An Ode to Earl Grey

Earl GreyWhat is Earl Grey Tea

Out of all the teas in the world, earl grey is probably one of the most popular types around.  Once you have a taste, it’s easy to see why. This prominent tea has a fruity flavor, which is due to using bergamot oil in this tea blend. I, personally, think it tastes similar to fruit loops.  It even smells similar to fruit loops! With this being said, this flavorful tea does not have a category to its own.   Instead, it falls into a tea category of flavored teas.  Go figure, right?  A flavored tea is any kind of tea that has been scented or flavored.   Earl grey is typically made with a black tea base and flavored with the rind of the bergamot orange as previously stated.  However, new blends are starting to pop up that blends different types of tea, green/oolong/etc, with other ingredients as well.

The Origins of Earl Grey

While made popular by the British, Earl Grey originated elsewhere.  Flavored teas were originally mastered by the Chinese.  The Chinese had master crafters for tea that constantly created new blends and constantly tinkered to come up with exotic and exciting blends.  Supposedly, the 2nd Earl of Grey and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1830 to 1834 received a gift of a bergamot flavored tea from the Chinese.

What is it used for?

Did you know that bergamot oil is sometimes used to treat depression?  In a 2008 study by hospice, patients who had received massages with bergamot oil were reported to have reported less pain and depression over time.  Additionally, the tea’s natural aroma has been known to cause a calming affect and is often times a natural aid for those suffering with depression, stress and anxiety.

But that isn’t all, the tea is also high in antioxidants.  As stated in my other article, antioxidants combat free radicals in the body and helps flush them from your system.  This also helps combat diseases such as cancer.

Another, benefit would be to assist preventing heart disease.  For those who consume multiple cups a day, Earl Grey helps to lower the blood triglyceride levels and increase  good cholesterol.  For those suffering from diabetes, the tea can be greatly beneficial. 

The Best way to brew a cup

Take these as general guidelines when brewing your tea.  If your tea vendor, has specific instructions for brewing, you’ll want to follow those instead.

  • Be sure to use fresh, cold and filtered water.
  • When brewing, a black tea can typically brew for longer periods of time and in hotter water than other types of tea.  For a black tea, heat the water until around 200 and 212 degrees.  Basically, right before the water starts to boil is usually the optimum temperature for black Earl Grey tea
  • For loose leaf teas,use about 2 grams of loose leaf tea per 8oz cup.
  • Steep your tea in a cup of hot water for about 2 – 3 minutes.  You will want to cover the cup while it steeps to keep all of the heat in.
  • Avoid over steeping.  The longer the tea steeps, the stronger the tea becomes and often times will become very bitter.
  • Generally, you should only have 3-4 cups a day

Be sure to visit our other tea articles!

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