A little bit of tea history…
The story behind Earl Grey tea is one of those that people will probably still be divided over until the end of time. It is widely known that the name comes from the Earl Charles Grey, who was the British Prime Minister in the early 1830s. The general consensus was that he was given a blend of black tea and bergamot oil as a gift from a Chinese dignitary, but from there on opinions get skewed. Some say the tea was named after him as a thank-you for saving the life of a Chinese mandarin’s son from drowning, others say it was created to counteract the lime in the water at his family home… Either way, the addition of bergamot really took off – it was known as ‘The World’s Most Fashionable Tea’ in the late 1800s!
So we know that adding the flavour of bergamot oil to black tea tastes great – but what are the other benefits? Bergamot oil is extracted from the rinds of the bergamot orange, grown in Italy. It is often used for its aromatherapy qualities to help relieve stress, and is believed to uplift the mind in moments of tension or low mood. We use bergamot oil not only in our classic Earl Grey but in our other variations too, which you can get from our online shop or by popping into the Teahouse yourselves.
What is the best way to take my Earl Grey?
This question, much like the origins of the story behind why the Earl Charles Grey came to lend his name to the tea we all know and love, is another that is likely to raise debate for many moons to come (and for many rounds of tea made, for that matter). We’ve decided on the 5 most popular ways to enjoy Earl Grey – what’s your favourite?
- Black – Earl Grey au naturel.
- With a slice of lemon.
- With a dash of milk.
- With sweetener – normally sugar or honey.
- In a London Fog!
This is a ‘tea latte’ made with Earl Grey and milk – all you need to do is brew a strong cup of Earl Grey and mix it with steamed milk (…or milk warmed up over the hob or microwave, if you don’t have a steamer) and some vanilla syrup or essence, and there you have it! Give it a go and let us know what you know what you think.
So what exactly is it that sets our Earl Grey Blends apart?
The name is synonymous with the British tea-drinking lifestyle. It divides opinions on the ‘proper’ way to drink it, and conjures images of the traditional afternoon tea-time staple – a steaming pot alongside cucumber sandwiches and an abundance of scones and other delicate treats. It’s no wonder it’s one of Britain’s favourite teas.
We get told a lot that the flavour in Earl Grey from the big-name brands isn’t of the same quality that it used to be compared to our Earl Grey. We put it down to the simple fact that here at Teahouse Emporium, we champion the traditional method of creating a beautiful Earl Grey blend, with real Italian bergamot oil.
One of the problems with using the pure oil in the tea making process is that it is, well, oily. This is turn makes bagging and handling problematic for the bigger companies, which has resulted in some turning to flavourings. This is where the taste difference comes in, and why our tea is so delicious.
We’re a small company, which means we are free to blend our Earl Grey the traditional way and make sure we’re providing all your tea-lovers out there the best possible blends of the highest quality – and this is what makes the Teahouse Emporium Earl Grey tea so good.
Image credit of Selena N. B. H