Who Actually is Earl Grey?


Let us consider this for one second; we have over fifteen varieties of Earl Grey on our website… but do you actually know where the original Earl Grey came from?


Earl Grey tea is named after Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl of Grey who was British Prime Minster in the 1830’s, There are many different accounts of how Earl Grey became a British favourite; it is said to the that during a diplomatic trip to China, one of Lord Grey’s men saved a Chinese mandarin’s son from drowning. The grateful mandarin gave the Lord the gift of a black tea, heavily scented with Bergamot oil. However, as Lord Grey never set foot in China – the story remains unfounded.


However, The Howick Hall estate, where Lord Earl resided, maintains that the tea was produced by a Chinese mandarin to offset the occurrence of lime in the water. As Lady Grey entertained political guests in the property, it became so popular that she was asked if it could be sold to others. There are many various tales regarding which tea company first manufactured this product to the public.

But, of course, we prefer this version; The British Prime Minister suspended the price monopoly on tea which the East India Company had until that point enjoyed with its Chinese trading partner. Originally pure Chinese teas were flavoured with fine oils from the Bergamot fruit in an attempt to preserve the tea during the difficult clipper journeys by sea. It was thought that lengthy times at sea could result in tastes of mould and tar. That is how the tea was named and to this day Earl Grey is regarded as one of the very finest flavoured infusions

Whatever the story, I think we can definitely say that our house Earl Grey is one of the country’s favourite pot of tea; a blend of Keemun and Darjeeling, as it is one of the most ordered tea’s on our site and is THE GREAT TASTE AWARD WINNER 2007.

It is traditionally drunk as a morning or afternoon tea, plain or with a slice of lemon to compliment the citrus of the bergamot. However, if you fancy being adventurous- why not you try Earl Grey in a well-known recipe such as a tea loaf? Mrs. Smiths Earl Grey Loaf is well known in the office!

You are able to order Earl Grey in several different varieties, Find all of them on our website here


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