Earl Grey Tea
Much like cookie dough goes with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter chooses chocolate, and lime opts for tequila, bergamot opts for black tea to create one of the world's most precious teas: Earl Grey.
Earl Grey Loose Leaf
Earl Grey tea is not its own category of tea. It falls under the category of flavoured teas. Flavoured teas include any type of tea-- white, green, oolong, black-- that has been aromatic or flavoured with fruit, flowers, spices, oils, extracts, and natural or synthetic flavours.
Earl Grey is among the most acknowledged flavoured teas in the world. This quintessentially British tea is usually a black tea base flavoured with oil from the skin of bergamot orange, citrus fruit with the look and flavour somewhere between an orange and a lemon with a bit of grapefruit and lime thrown in. Today's cultivar of the bergamot orange is believed to be a hybrid of the bitter Seville orange native to the Mediterranean and a sweet lime/lemon native to Southeast Asia.
So how did England and the rest of the world come to fall in love with this citrus and floral-infused black tea?
Earl Grey origins
The Earl Grey blend, or "Earl Grey's Mixture", is presumed to be called after Charles Grey, second Earl Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s and author of the Reform Bill of 1832 and the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. He reputedly received a gift, probably a diplomatic perquisite, of tea flavoured with bergamot oil due to his ending the monopoly held by the East India Company on trade in between Britain and China. A "Grey's Tea" is known from the 1850s. However, the first recognized released references to an "Earl Grey" tea are Charlton & Co. of Jermyn Street's ads in London in the 1880s.
According to one legend, a grateful Chinese mandarin whose child was rescued from drowning by Lord Grey's men first presented the mix to the Earl in 1803. The tale seems doubtful, as Lord Grey never entered China and using bergamot oil to scent tea was then unidentified in China. Nevertheless, this tale is subsequently told (and somewhat fixed) on the Twinings site, as "having existed by an envoy on his return from China".
According to the Grey household, the tea was specially mixed by a Chinese mandarin for Lord Grey to fit the water at Howick Hall, the family seat in Northumberland, utilizing bergamot, in particular, to balance out the preponderance of lime in the regional water. Girl Grey used it to entertain London as a political hostess, and it proved so popular that she was asked if it could be sold to others, which is how Twinings market it as a brand name.
Jacksons of Piccadilly declare they stemmed Earl Grey's Tea, Lord Grey having provided the dish to Robert Jackson & Co. partner George Charlton in 1830. According to Jacksons, the original recipe has been in constant production and has never left its hands. Theirs has been based upon Chinese black tea, considering that the start.
Records from the 19th century suggest that a tea merchant named William Grey produced earl grey tea. William Grey marketed his "popular Grey's mixture in publications from the time and may have promoted the blend.
A 2010 study discovered that a significant minority of people in the United Kingdom associate drinking Earl Grey tea with being "posh" or upper class.
In 2012 scientists at the Oxford English Dictionary found the earliest reference to Earl Grey, referring to a bergamot flavoured tea from 1824 that appeared to be utilized to enhance the taste of low-quality teas.
How Earl Grey is made
A tea is seasoned during the end of the processing; generally, once the tea leaves have dried. One way teas are flavoured is by mixing the finished tea with flowers, herbs and spices so that the combined active ingredients are visually enticing and lightly instil the tea entrusts to their scent and taste. Another method tea is seasoned is spraying or coating the completed tea with extracts, essential oils or flavouring agents throughout or after the drying process. This includes a much more potent flavour to the tea and uses fewer components. The flavouring-to-tea ratio is entirely approximately the tea producer, and the tastes that come through to a brewed cup of flavoured tea will differ by brand.
Earl Grey is most commonly defined as a black tea that has been seasoned with the oil of bergamot. Nevertheless, there is no one way to make Earl Grey tea, which is why every Earl Grey tea you have ever attempted has most likely tasted slightly different.
A few of the most considerable variables in how Earl Grey tea is made consist of:
TYPE OF TEA USED:
The traditional Earl Grey tea is made with a base of black tea leaves. However, the black tea used can be anything from Ceylon to Indian to African. It can be a single estate black tea or rather a blend of black teas from worldwide. The black tea flavour can be sweet and floral or rich and malty. It depends entirely on the terroir (the characteristics of the tea plant's geography, environment, and culture) and the processing style of the tea master.
TYPE OF BERGAMOT USED:
Both artificial and natural bergamot is utilized to flavour Earl Grey tea. Synthetic bergamot is popular with producers because its flavour is consistent, and it consists of no natural citrus, so it is safe to take in for those with citrus allergies. Natural bergamot's flavour can vary immensely depending on where it was cultivated and how it was processed. Natural bergamot is frequently defined as a sharp and intense citrus flavour. Calabria, in Southern Italy, is house to 80% of the commercially grown bergamot, followed by France and Turkey.
AMOUNT OF BERGAMOT USED:
The art and design of the tea master will specify not just which type but also just how much bergamot is used in a specific Earl Grey blend. Depending on the base tea's taste, a tea master may decide to use a modest amount of bergamot taste not to conceal the fragile taste of the tea leaves. A tea master may decide to give a vibrant, sharp black tea a hefty kick of bergamot to withstand the strong taste profile of the tea leaves.
Black Tea Processing: Withering → Rolling → Oxidation → Firing
Our black tea is rolled instantly after withering to assist getting the oxidation processes started quickly. The leaves are then totally oxidized before dried, which is how they get their dark colour and great taste.
Tasting Earl Grey
There is something about the sweet, floral, sour and bitter flavour profile of bergamot that blends perfectly with a robust, full-bodied and malty black tea. For some, flavoured black tea is more palatable to drink, hiding some of the astringent or bitter notes that might come through in the steeped tea leaves. For others, flavoured tea is simply a more intriguing, unique and enjoyable way to check out a range of tea taste profiles.
The caffeine content in Earl Grey
The caffeine material in an Earl Grey made with a black tea base will resemble any other cup of black tea. Like many beverage brewed from a caffeinated plant, nevertheless, there is a lot of elements that can identify caffeine levels in your cup of Earl Grey black tea, including how the plant was processed and how the drink was brewed. In between coffee, black tea and green tea, coffee usually has the most caffeine content per 8 oz. cup (95 to 200 mg), then black tea (14 to 61 mg), then followed by green tea (24 to 40 mg).
Buying and keeping Earl Grey
As with any green or black tea, storing a flavoured tea properly will ensure your tea remains fresh as long as possible in your cabinet. It's constantly an excellent idea to buy tea from a credible company that can tell you when and how the tea was processed and packaged, along with supply storage and freshness tips.
Generally, an oxidized black tea is more shelf steady than its delicate green tea cousin. But teas that have been flavoured have a much shorter life span than straight black tea. While your flavoured tea won't honestly go "bad", it will get stagnant if it sits around too long, and it will absolutely lose its taste potency. If stored effectively in a cool, dark place and a nontransparent, airtight container far from light, wetness and pantry products like coffee and spices can leach taste into the tea leaves, flavoured teas can last 6 months to a year before they should be used or replaced.
Preparing Earl Grey
Always ask your tea supplier for brewing guidelines specific to the tea you bought because flavoured teas can have various ideal brewing temperature levels and steeping times. Here are a couple of basic Earl Grey tea developing suggestions to bear in mind:
Use fresh, pure, cold filtered water. Springwater is the very best.
If your Earl Grey has a black tea base, it can generally be brewed for more extended periods and in hotter temperature levels than flavoured teas with a green tea base. Usually, this is someplace in between 200 and 212 degrees. We high our Teatulia Earl Grey tea for 2 to 3 minutes.
If you do not have an electric kettle with temperature level control, bear in mind that water simmers at 190 degrees at sea level and boils at 212 degrees. The boiling temperature level drops about a degree for every 1,000 feet in altitude boost. Typically, someplace just off a rolling boil must be ideal for brewing a flavoured black tea.
If your Earl Grey tea came with particular suggestions for developing, use those. But utilizing about 2 grams of loose leaf tea per 8 oz. cup of water is a safe bet.
Cover your Earl Grey tea while it soaks to keep all the heat in the soaking vessel.
Prevent overstepping your flavoured tea. The longer your tea steeps, the stronger the added taste becomes and the faster the tea leaves will release any of their bitterness and astringency. Taste your tea after the recommended steeping time, and then choose if you'd like it to be high a little bit longer.
Many high-quality, loose-leaf Earl Grey teas can be soaked numerous times to yield innumerable cups of tea.
Many Earl Grey teas are indicated to withstand milk and sugar per the popular English teatime traditions. But for a proper education in the taste distinctions between the many varieties of Earl Grey, attempt sipping it plain without any ingredients.
This will appeal to most Earl Grey consumers.
Another great tasting tea from this company. You have converted me.
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