Earl Grey is probably one of the most well-known tea blends in the world, and is probably the tea most people associate with upper class British afternoon teas, although many people enjoy Earl Grey tea at any time. There are a few stories that purport to be Earl Grey’s true origins, so the most that we can say is it was probably named after Charles Grey, a British Prime Minister in the 1830s. The story goes that he was gifted tea by a Chinese diplomat that was flavoured with bergamot oil, which became wildly popular. Ridgways of London dates back to 1836, so they are almost as old as Earl Grey tea itself! This Earl Grey tea is made with a blend of black tea from India and then combined with bergamot oil.
A lot of people may find that Earl Grey is an acquired taste, as it has quite a strong flavour. This is the perfect example of an Earl Grey blend so if you are going to try it, this would be a great place to start. The base of black tea is very deep and robust, which it needs to be to carry off the sweet citrus taste of bergamot. Some Earl Greys have a hint of oiliness to them which can put some people off, but our advice is to lean into it and enjoy this rather classy beverage. Most people have this kind of tea without milk and sugar, although some do prefer it – it’s up to your own personal taste. This tea does contain caffeine, so we would advise not drinking it at night if you find that caffeine affects your sleep.
Good to know
Many people find that Earl Grey tea can help to ease digestion and can soothe a tummy ache. Like many teas, you may also find it helpful for easing a sore throat.