Earl Grey Tea, one of my most favourite tea among all teas, has a somewhat orange or lemon aroma spread in my tea house whenever I brew one. I have discovered recently that the Earl Grey cream tea has a stronger aroma than the Earl Grey Tea. When I first moved to North America, I noticed tthat the Earl Grey Tea seems to be very popular in any restaurants or coffee shops I go! And then I tasted one cup and it became one of my favourites on my breakfast menu. Do you want to know how this tea is named Earl Grey? Read on!
What Is Earl Grey Tea
As one Earl Grey Tea fan says,
Earl Grey is a popular black tea blend distinctively flavoured with bergamot oil from a citrus fruit called the bergamot orange (pictured, right). It is named after Charles Grey, British Prime Minister (1830-1834) who supposedly received the tea as a gift. Jacksons of Piccadilly claim to have first commercially produced the “real” Earl Grey tea, though this claim is contested. Earl Grey tea is often made with a slightly smoky black tea as a base, though recently green, white and oolong Earl Grey blends have become commercially available.
The bergamot orange doesn’t taste good. However, it surely adds an awesome flavour into the Earl Grey Tea! Don’t you think so? Well, if you are an Earl Grey Tea lover, you would want to know why the bergamot orange is used.
Even the Chinese love earl grey tea – and I’m not kidding! Check out this hilarious video:
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Earl Grey Tea – Its History And Taste
Let’s hear from an Earl Grey Tea researcher about the history of this tea.
It was first developed for the 2nd Earl Grey of Howick Hall in Northumberland (UK). He was the British Prime minister back in the 1830’s and is still remembered for passing the reform bill of 1832 which brought much needed electoral reform to a rapidly changing Industrial society.
Unfortunately, for the Grey family they neglected to register the trade mark and have never received royalties from this well-known brand of tea.
What is a bergamot orange and why is it used?
It is a fruit about the size of a normal orange which grows on small trees. They blossom during the winter, and it is native to Calabria in Italy. The juice of the bergamot orange is less sour than that of a lemon but quite a bit more bitter than that from a grapefruit. It has a very distinctive aroma.
The bergamot orange brings a distinct aroma to the tea. It has a tart and refreshing taste and it is believed that the bergamot was used to offset the lime which was prevalent in the local water around Howick Hall.
I certainly like the distinct aroma of the Earl Grey, thanks to the Grey family! Now let’s explore the health benefits in Earl Grey Tea!
Health Benefits Of Earl Grey Tea
Earl Grey Tea blogger Jacy reveals that the tea has the following health benefits:
Antioxidants to Keep You Healthy
A blend of Indian and Ceylon teas, Earl Grey tea is infused with the flavor of bergamot, a small citrus fruit from Asia now cultivated in Italy. The health benefits of bergamot have been documented for centuries. Many of these benefits can be attributed to bergamot’s antioxidants. Antioxidants attack free radicals, which have damaging effects that age the body. In this way, the antioxidants in Earl Grey tea help your body stay young and healthy, fight off infection and keep illness at bay.
Stave off Depression and Anxiety
The bergamot in Earl Grey tea has been known to have a calming effect in people. Bergamot can also boost a person’s mood. These two qualities make Earl Grey tea a good natural solution for people suffering from depression, stress, anxiety and severe mood swings. The bergamot in a cup of Earl Grey is refreshing and relaxing for people under tension.
A Digestive Aid
In addition to boosting mood and immunity, the bergamot in Earl Grey tea has been known to improve digestion. It aids in the digestive process and helps relieve painful indigestion, colic and nausea. It is also used to treat intestinal problems such as worms. Earl Grey tea is sometimes recommended to fight urinary tract infections as well.
Side Effects Of Earl Grey Tea
The expert from WebMD organization states that
black tea is safe for most adults. Too much black tea, such as more than five cups per day, can cause side effects because of the caffeine. These side effects can range from mild to serious and include headache, nervousness, sleep problems, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremor, heartburn, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions, and confusion.
People who drink black tea or other caffeinated beverages all the time, especially in large amounts, can develop psychological dependence.
Caffeine is PROBABLY SAFE in children in amounts commonly found in foods.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
If you are breast-feeding, drinking more than 2 cups a day of black tea might cause your baby to become more irritable and have more bowel movements.
Anemia: Drinking black tea may make an anemia worse in people with iron deficiency.
Anxiety disorders: The caffeine in black tea might make these conditions worse.
Heart problems: Caffeine in black tea can cause irregular heartbeat in certain people. If you have a heart condition, use caffeine with caution.
Diabetes: The caffeine in black tea might affect blood sugar. Use black tea with caution if you have diabetes.
For people who do not have any problem with any of the above side effects of drinking Earl Grey Tea, congratulations! Why? Because you can sit down and enjoy an awesome cup of the Earl Grey Tea whenever you feel like it – even Picard agrees!
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Well, maybe I am over-excited when I talk about the Earl Grey Tea. But if your teapot is empty right now, why not go ahead and brew yourself a great cup of Earl Grey Tea?