Earl Grey is named after Earl Charles Grey of England who was Prime Minister from 1830 through 1834.

Just like cookie dough goes with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter goes with chocolate, and lime goes with tequila, bergamot goes with black tea to create one of the world’s most beloved teas: Earl Grey.

Earl Grey is a black tea that is flavoured with oil from the rind of bergamot orange. Variations on the traditional blend include Lady Grey (a blend of Earl Grey with blue cornflower blossoms), Russian Earl Grey (Earl Grey with pieces of citrus peel) and Red Earl Grey (rooibos and bergamot).

Earl Grey's citrusy taste is due to the addition of natural or synthetic bergamot oil. The bergamot orange is a type of aromatic citrus fruit that is usually grown in the Mediterranean. Bergamot oil is extracted from the skin of the bergamot fruit. Although Earl Grey varies from one producer to another, its taste is often described as bright, refreshing, and bold.

Earl Grey is one of the most recognized flavored teas in the world. This quintessentially British tea is typically a black tea base flavored with oil from the rind of bergamot orange, a citrus fruit with the appearance and flavor somewhere between an orange and a lemon with a little grapefruit and lime thrown in. Today’s cultivar of the bergamot orange is believed to be a hybrid of the bitter Seville orange native to the Mediterranean and a sweet lime/lemon native to Southeast Asia.

So why the name Earl Grey?

Earl Grey is named after Earl Charles Grey of England who was Prime Minister from 1830 through 1834.

The common story behind the naming of Earl Grey is that the recipe was a token of thanks to the politician. It is said that he saved the son of a tea blender from drowning. In his gratitude for this good deed, the blender passed on this special recipe for a black tea flavored with bergamot oil.

According to the Grey family, the tea master used bergamot as a flavoring to offset the lime flavor in the well water on Earl Grey’s estate, Howick Hall, near Newcastle, England. Earl Grey’s wife, Lady Grey, loved the tea so much that she entertained with it exclusively. It proved so popular with London society, she asked tea merchants in London to recreate it. Exactly which English tea merchant marketed the first Earl Grey tea blend is somewhat of a debate in the world of tea. But one thing is for sure: While the 2nd Earl of Grey abolished slavery and reformed child labor laws in England during his political leadership, he will be most famously remembered for the beloved tea he helped introduce to the world


Source: Teatulia & Worldteanews 



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