To learn more about Earl Grey, the tea, it is essential to learn more about Earl Grey, the man. Elected to parliament at the age of 22, Grey had a long, full, and colourful life. He fathered 11 children was engaged in a love affair dramatized in the film called "the Duchess." He was eventually elected as prime minister in 1830, here, he oversaw the emancipation of Catholics and enacted reforms such as the Reform Act and the Slavery Abolition Act.
While associated with tea, Britain's East India Company lost out on its trade monopoly with China and its massive tea industry, which brings us more in line with Earl Grey, the tea. Legends abound about the association between Charles Grey and the tea; one story claims that the recipe was given to him by a Chinese mandarin friend, while others claim the drink was made by accident when bergamot oranges and the tea were shipped too carefully together from Chinese envoys. The most concrete evidence tracks the term to a somewhat derogatory term denoting low-quality tea enhanced with bergamot oil to mask the poor taste. This naming convention seems to have started in 1824, however.
Whatever the case may be, Earl Grey is a black tea that is flavored with bergamot orange oil. Bergamot oranges come from Italy and demonstrate a new globalized trade network that Britain was involved in. Trading for tea from China or producing it in India and then flavoring said tea with oranges from Italy and the south of France. The black drink of choice is usually Assam, Darjeeling or Keemun and the flavor, aromas, and notes are said to be akin to toffee, caramel or honey, with nutty, woodsy and even citrusy character.
The health benefits are unique for Earl Grey due to the incorporation of the bergamot. The citrus fruit allows Earl Grey to serve as an immune system booster. It also serves as a detox tea and promotes oral health. Stress relief, hydration, and anxiety relief are all other unique benefits provided by Earl Grey. The other health benefits of black tea also shine through with Earl Grey, like heart, gut and digestion health and decent dosage of antioxidants. Though Earl Grey should be consumed in moderation as an excess of bergamot can result in muscle cramps and teeth stains.
Earl grey is an excellent beverage when mixed with milk to brewing a superb English Breakfast or afternoon tea. So, for those interested in trying some choice, Earl Grey, Bon Tea a score of awesome Earl Grey selections. There is Earl Grey Cream, Special, Organic, and Green Tea Earl grey. All of which provide a wide range of health-boosting properties and unique flavors all their own!