Earl Grey 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 Tea became a British favourite; it is said 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.
What is Earl Grey Tea
However, The Howick Hall estate, where Lord Earl resided, maintains that the tea was produced by a Chinese Mandarin to off set 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 Loose Earl Grey Tea to the public.
But we prefer this version; The British Prime Minister suspended the price monopoly 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.
What ever the story, we think we can say that our house Earl Grey is one of the country's favourite pot of tea; a blend of Keemun Tea and Darjeeling Tea, as it is one of the most ordered tea's on our site and is the THE GREAT TASTE AWARD WINNER 2007.