Lots of men and women find the exceptional flavor of Earl Grey to be their favorite; smoky and smoky with hints of citrus, it is reputed to be the tea of choice for Captain Picard from Star Trek.
Although many people consider Earl Grey as a sort of tea, any black tea with bergamot flavor added is actually Earl Grey. Some manufacturers will even use their lower quality black tea to make Early Grey in the belief that the powerful flavor of bergamot will conceal the poor taste of the tea. Largely taken black with maybe a slice of lemon added, Earl Grey is nonetheless one of the most popular of all the flavored teas from the world.
Origin of Earl Grey
The story of how Earl Grey began is shrouded in mystery and contradiction. Earl Grey was then reputed to have demanded his tea supplier in London recreate the tea for him, and the flavor became fashionable, eventually spreading worldwide.
It is a good story, but unlikely to contain much truth. Charles Grey never seen China and the Chinese drink very little black tea in any situation, which means the true origin of Earl Grey tea remains a mystery.
What is Bergamot
The bergamot used to flavor Earl Grey comes from a tree that’s grown in the south of Italy. 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 cologne including one of the first Eau de Colognes from Germany. It’s sometimes called The Prince’s Pear although it is inedible. There is also an herb called bergamot with completely different properties.
In the winter months, before it ripens, the fruit crop is picked by hand. Specially made cold presses are used to extract the bergamot essence, which is then saved for at least a year. Bergamot is used in aromatherapy to treat depression, and also has anti-microbial effects which can strengthen the resistance of the body to colds and illnesses. Perhaps Earl Grey tea is a good remedy for winter sniffles.
When Earl Grey tea was invented, it was considered that tea produced”improper impulses” in women, and consequently Lady Grey was devised. It was believed that the addition 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 is no longer thought to cause any particular impulses among female drinkers!