The Earl Grey tea is fast becoming one of the most consumed beverages in the world today, known for its numerous health benefits and unique taste, no wonder everyone wants a taste of it. But the question still remains what do we really know about this amazing tea.
In this post I will show you guys not only how to properly prepare the Earl Grey tea (to get that undiluted strong taste) but also introduce you to so much useful information about this awesome tea including the best Earl Grey tea brand money can buy.
What is Earl Grey Tea?
The Earl Grey tea is a flavored tea blend with the addition of bergamot oil gotten from bergamot orange (which is a citrus fruit whose characteristics are similar to that of lemon and orange). It is the oil gotten from bergamot added to the black tea that actually gives it its exquisite taste.
Originally the Earl Grey tea is a black tea hence it was called Earl Grey Black tea but as time went on some tea companies were able to produce other varieties such as oolong, green, etc. The taste of this special tea is so unique and refreshing that once you have a taste it will leave you begging for more. As a matter of fact, some persons even consider it addictive.
How the Tea is Flavored
When we say a tea is flavored it basically means that the tea whether black, blue, or oolong has been scented or mixed with fruits, oils, spices, etc. There are indeed many ways the Earl Grey tea is flavored, some of which may include:
- The tea is flavored by blending the finished tea with herbs and spice, this makes the ingredients look very appealing, it also infuses the tea leaves with their flavor and aroma.
- Another way of flavoring the tea is by spraying and coating the finished tea with essential oils, extracts during the drying process. It is often said that this adds a much stronger flavor to the tea.
- When the tea leaves have dried, they are scented and flavored during manufacturing towards the end of processing. This also adds a strong aroma to the leaves.
Origin of This Amazing Tea
There are so many theories as to the origin of the Earl Grey tea but the most common and popularly accepted origin of the tea is that it was named after former British prime minister Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, in the 1830s.
It was reported that he received the flavored tea as a gift from a thankful Chinese mandarin whose son was rescued from drowning by one of the Earl Grey’s men. But this tale appears not to be true, as records show that the Earl never visited China. Also, bergamot oil wasn’t used to scent tea then in China. However, as this tale was increasingly told, so it became increasingly believed.
According to the Grey family, the tea was specially blended by this Chinese mandarin for the Earl, to suit the water at Howick Hall, the family home in Northumberland in the north of England. Bergamot was added to offset the high lime content of the local water.
There are also other theories of the Earl Grey tea being originated by the Jacksons of Piccadilly tea manufacturers in the 1800s, there were claims by the Jacksons that the recipe has always been with them. The Earl himself having given it to them. And another that a 19th-century tea merchant called William Grey created Earl Grey. Indeed, records show that William Grey advertised his blend in publications at the time.
Ingredients and Varieties of the Earl Grey Tea
- Earl Grey Tea ingredients usually involve a wide variation of tea leaves, bergamot and additives.
- There’s the mixture of the tea leaves with cornflower and Seville oranges which are called cornflower lady grey and citrus lady grey respectively. Lady Grey is a trademark of the Twinings.
- There’s the London Fog beverage which is a combination of earl grey, steam milk, and vanilla syrup.
- There are also variations including ingredients such as jasmine.
- There’s the Russian earl grey variety which contains ingredients such as citrus peels, lemon grass in addition to the black tea and bergamot oil.
- There’s the Rooibos Earl Grey variation which involves the usage of South African herbs
Next up, we take a good look at the top six best Earl Grey tea brands we have around, one of which for sure is the best Earl Grey tea brand.
1. The Bigelow Earl Grey Black Tea
This tea is ranked amongst top quality Earl Grey teas in the world, it is known for its rich flavored black tea with bergamot flavor. Only the very best bergamot oil is used, sourced from the same garden in Calabria, Italy year after year. This flavorful and aromatic bergamot is then blended with a bold handpicked black tea. Aside from the fact that it’s gluten-free, it is also free from carbohydrates and calories that might cause overweight. The Bigelow Earl Grey tea also contains substantial amounts of antioxidants that can easily fight off diseases like cancer. It contains a total of 120 teabags
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2. Stash Tea Double Bergamot
This is also another top-grade Earl Grey tea that is known for its convenient packaging and freshness. It contains a hundred tea bags and can be served hot or ice cold. It also contains caffeine. It also features bergamot oil sourced from the extra sunny orchards of Calabria, Italy, carefully balanced with a blend of fine, bold black teas.
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3. Numi Organic Tea Aged Earl Grey
Just as the name suggests the Numi organic tea is a hundred percent organic, they are usually hand-picked with no form of contamination hence its hundred percent organic nature. This tea is made using real Italian bergamot, it is very affordable but heavily caffeinated, it also contains a three-bag teabag. Assam black tea from Tonganagaon, the largest organic Fair Trade tea estate in India, is aged with bergamot for several weeks to make this bright, balanced black tea. As well as being organic, you can be sure of the ethical nature of this Earl Grey tea brand. Numi’s Together for H2OPE project brought clean water and sanitation to over 6,500 farmers and their families. Workers have used Fair Trade Premiums to purchase clean-burning cook stoves and food-safe aluminum containers to bring their lunches to work.
Look out for it!
4. Davidson’s Tea Bulk Earl Grey
The 16-ounce bag of tea is yet another Earl Grey of fine quality. The Davidson tea is a tea formed from loose leaves. It is a tea that contains a unique blend of black tea mixed with natural bergamot oils. This Earl Grey combines full-bodied organic black tea with the natural oil of bergamot to create a brew that is both deeply layered and delightfully citrusy. Davidson’s organic black tea is sourced from family tea gardens in the Darjeeling and Assam regions of India.
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5. Twinings Earl Grey Tea
Know for its numerous health benefits, the Twinings’ tea is a balanced blend of black tea and bergamot citrus fruits extract. This high-quality Earl Grey tea is also known for its unique and refreshing taste. It contains a hundred bags of tea that can last for a month. From one of England’s most established and famous tea-makers, Twinings exquisite Earl Grey tea is famous around the world. The brand claims on its website that they were the original manufacturers of this iconic blend, at the personal request of Prime Minister Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, to Richard Twining in 1831. The Earl loved his own specially blended tea so much, that he wanted others to enjoy it too, and put his name on it.
6. Harney and Son’s Black Tea
The Harney and Son’s brand of Earl Grey tea was founded about thirty years ago. It is known for its supreme blend of lemony flavors, it contains four different tea varieties and comes with a package of twenty sachets or fifty sachets. Harney and Son’s in fact offer two types of Earl Grey tea. Earl Grey Supreme, which uses a higher grade of black and white teas, bergamot oil, along with the addition of Silver Tips. The other, Victorian London Fog was the winning blend in their customer creation contest after thousands of blends were submitted by the brand’s loyal consumers who then chose between the top 5 flavors. The blend called London Fog originated during the Victorian era. Traditionally, it is an Earl Grey served with steamed milk. The Harney brands are made from black tea, oolong tea, bergamot oil, lavender, and natural vanilla flavor.
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How Much Caffeine in Earl Grey Tea?
The caffeine content in every Earl Grey tea varies depending on how the caffeinated plant is processed and how the tea was brewed but basically, the caffeine content in the Earl Grey tea is usually lower compared to that of any cup of tea gotten from a caffeinated plant.
Coffee has the most caffeine content per 8 oz. cup (95 to 200 mg), then black tea (14 to 61 mg), followed by green tea (24 to 40 mg).
Pregnant women should as much as possible try to avoid consumption of this tea in large quantities as this might affect the baby. Please kindly consult your doctor for instructions on consuming large quantities of Earl Grey.
What does Earl Grey Tea taste like?
This is actually a very popular question amongst potential users, well, since the black tea is blended with bergamot oils there’s bound to be some element of sweet, floral lemony, and malty taste altogether. A cloud of milk and a little bit of sugar can also enhance the floral taste.
Usually, there are instructions on how to prepare the Earl Grey tea written on the packs which you can follow to get excellent results but generally, these are the tips/procedures for preparing the Earl Grey tea.
- Firstly, measure your tea on a scale if you are using loose leaves but if you have tea bags then please kindly ignore this step, use 6g of leaves per 1c of water. You can also put the loose leaves in a teabag to prevent straining. For stronger tea use two tea bags.
- Secondly, do not use previously heated water or warm water from the tap (as this may alter the flavor of the tea), use fresh cold water like the spring water. Pour the water into your kettle and heat for about 2-3 minutes at 2080 F (or simply just below the boiling point).
- Warm your teapot or cup by pouring some quantity of hot water into it and swirl before you pour out and put your teabag in the teapot or cup.
- Steep for about 3-6 minutes until the water changes to brown. The longer you steep the stronger the tea.
- Finally, Remove the tea bag or strain the tea if you are using loose leaves. Let the tea cool and enjoy it.
How to drink Earl Grey Tea
- You can drink the tea black to get the strongest undiluted taste of its leaves
- You can also add sugar (2g-12g) and a small amount of milk to add sweetness to the tea and reduce some of its bitter notes.
- Adding lemon for citrus notes and a very small amount of sugar is also an awesome way of enjoying the tea.
The Earl Grey Tea health benefits are actually pretty amazing and it is one of the major reasons I got interested in the tea, some of which includes the following.
- Weight loss: The rate at which people struggle with obesity these days is alarming but not to worry the earl grey tea has a solution to this problem, remember from the beginning of this post I said that the Earl Grey tea is a blend of bergamot oil, well bergamot, as we all know, has an extract of citrus fruit which has been known for its ability and capacity in breaking down stored calorie in the body.
- Energy booster: Although the earl grey might not be heavily caffeinated like the normal coffee, it does have quite a good amount of caffeine that will keep you up all night.
- Fighting Cancer: It is a well-known fact that Earl Grey tea has antioxidants that can fight free radicals that can cause diseases like cancer. What this means is that consistent drinking of Earl Grey tea on a daily basis reduces your chances of developing such diseases.
- Good for the skin: The antioxidant in Earl Grey is also excellent at fighting skin-damaging radicles. This amazing tea has been known for keeping the skin healthy.
- Prevents flu: Earl Grey tea is also good at improving the immune system thereby giving perfect results in curing flu.
- Boost your mood naturally: One of the most amazing benefits of Earl Grey is its ability to magically change and boost moods. It is able to do this because of the bergamot in it. So, therefore, it is advisable to take a cup of Earl Grey after a long and stressful day.
- Healthy heart: The Earl Grey tea has been known for its effectiveness in preventing situations that can lead to heart attack and stroke. This is due to the antioxidant that kills oxidative stress that accumulates in the heart. Research has also shown that bergamot has enzymes called hydroxy methyl glutaryl flavanones (HMGF), which search and destroy proteins that lead to heart diseases.
- Aids digestion: It is a well-known fact that Earl Grey tea is excellent at easing constipation, settling the stomach, cramps, bloating, and anything that has to do with stomach aches.
- Hydration: It has a high level of potassium that keeps you hydrated.
- Prevents Oral Infection: The Earl Grey tea contains antioxidants that help prevent infections.
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It is said that anything that has an advantage also has a disadvantage but not to worry: the side effects of Earl Grey tea are not that noticeable and they usually arise from the result of excessive consumption of the tea. Some of the side effects of the Earl Grey tea include the following:
- Muscle cramp: There have been cases of few people complaining of muscle cramps as a result of excessive consumption of Earl Grey tea.
- Stained teeth
- Drug disruption: Although this is very rare, there are cases where bergamottin from bergamot has been known to disrupt the activities of certain drugs.
Finally, we have come to the end of this post, and for those of us that had little or no idea of what this amazing tea entails I would like to believe that you guys have really learned a lot about the usefulness of Earl Grey Tea.
I have been using it for quite a while now and I have indeed seen noticeable changes in my life and I have also seen how unique and different it is compared to other teas. So, get out there and grab yourself a bag of the awesome Earl Grey Tea.