Earl Grey tea is a type of black tea that is flavored with bergamot, a type of orange that is grown in Italy. The tea is named after Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 1830s. The exact origins of Earl Grey tea are somewhat of a mystery, but it is believed to have been created for Charles Grey by a Chinese Mandarin as a gift.
According to legend, Earl Grey was given a gift of tea flavored with bergamot oil by a Chinese mandarin whose life he had saved. Earl Grey enjoyed the tea so much that he asked his own tea blender to recreate the recipe, and it became a popular blend in the United Kingdom.
Earl Grey tea is now a popular choice around the world and is known for its distinctive flavor, which is often described as being citrusy and slightly floral. It is usually served with milk, although it can also be enjoyed on its own. Earl Grey tea is often served at afternoon tea, and it is also a popular choice for iced tea.
An afternoon tea you say?
Traditionally, afternoon tea is a meal that is served in the mid-afternoon, usually between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. It consists of tea, sandwiches, and pastries, and it is a social occasion that is often enjoyed with friends or family. Earl Grey tea is a popular choice for afternoon tea because of its distinctive flavor and its ability to pair well with a variety of foods.
The origins of afternoon tea can be traced back to the mid-19th century, when it was introduced in England by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. The Duchess found that she became hungry in the late afternoon, between lunch and dinner, and so she began having a small meal of tea, sandwiches, and pastries to tide her over until dinner. She invited her friends to join her, and the tradition of afternoon tea quickly became popular among the upper class in England.
While afternoon tea is no longer as formal an occasion as it once was, it is still a popular pastime, and Earl Grey tea remains a popular choice for this meal. Many people enjoy the ritual of taking a break in the afternoon to relax and socialize over a cup of tea and some light snacks.
Should I add Lemon?
Lemon is often added to Earl Grey tea to enhance the tea’s natural citrus flavor, which is imparted by the bergamot oil used to flavor the tea. The tartness of the lemon can help to balance the flavors of the tea, and some people find that it adds a refreshing touch to the drink.
In addition to adding flavor, some people believe that adding lemon to Earl Grey tea can have health benefits. Lemon is a good source of vitamin C, a nutrient that is important for immune system function and skin health. It also contains other nutrients and plant compounds that may have potential health benefits.
However, it’s important to note that the health benefits of adding lemon to Earl Grey tea are largely dependent on how much lemon is used and how the tea is prepared. If you add a lot of lemon or sweeteners to your tea, it may negate some of the potential health benefits.
Is it healthy though?
Like all types of tea, Earl Grey tea contains antioxidants, which are substances that can help protect cells in the body from damage caused by free radicals. The antioxidants in tea are thought to be beneficial for overall health, and some studies have suggested that tea may have a range of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
However, it’s important to note that the health benefits of Earl Grey tea, like those of other types of tea, are largely dependent on how it is prepared and consumed. If you add a lot of sugar or cream to your tea, for example, it may negate some of the potential health benefits. It’s also important to be aware that, while tea may have some potential health benefits, it is not a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle.
As with any food or beverage, it’s a good idea to consume Earl Grey tea in moderation as part of a balanced diet. If you have any specific health concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional.
If you would like to try our delicious Earl Grey Tea, you can do so here.
The Tea Master.