There are some blends of tea that have become so well-known that people often put them in a category of their own.
When people ask us to help them decide their tea menu, they often say “I want a green tea, a black tea, Earl Grey and something herbal”. It can be confusing when they look at our selection and find “Organic Majestic Earl Grey, Green Earl Grey and Rooibos Vanilla Earl Grey“. You can see them thinking ‘black tea mixed with green and herbal, that doesn’t sound right!’, and indeed, it wouldn’t be.
The ingredient that gives all Earl Grey its unique taste is the addition of bergamot extract, an Italian citrus fruit that looks and tastes like a cross between a lime and an orange. This flavour can be added to green teas, botanicals or, most commonly, black teas to give the familiar, light citrus flavour that is enjoyed by so many.
The history of Earl Grey
It is said that Earl Grey tea was created in the 19th Century when Charles Grey, the former UK Prime Minister, received a diplomatic gift by Chinese dignitaries of black tea scented with bergamot oil. Traditionally Earl Grey was blended with a light Chinese black tea, such as Keemun, that allowed the tea to be drunk on its own without the addition of milk. However, increasingly tea companies use a more robust black tea, such as Sri Lankan black tea. This type of blend allows the added milk not to overpower the traditionally light, aromatic infusion.
At AVANTCHA we have stayed true to the origins of the tea and our Organic Majestic Earl Grey is a blend of organic Chinese Black Tea, natural bergamot essence and organic marigold petals, making this a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
Arguably the most popular blend for Afternoon Tea, enjoy your Organic Majestic Earl Grey with biscuits and cake, particularly Carrot Cake. The light astringency of the tea cuts perfectly through the sweet creaminess of the cake. For the perfect brew measure two heaped teaspoons of Organic Majestic Earl Grey into your Solo Teapot, pour over 400ml boiling water and leave to infuse for 3 minutes. Alternatively, it is also packed into our Biodegradable Silk teabags. Simply add one teabag to either Solo Teapot or your favourite mug and brew for 3-5 minutes with boiling water.
If you want to be really ambitious try the London Fog, a tea latte with added vanilla for a comforting, creamy concoction.
London Fog Tea Latte Recipe
– 200ml boiling water
– 4g / 2tsp Organic Majestic Earl Grey
– ¼ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
– 1tsp brown sugar (optional)
– 200ml milk
Brew the tea, vanilla and sugar (if using) in the water for 3 minutes. During this time warm the milk until bubbles start to form but not so it is boiling.
Pour the milk into a French press and move the plunger up and down to add air to the milk. It will froth and should double in size
Once the tea has brewed, remove the leaves and pour into a cup.
Pour the frothed milk on top and there you go, a comforting take on the classic Earl Grey.