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.
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?