Lots of men and women find the exceptional taste of Earl Grey to be their favorite; smoky and fragrant with hints of citrus, it’s reputed to be the tea of choice for Captain Picard from Star Trek.
Although many people believe Earl Grey as a type of tea, any black tea with bergamot flavor added is actually Earl Grey. Some manufacturers will even use their lower quality black tea to produce Early Grey from the belief that the strong flavor of bergamot will mask the bad taste of the tea. Largely taken black with maybe a slice of lemon added, Earl Grey is nevertheless among the most popular of all the flavored teas in the world.
Origin of Earl Grey
Earl Grey was then reputed to have demanded his tea supplier in London recreate the tea for him, and the taste became fashionable, eventually spreading worldwide.
It is a good story, but unlikely to contain much truth. Charles Grey never visited China and the Chinese drink very little black tea in any case, which means the real origin of Earl Grey tea is still a mystery.
What is Bergamot
A citrus fruit, somewhat like lemon, orange and grapefruit mixed together, the odor is often likened to orange blossom. The oil of the fruit is added to perfume including one of the first Eau de Colognes from Germany. It’s sometimes known as The Prince’s Pear even though it’s inedible. There’s also an herb called bergamot with completely different properties.
In the winter months, before it ripens, the fruit harvest is picked by hand. Specially made cold presses are utilized to extract the bergamot essence, which is then stored for at least a year. Bergamot is used in aromatherapy to treat depression, and also has anti-microbial effects that can strengthen the resistance of the body to colds and illnesses. Perhaps Earl Grey tea is a good treatment for winter sniffles.
When Earl Grey tea was invented, it was considered that tea generated”improper impulses” in girls, and thus Lady Grey was invented. It was thought that the inclusion of fruit would calm the effects of tea, so Seville orange, lemon and bergamot extracts were added. Lady Grey is still a favorite blend today, although it’s no longer believed to cause any special impulses among female drinkers!