Saturday Morning Tea

Tea.  Earl Grey.  Hot.

I’ve always wanted to say that but, between you and I, I’ve never cared for Earl Grey tea. I’ve always thought it to be too perfume-y for my taste. I’ve since discovered that perhaps I was being a bit too hasty in my judgment and it had nothing to do with Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Well, maybe a little.

Several months ago, a dear friend was in the hospital for a month. Each day that I would go to visit him, I would stop at the small cafe on the first floor on my way up to his room and get a cup of tea. The selection wasn’t extensive, to say the least (I know, I’m spoiled), and I found myself reaching for a cup of Earl Grey tea. And I liked it. Wait a minute, what? Granted, I laced it with milk and a little sugar but I liked it and found it quite comforting given the circumstances.

So, this morning, dear tea friends, I introduce you to a new love of mine – Earl Grey – this one called Natural Bergamot Earl Grey.

Earl Grey tea is a tea that has been flavored with the oil of the bergamot orange, a small fragrant 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 included a new journal, too.

This particular Earl Grey has a whole leaf China black tea base. I steeped it for 4 minutes in boiling point water.

Ah, there’s my new journal. I had dinner with a dear friend last night and she gifted me with a beautiful journal. I just love a new journal. It’s a trusted friend, carried with me wherever I go, helping me to record my thoughts, my feelings, my ideas. I’ve always had one as long as I can remember.

The tea brewed up strong and hot, just as Jean-Luc likes it. The best thing about this tea is how the flavor of the China black comes through, true and rich with a hint of earthiness. The natural bergamot oil is just the right level for me, not too overbearing and perfume-y but not too light either. Just right.

I enjoyed my Earl Grey tea plain this time but it will stand up very well to milk or cream, sugar or honey, whatever you’d like to add. As my tea cools, a sweetness becomes more pronounced and lingers in the finish. That sparked an idea about iced Earl Grey with a thick slice of orange or lemon. I’ll have to give that a try when the warm weather arrives.

Do you like Earl Grey tea? I’d love to hear about your experiences with it!

“Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. And whoever this “Earl Grey” fellow is, I’d like to have a word with him… “~Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Starship Enterprise, Star Trek, The Next Generation