What is Earl Grey Tea?

Posted: 01/15/2024

Earl Grey tea is a black tea flavored with bergamot oil. It has become one of the most recognized flavored teas in the world, known for its delicate and fragrant flavor profile. Earl Grey tea stands as a timeless emblem in the tea world, epitomizing British tea culture's sophistication and enduring charm. It has even been suggested that the blend takes its name from a well-known British prime minister.

This article will answer frequently asked questions surrounding this world-famous tea blend so that you can confidently choose an Earl Grey tea that will suit your palate and impress any guests you have over for tea.

Does Earl Grey tea have caffeine?

Earl Grey tea is traditionally made with a base of black tea leaves, which contain caffeine. Decaffeinated Earl Grey black teas are an option for anyone searching for a bright and lively cup of black tea with only a few milligrams of caffeine.

If you are savoring a cup of traditional caffeinated Earl Grey tea, you can expect it to have around 50 milligrams of caffeine per 6 oz cup. Caffeine levels can vary depending on steeping time and the types of black tea leaves used in the blend.

Many tea enthusiasts report the caffeine boost they get from tea is nicely balanced by the amino acid L-theanine also found in tea leaves. L-theanine has been noted to increase the production of alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with a state of calm alertness and enhanced creativity.* This synergy between L-theanine and caffeine in tea is what sets it apart from other caffeinated beverages, as it leads to an inspired and even state of wakefulness.*

How to steep Earl Grey tea?

The Republic of Tea recommends bringing fresh filtered water to a boil, then pouring 6 oz of the hot water over the tea and steeping for 3-5 minutes. A longer steep will bring out deeper, earthier and more astringent flavors in black tea, while a shorter steep will keep both the color and flavor of the tea light and delicate. Experiment with steeping times in the 3-5 minute range to find your personal preference.

What does Earl Grey tea taste like?

Earl Grey has a black tea base, most commonly made from strong, malty and full-bodied teas like Assam or Ceylon. Earl Grey's unique character comes from its infusion of bergamot oil. This Italian citrus addition imparts a unique floral aroma and a bright, citrusy flavor that elegantly cuts through the black tea's strength.

Many people have never seen or tried a bergamot fruit before. What can they expect bergamot to taste like? The bergamot's distinct citrus note is often described as a blend of lemon, orange and grapefruit. It has a slightly floral and tart edge. Bergamot oil gives Earl Grey its famous lively and uplifting taste. This complex interplay of robust black tea and zesty bergamot makes Earl Grey a beloved choice among tea enthusiasts.

Is a London Fog made with Earl Grey tea?

Yes, a London Fog, also known as an Earl Grey Latte, is a delightful hot drink traditionally made with Earl Grey tea. This elegant beverage combines the distinct citrusy and earthy notes of Earl Grey tea with the creamy richness of steamed milk and a touch of vanilla syrup for sweetness.

What is in Earl Grey tea?

Earl Grey is a simple tea blend with only two ingredients that has gained worldwide popularity. At its core lies a base of robust black tea, often a refined blend of Assam, Ceylon or Darjeeling leaves, known for their deep and full-bodied character. The defining feature of Earl Grey is the infusion of bergamot oil, which is extracted from the rind of the Italian bergamot orange. This citrus essence imparts a unique floral and tangy flavor, which lends Earl Grey tea its signature aromatic bouquet. While the Earl Grey tea ingredients are simple, they produce a complex, sophisticated and bright cup of tea that is beloved by many.

Why is it called Earl Grey tea?

Legend has it that the Earl Grey tea blend was created by a Chinese mandarin as a token of appreciation for British Prime Minister Charles Grey. The mandarin included Italian bergamot oil in the tea blend, hoping it would offset the prominent flavor of lime in the hard water at the Earl of Grey’s estate in Alnwick, England. The tea was beloved by the family of the Earl and was served to many guests at the estate. The estate’s guests also developed a huge fondness for bright and flavorful Earl Grey tea, so its popularity spread from Alnwick to London to the rest of the world.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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