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

Advertisements

Saturday Morning Tea on Sunday

I am craving more comfort this morning, this time in the form of chocolate. Chocolate Earl Grey tea, that is. I know, not my usual choice in a cuppa but I am always intrigued to try new types of tea. To close your mind and your palate in saying that you wouldn’t enjoy something before you try it is not the way that I’d like to approach life.

Not only does this black tea Earl Grey contain chocolate pieces and cacao beans, it also has lemongrass, lemon peel, corn flowers, jasmine flowers and sunflower blossoms in the blend.

A very colorful mix indeed as you can see in my photo above!

I steeped the tea for 4 minutes in boiling point (212 degree F) water.

A chocolate aroma wafted from my teapot along with tangy notes of bergamot and lemon. Comforting and refreshing…

This tea was a delight to photograph with all of the little colorful bits mingling in with the tea leaves.

It’s a crystal clear day here on Ramble Road. My jewelry show yesterday was a wonderful success in that it gave me the opportunity to share my work with many visitors to my booth. It’s always gratifying to receive positive feedback and appreciation for one’s artwork.

While I find many Earl Greys to be too “perfumy” for my taste, the addition of chocolate and lemon gave it such an interesting combination of flavors – the light tang of the lemon along with the deep, rich flavor of the chocolate.

What a perfect gift for the chocolate lovers on your list!

Today will be spent moving art supplies over to my new place and setting up my studio space. Have a lovely Sunday, my dear tea friends.

There is much beauty in a simple cup of tea…

Saturday Morning Tea

earlgreycremevanillacup.jpg

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.

earlgreycremevanilladryleaf.jpg

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?