Loose Leaf Earl Grey
A Delicious Classic… That’s Probably More Interesting Than You Realized!
So What Makes Loose Leaf Earl Grey… Earl Grey?
Although Earl Grey is most common as a black tea blend, it can actually be any kind of tea: green, white, oolong, etc.! You see, the type of leaf isn’t what defines Earl Grey tea. It’s actually based on the addition of bergamot to a tea (or herbal tea) base.
Well Then, What’s Bergamot?
It’s a kind of citrus fruit, about the size of a standard orange, but with a more yellowish color. In terms of taste, it’s slightly more sweet than a lemon, but more sour than a grapefruit. Bergamot is grown in a few regions around the Mediterranean, especially in Calabria, in southern Italy.
To flavor loose leaf Earl Grey tea, tea blenders may use either synthetic or natural bergamot oil. Bergamot can also be made into marmalade or added to sweets as a flavoring agent. Commonly, it’s used in fragrance blends, as well.
Of course, with CommuniTea Center‘s teas, you know we never use any artificial flavors. Our Earl Grey variations are the real deal!
Who’s the Guy the Tea is Named After?The general consensus is that the tea’s namesake is Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845). His notable political achievements included a stint as the British Prime Minister (1830-1834). During this time, Parliament passed the controversial Reform Bill of 1832, which reorganized the elected officials in the House of Commons and also extended the vote to more citizens. Additionally, the Slavery Abolition Act passed in 1833, which ended (most) slavery within the British Empire.
Notable Earl Grey Fact: He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Ponsonby, had 16 children, 15 of whom survived to adulthood!
Despite such a distinguished political career, he’s probably most well-known today for his tea. There are a variety of stories about the origin of Earl Grey tea, but here’s the most likely version:
The Grey family lived at Howick Hall in Northumberland, England, where the well water supposedly had a lime-y flavor. To offset the strange taste, a Chinese mandarin created a special tea blend with bergamot for the earl. While entertaining political visitors in London, Lady Grey brewed the tea, and it was very popular. Word of Earl Grey’s delicious tea began to spread, and eventually it became available for sale. For more, check out the Howick Hall website!
Please scroll down to read more about CommuniTea Center’s loose leaf Earl Grey tea blends!
(O) = contains 95% or more organic ingredients
Loose Leaf Earl Grey Tea: Black Tea Blend
Earl Grey Cream (O)– $2 sample/$10 2oz
As we learned above, what differentiates traditional Earl Grey from other black teas is the addition of oil of bergamot, a citrus fruit from Italy.
CommuniTea Center’s “Earl Grey Cream” goes one step further and incorporates the creaminess of vanilla as well. Try it plain, or with milk and sugar. It pairs wonderfully with scones, too. So yum!