Earl Grey is one of the most recognized and popular blends of tea on the shelves of every tea shop. Named for Charles, the second Earl Grey, who was a 19th-century British Prime Minister, this tea has been a favorite since the mid-1800's. A recent survey in Britain revealed that a majority of citizens there think Earl Grey is the most "posh" tea, owing perhaps to its aristocratic appellation. Whether there is a connection with the original Earl Grey is a question for debate, but the tea that bears his name is a well-loved classic.
What exactly gives Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor? Bergamot, a small pear-shaped citrus fruit cultivated primarily in the Mediterranean, is the prized ingredient. The aromatic essential oil pressed from the rind of bergamot has a slightly spicy, citrusy taste that, when added to tea, provides the flavor we all associate with Earl Grey. Exactly how His Lordship came to enjoy his tea enhanced with oil of bergamot is a topic of much speculation. What is certain is that Earl Grey tea became immensely popular in the 19th century and remains so today.
Yunnan, a black tea from China, is often used in Earl Grey, though any tea may be combined with oil of bergamot. At ArtfulTea, we offer five versions of Earl Grey: three black teas, one green tea, and even an herbal infusion made with rooibos. For the most classic cup, our Earl Grey Organic is a blend of fine Yunnan black tea with bergamot essential oil from Italy, providing a smooth, slightly floral flavor. Our Earl Grey Français is made with bergamot from France, and is an exceptionally aromatic and flavorful version of the classic. We've also added lavender blossoms to our Earl Grey Lavender for a wonderfully relaxing tea bringing to mind the lavender fields of Provence. Our Green Tea Citrus (a green version of Earl Grey) is a delicious twist on the timeless favorite with Japanese Sencha green tea as the base, along with lemon peel, orange blossoms, and bergamot. If you love the flavor of Earl Grey but not the caffeine, Earl Grey Rooibos is designed for you. This organic herbal blend has become hugely popular with our customers who desire the taste of Earl Grey without the effects of caffeine.
Whichever version of Earl Grey you choose, each time you drink it you'll be sipping one of the tea world's most legendary flavors!