What is Earl Grey Tea
Earl Grey tea is a tea mix that has been flavored with the addition…
…of bergamot oil. Earl Grey gets its distinct flavor from the rind’s aromatic oil, which is mixed with black tea. Earl Grey was traditionally brewed from black teas such as China keemun and was thus intended to be consumed without milk. However, tea firms have started to create Earl Grey based on stronger teas like Ceylons, which are better suited to the addition of milk or cream. Other kinds, like as green and oolong, have also been introduced.
Earl Grey Origins
While the English popularized Earl Grey tea, it was not invented by them. Teas with scents and flavors are distinctively Chinese. Early Chinese tea masters were always experimenting with methods to make their teas more exotic, not only to attract the attention of the reigning emperors of the period, but also to attract the business of global trade merchants wanting to return home with the distinct flavors of the Far East. Chinese tea masters incorporated various types of aroma and taste into their teas during processing, from fragrant jasmine flowers and wild rosebuds to bitter oranges and sweet lychee fruits, to produce distinct and very palatable drinks.
According to one Earl Grey origin myth, the first Earl Grey tea was created by a Chinese mandarin tea master as a present for Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl of Grey and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1830 to 1834. According to the Grey family, Earl Grey’s manor, Howick Hall, near Newcastle, England, employed bergamot as a flavour to balance the lime flavor in the well water. Lady Grey, Earl Grey’s wife, was such a fan of the tea that she only entertained with it.
It was so well received by London society that she commissioned tea merchants to replicate it. In the tea business, there is significant disagreement about whether English tea merchant marketed the original Earl Grey tea mix. But one thing is certain: while the 2nd Earl of Grey ended slavery and changed child labor regulations in England during his parliamentary tenure, he will be remembered most notably for the cherished tea he helped bring to the globe.
How Earl Grey Is Made
This beverage is flavored or perfumed at the end of the production process, generally after the tea leaves have dried. Teas can be flavored in a variety of ways, including mixing the final tea with flowers, herbs, and spices that are visually pleasing and delicately infuse the tea leaves with their scent and taste.
Tea can also be flavored by spraying or coating the final tea with extracts, essential oils, or flavoring agents during or after drying. This gives the tea a considerably stronger taste and requires fewer ingredients. The flavoring-to-tea ratio is entirely up to the tea maker, and the tastes that come through in a brewed cup of flavored tea will differ from brand to brand.
Earl Grey is most commonly characterized as a black tea flavored with bergamot oil. However, there is no one technique to prepare Earl Grey tea, which is why every Earl Grey tea you’ve ever drank probably tastes somewhat different. The following are some of the most important factors in the production of Earl Grey tea:
Type of Tea Used
The traditional Earl Grey tea is brewed with black tea leaves as the foundation. However, the black tea utilized might range from Ceylon to Indian to African. It might be a single estate black tea or a blend of black teas from different parts of the world. The flavor of black tea might be sweet and flowery or deep and malty. It is entirely dependent on the terroir (the qualities of the tea plant’s region, climate, and culture) and the processing method of the tea master.
Type of Bergamot Used
Earl Grey tea is flavored with both synthetic and natural bergamot. Manufacturers use synthetic bergamot because its flavor is constant and it includes no genuine citrus, making it safe to eat for individuals who are allergic to citrus. The flavor of natural bergamot varies greatly depending on where it was grown and how it was handled. Natural bergamot is frequently described as having a strong and highly citrus taste. Calabria in Southern Italy accounts for 80% of commercially cultivated bergamot, followed by France and Turkey.
Amount of Bergamot Used
The tea master’s technique and style will determine not just which type but also how much bergamot is used in a certain Earl Grey mix. A tea master may opt to apply a small quantity of bergamot flavor depending on the taste of the base tea so as not to cover up the delicate flavor of the tea leaves. Alternatively, a tea master may opt to add a strong kick of bergamot to a robust, sharp black tea to stand up to the bold taste profile of the tea leaves.
Black Tea Processing: Withering → Rolling → Oxidation → Firing
Our black tea is rolled soon after withering to aid in the oxidation process. The leaves are then completely oxidized before drying, giving them their dark color and deep flavor.