Alright, folks! Winter is upon us. Our days would get shorter and our nights a little chillier. Also, the stock of Earl Grey tea will increase in our pantry.
What is Earl Grey? A few of you might ask!
Earl Grey Tea: Overview
Just like lime and tequila, peanut butter and chocolate, and cookie dough and vanilla ice cream—bergamot blends with black tea leaves to give us a delightfully delicious tea: Earl Grey.
Bergamot orange is a fruit native of France, Italy, and Southeast Asia. Its addition to the black tea creates a swiftly smooth flavor with an exquisite orange-flower finish.
It is equally fantastic hot, or cold and goes well with meals. Remember, Earl Grey tea is not tea per se. It’s black, white, oolong, or green tea flavored/scented with fruit, spices, flowers, extracts, oils, and organic/artificial flavors.
Modern variations on the classic blend include:
- Red Earl Grey (bergamot and rooibos)
- Lady Grey (blue cornflower blossoms and Earl Grey)
- Russian Earl Grey (slivers of lemongrass/citrus peel and Earl Grey)
Great Britain is rejoicing in the splendor of Earl Grey since the 19th century. Often with a dash of honey or a pinch of sugar.
More: What is Earl Grey Tea
The Origin of Earl Grey
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, gave the tea its name. He was an English aristocrat who became the Prime Minister of England in 1830. There is anecdotal evidence about the origin of the name—yet it is not certain why the beverage was named after Charles Grey.
The most popular legend has it that Charles Grey was presented with the tea recipe by an envoy returning from China. He liked the tea so much that he commanded Richard Twining to replicate it for him. The English merchant obliged, and the Earl Grey tea came into being.
Moreover, the tea was always included in the hosted gatherings of the Greys. Jacksons of Piccadilly, in fact, introduced the blend in the 1830s to “meet the command of an erstwhile Earl Grey.”
Caffeine in Earl Grey
The amount of caffeine in your cup of Earl Grey tea can vary from one blend to another. Still, it is usually similar to other black teas.
- Classic Earl Grey tea contains 55 – 90mg of caffeine per 237ml cup.
- Decaf Earl Grey carries 2 – 10mg per 237ml cup
How to Get Your Earl Grey Tea Right?
Elizabeth (Christina Ricci) displays annoyance when her boyfriend adds milk to her Earl Grey in the film Prozac Nation (2001) as if it’s a brazen faux pas.
A professional tea buyer judges the quality of the tea by brewing it in a bowl before spooning it into his mouth. He then sucks air through it to “feel” the essence of the tea leaves.
We have a host of contemporary Earl Greys to satiate your palate—ranging from the spicy and rich to the cerebrally smoky to in-yer-face.
Therefore, if your choice of black tea is a full-bodied one, go for a base tea from Ceylon, Kenya, or Assam. Alternatively, if you prefer a milder variety, a base tea from Darjeeling or Nilgiri will suit you better.
Lastly, if your preference is a smooth black tea flavor, got for Earl Grey with a Keemun or Yunnan base.
9 Best Earl Grey Tea 2021: Detailed Reviews
Earl Grey’s popularity is so widespread that it has sprouted a number of similar teas. One of them is Lady Grey, which is typically a blend of blue cornflower blossoms and Earl Grey.
1. Classic Earl Grey – FORTNUM & MASON—Earl Grey Classic
Since British PM Earl Grey lends his name to this widely popular tea in the early 19th century—Earl Grey has become an emblem of the English afternoon tea.
The Fortnum and Mason version of the popular blend was created about 90 years after the debut of the first-ever blend. It’s a refreshing tea rich with citrus notes and goes equally smooth with savory or sweet flavors – from spiced lamb to dark chocolate.
Brewing Earl Grey Classic: Add a teaspoon of leaves in a cup (237ml), or a small teapot. Put your strainer over the cup and pour water boiled at 208°Fahrenheit. Let the mixture rest for 3 – 5 minutes.
2. CEYLON EARL GREY BLACK TEA
Originating from Ceylon and sourced from a specialist European tea blender—Ceylon Earl Grey Black Tea by “What-Cha” is a conventional Earl Grey made with a smoothen Ceylon tea base imbued with natural French bergamot oil.
The manufacturer ensures that an optimal balance between the bergamot oil and tea base is maintained to eliminate any astringency or bitterness.
What’s more, the bergamot aroma is delightful!
Brewing Ceylon Earl Grey Black Tea: Add about two teaspoons of tea in a cup (355ml), or a small teapot. Pour water boiled at 203°Farenheit, and let the mixture rest for 3 to 4 minutes before serving.
Your tea is packaged in a resealable ziplock bag.
3. Bigelow Earl Grey Tea
Start your day on a healthy note with Earl Grey tea by Bigelow. Add a dash of honey or a spike of milk for an expanded flavor profile.
Remember, not all Earl Grey teas are created equal. This blend offers a full-bodied black tea flavor with the fruity hints of bergamot oil for a refined flavor that is perfectly enjoyable hot or cold. Your Bigelow tea is packaged in individually wrapped foil pouches for sustained freshness and fragrance.
In mid-20th century Ruth Bigelow created “Constant Comment,” a power-pack black tea mixed with warm spices and fragrant orange peel. Today, Bigelow is 350-employees strong, yet still owned by the Bigelows and still made in America.
4. Rare Tea Company’s Rare Earl Grey Tea
A conventional Earl Grey spectacularly balanced with the finest black tea and all-natural bergamot oil. Also, cocktails and cold infusions reveal new flavor profiles of this rare tea’s splendid complexity.
The tea is carefully made on Thyolo Mountain in Malawi and can be enjoyed with milk and a spike of lemon. Your palate will experience a light, fruitish flavor with an exquisite flavor.
Rare Earl Grey is the pinnacle of several years of blending to make a crowning reflection of a British classic.
5. Lady Grey
Lady Grey is a product of modern times. It was invented by Twinings in the early ’90s to attract the Nordics—who considered the Earl Grey flavor a little too strong for their liking. Therefore, compared to the original, Twinings added more lemon and orange peel to the Lady Earl.
Twinings’ Lady Grey is a black tea seasoned with lemon peel, orange peel, cornflower, and bergamot oil. The addition of the fruit peels and citrus flavor adds a long-lasting freshness that has become a hallmark of this blend.
The mildness of the taste comes from leaves cultivated in subtropical climates of Central Africa and China, while the amber color originates from low-grown Indian teas.
6. Russian Earl Grey
Russians used to drink warm herbs and fruits fluids before tea was introduced to them. Yet, when they first tasted tea, it came across as a bitter drink. Therefore, different spices and fruits were added to ease the bitterness, and Russian Earl Grey was invented.
Prepare your palate for a sumptuous blend of organic bergamot oil, orange peel, and the finest black tea. The uniqueness of Russian Earl Grey stems from the usage of bergamot orange’s rind, which adds a touch of exotic to your taste.
The tea carries a high amount of caffeine with an aromatic feel of citrus. You can also expand your flavor profile by adding a tinge of raspberry jam, or a dash of cognac to make your beverage an authentic Russian experience.
Making Russian Earl Grey: Add a teaspoon of leaves to a cup (237ml) of water boiled at 210°Fahrenheit. Let it steep for 2 to 3 minutes before consuming. Alternatively, if you are making an iced beverage, add two teaspoons of Russian Earl Grey tea.
7. Earl Grey Red (Loose Leaf)
Red Earl Grey uses a base of organic non-caffeinated rooibos and natural bergamot oil to create a beautiful blend.
It is a delightful blend of rooibos and bergamot oil by Davidson’s that smoothly melds sweet and citrus flavors for your palate pleasures.
The manufacturer sources its all-organic rooibos from Southern Africa and ensures quality at every step of the way.
Brewing Earl Grey Red: Add a tablespoon of leaves to an infuser or a cup (237ml) containing water boiled at 208°Fahrenheit. Let the mixture brew for 5 to 7 minutes before straining the leaves, or pulling out the infuser.
8. HARNEY & SONS—DECAF EARL GREY
A decaf blend made with decaffeinated Ceylon tea and the fragrance of natural bergamot oil spotted in conventional Earl Grey mixtures.
Once brewed, the lemonish aroma of Italian bergamot is clearly visible in a dull brown fluid. However, being a decaffeinated version, the flavor and notes are not as robust as those of caffeinated Earl Grey blends.
You can relish your Decaf Earl Grey with a dash of milk and a bit of sugar.
Brewing Decaf Earl Grey: Add two grams of leaves to a mug (237ml), or a small teapot containing water boiled at 212°Fahrenheit. Let it steep for 4 – 5 minutes before serving.
9. TEACHA EARL GREEN
This TEACHA blend of bergamot orange peel and sencha is rich in antioxidants as well as caffeine. Sencha is a kind of Japanese ryokucha that is made by channeling the refined whole tea leaves in steaming hot water.
Moreover, the fragrance of bergamot is commonly used in aromatherapy to decrease anxiety. The combination of an exquisite taste and multiple health benefits make TEACHA Earl Green is a sure shot winner for any tea lover.
Brewing TEACH EARL GREEN: Add one tablespoon of earl green in a mug (237ml), or a small teapot containing water boiled at 185°Fahrenheit. Allow the mixture to brew for three minutes before consuming it.
2 Earl Grey Variations You Can Also Consider
There are tea companies offering other variations like Lord Grey or Mademoiselle Grey. These are primarily mixed with spices and flowers, i.e., lavender or rose petals.
Moreover, you may well see a beverage called London fog at a few tea and coffee shops. It is tea latte made with steamed milk, vanilla syrup, and, of course, Earl Grey.
10. Mademoiselle Grey
Mademoiselle is a form of address for a young French woman. Yet that shouldn’t restrict you from enjoying this blend, even if you are not a young female from the famous Western European country.
Mademoiselle Grey is a soothing potpourri of natural bergamot oil, organic black teas from India, and organic rose petals.
Your tea is packaged in a sealed inner bag, and a 4 oz. Mademoiselle Grey Box makes about 50 delicious cups.
Brewing Mademoiselle Grey: Warm your teapot with boiling water for a minute before emptying the pot. Now add a teaspoon of the blend to the pot to enable heat of the container to extract aroma of the tea leaves. Boil water at 212°Fahrenheit and add to the pot and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
11. London Fog Earl Grey Latte
Starbucks presents London Fog Earl Grey Latte—a sumptuous combination of citrusy Italian bergamot, vanilla syrup, and steamed milk with subtle shades of lavender.
Bergamot is blended with black tea leaves to produce Earl Grey tea. Great Britain is rejoicing in the splendor of Earl Grey since the 19th century. Often with a dash of honey or a pinch of sugar.
If your choice of black tea is a full-bodied one, go for a base tea from Ceylon, Kenya, or Assam. Alternatively, if you prefer a milder variety, a base tea from Darjeeling or Nilgiri will suit you better.
Earl Grey Variations: Classic Earl Grey is made with a black tea base and natural bergamot oil.
Lady Grey was invented by Twinings to attract the Nordics—who considered the Earl Grey flavor a little too strong for their preferences. Therefore, compared to the original, Twinings added more lemon and orange peel to the Lady Earl.
Russian Earl Grey was made by adding spices and fruits to the black tea to mild its bitterness, as pure black tea was a little bitter for the Russians.
Red Earl Grey uses a base of organic non-caffeinated rooibos and organic bergamot oil to create a beautiful blend.
Decaf Earl Grey is a mixture of naturally decaffeinated teas (black). The production process eliminates 99.5% of the caffeine volume, yet retains the color, aroma, and flavor in its entirety.
Earl Green melds Japanese sencha with bergamot orange peel. The citrusy flavor of bergamot is toned down by the grassy sencha to offer a sweetly smooth finish.
Moreover, there are tea companies offering other variants such as Lord Grey or Mademoiselle Grey. These are primarily mixed with spices and flowers, i.e., lavender or rose petals.
Lastly, you may also spot a beverage called London fog at a few tea and coffee shops. It is tea latte made with steamed milk, vanilla syrup, and, of course, Earl Grey.