/24/2014 6:53:39 PM ]

    Earl Grey is a blend of Indian and Sri Lankan teas. Although considered a specific type or variety of tea, today, any black tea with bergamot flavor added is considered an Earl Grey tea.

    The Earl Grey blend is named after Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey of Howick (1764-1845), who was one of the leading British statesmen of the late 18th Century and early 19th Century. Charles Grey was once in charge of the British Navy and went on to become Foreign Secretary. In 1830, he became Prime Minister and presided over the introduction of the Great Reform Act of 1832. The following year, his government abolished slavery throughout the British Empire. But despite these historic achievements, Earl Grey’s name is best known today because of the delicious, delicate, fragrant beverage named in his honour.

    There are differing accounts of the origin of Earl Grey tea, but the most popular goes as follows. During his reign as Prime Minister, Earl Grey sent a diplomatic mission to China, where one of the envoys Grey sent saved the life of a Chinese. In gratitude, the Chinese sent the Earl a specially-scented tea. Earl Charles Grey was then reputed to have demanded his tea supplier in London to recreate the tea for him, and the taste became fashionable, eventually spreading worldwide.

The Ingredients of Earl Grey Tea

    Despite its reputed Chinese origins, Earl Grey tea doesn’t contain China tea. It is a blend of Indian and Sri Lankan black teas, flavoured with oil of bergamot. The oil is extracted from the peel of the bergamot orange, which is grown mainly in the Calabria region of Italy. Bergamot oil is also commonly used in aromatherapy. Unlike green teas, black teas undergo a full fermentation process, which causes the leaves to turn black and gives them their flavour.

Lady Grey Tea

    Lady Grey tea was named after Mary Elizabeth Grey, the wife of Charles Grey. Lady Grey tea is a variation on the more famous Earl Grey blend. It consists of green China tea scented with oil of bergamot, lemon peel and orange peel.

How to Serve Earl Grey Tea

    Many people prefer to enjoy Earl Grey without milk and with a slice of lemon. They find that the tang of citrus that comes from the oil of bergamot makes Earl Grey tea particularly suited to being served with lemon.

    Some others prefer their Earl Grey on its own, with nothing added. It’s all a matter of personal taste. But one thing that most Earl Grey enthusiasts can probably agree upon is that the tea should be left to stand for at least two or three minutes after the boiling water has been added, in order for its full flavour to emerge.

    Resist that tempting aroma for a couple of minutes, and let your Earl Grey tea brew. It’s well worth the wait.

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