If you enjoy black tea, you probably know about Earl Grey tea and its interesting flavor profile. You may even know some background on how Earl Grey originated.
The background is murky at best but the most popular story is that there was an English earl in the 1800’s with the surname “Grey.” As a reward for championing some legislation in the House of Lords, he purportedly received a gift of black tea flavored with bergamot orange oil and thereafter, his special blend was known as Earl Grey tea.
Another story debunks this idea and reports that Earl Grey tea was given this special name as a marketing ploy and that it was simply a clever way to sell inferior black tea—infuse it with bergamot orange oil.
And, another tale shares that black tea was shipped from China to England in the 1800’s but the tea, during shipping, was in close proximity to crates of bergamot oranges that the flavor profile was created by accident. Interesting to note is that the “parents of the bergamot orange come from Asia.”
Introduced to Italy in the 1700s, bergamot oranges are found in the northern city of Bergamo, Italy and are a small hybrid citrus fruit—a cross between a sour orange and a lemon or lime. The strong, aromatic oil from the rind is what is used for Earl Grey tea and other products like perfumes and colognes.
Give Earl Grey tea a try! A fun hot drink to make with Earl Grey tea is called a “London Fog.” You can easily go online and find a recipe for this combination of warm milk, vanilla syrup & Earl Grey or you can make it with warm coconut milk, vanilla extract, raw honey & Earl Grey. . . it’s up to you!