Saturday Morning Tea

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My kindred friend Laura adores Earl Grey tea so this Saturday Morning’s cuppa is in honor of her. As the pigeon tribe from the building across the street wheels across the sky, I look out over the treetops onto a cloudy cool mid-fall day and open my journal to a new page. There is still a blaze or two scattered across the countryside but most of the trees have now muted to a rusty color. Nature is starting her slumber.

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Earl Grey tea is traditionally a black tea that has been scented with the essential oil of the bergamot orange, a small fragrant citrus fruit grown in the Calabria province of Italy. The bergamot orange is not a variety of the sweet orange that most of us are familiar with eating but a hybrid between a pear lemon and a Seville orange, or bitter orange.

Legend has it that the son of a Chinese bureaucrat was rescued from drowning by a servant of the second Earl Grey, Charles Grey, Prime Minister of England from 1830-1834. The man was so grateful that he presented Earl Grey with a special tea. Earl Grey liked it so much that he gave a sample of it to his favorite tea purveyor and asked them to replicate the flavor.

I am enjoying a cup of a flavored Earl Grey called Creme Vanilla. The aroma is sweet and creamy, reminding me of the cream sodas I used to love when I was young. The flavor is an interesting blend of citrus and vanilla which I especially like. It’s strong enough for milk but sweet enough for no sweetener added.

I really like the story behind this tea – a gift of a special tea bestowed in gratitude for saving a life.

What is your experience with Earl Grey tea?

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11 comments on “Saturday Morning Tea

  1. palofmine says:

    I have a nice saturday planned out! I have a full body massage, followed by manicure pedicure! After wards I am having dinner downstair at the Italian Gardens! It a small family restaurant, and I drink a glass of wine as they get my to go order ready!

    Have a great weekend! Stop by my blog if you can!

  2. sognatrice says:

    I didn’t start drinking tea until I was in college, but Earl Grey quickly became one of my favorites. I had no idea what bergamot was (or that it was even in Earl Grey), but it sure was tasty!

    Several years later, I moved to my family’s ancestral village in Calabria and found out all about the bergamot as it grows about an hour south of me–and now I can even enjoy biscotti made with bergamot, dipped in my Earl Grey tea.

    In sum? I am one happy Earl Grey tea drinker 🙂

  3. artandtea says:

    Palofmine, thanks for visiting!

    Hi Sognatrice, thanks for visiting and sharing your experience with Earl Grey tea. How wonderful that you had the opportunity to move to Italy. It must be very beautiful there. The biscotti sounds yummy!

    -Karen

  4. Nina Bagley says:

    i’ve been very much enjoying your tea postings for the past few weeks, ever since you steered me this way. in fact, i just placed an order for several teas (the creme vanilla, lapsang souchong, and the stronger earl grey) at upton – you can give yourself the credit for that.
    my earl grey memories? my mother, i suppose, turned me on to tea at a very early age – just regular black tea with milk and sugar, for breakfast before school – but it was in college with my first love that i began to enjoy earl grey. he wrote a poem in later years about drinking earl grey and thinking of me, and sent it to me. a strong sensation, smelling the bergamot and thinking back to those cold january days in bed, the two of us, sharing warm cups together, watching the steam rise from the cuos…..

  5. Nina Bagley says:

    that was supposed to read “cups”, not cuos. lol.

  6. artandtea says:

    Hi Nina, Oh, I’m so glad that you’re enjoying my tea postings!
    Thanks for sharing your Earl Grey experiences. How wonderful to have a poem written about your first Earl Grey tea memories. I, too, love watching the steam rise from my cup while my hands encircle its warmth. Enjoy your tea purchases!
    -Karen

  7. Ellen says:

    Hi Karen, Twinnings’ Earl Tea has been my favorite tea for a long, long time. I gave up sugar in tea earlier this year, except for Earl Grey, the sugar enhances the flavor. Mmmm mmm

  8. Acey says:

    Oh my that’s a gorgeous looking journal! Am placing an order for the vanilla creme Earl Grey for my husband as a special surprise. He loves EG – it is one of my favorites as well. I grew up with Earl Grey as our next door neighbor favored it. She was from England and used to return for visits to her childhood home every year. She would always gift everyone in the neighborhood with tins of Earl Grey that she purchased there. It is the flavor I automatically think of when anybody mentions “tea”.

  9. Steph W says:

    Earl Grey is not my favorite – but I prefer the “softer” ones either with a bit of cream hint or perhaps a floral addition, such as lavender. Your photos are always so lovely – thank you!

  10. artandtea says:

    Thanks ladies for visiting and leaving your comments about your Earl Grey experiences!

    Hi Ellen, Mmmmm, I’ll have to try that because sometimes I find Earl Grey a bit sharp for my taste.

    Hi Acey, Thanks, I absolutely love journals, especially a brand new one just waiting for its pages to be filled. Yes, I think that a lot of people think of Earl Grey first when tea is mentioned.

    I agree, Steph, I prefer the “softer” Earl Greys, too, because they aren’t as sharp.

    -Karen

  11. […] citrus fruit grown in Italy. If you’d like to read more about its history, I wrote about it here. I find it fascinating that way back in 2007 when I first wrote about Earl Grey tea, my photos […]

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