Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cup 1--Lady Grey

Lady Grey Tea (a registered trademark of Twinings apparently) is a variation of the Earl Grey Blend. A Black tea, it is scented with bergamot oil, as well as lemon and orange peel. To this Twinings also adds cornflower. What is a 'Bergamot' you might ask. Well it is a citrus fruit that is a cross between an orange and lemon. An 'Aromatic' tea, it is light in flavor, and easily enjoyed at breakfast, tea, high tea, or even as part of a midnight snack. While i do not enjoy this tea with milk, sugar, and/or lemon, is it rather good as an Iced Tea.

Lady Grey Tea was named after Mary Elizabeth Grey, the wife of Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, for whom Earl Grey tea is named. Appropriate for each of them to have their own tea i think. The Earl and Lady Grey lived in Howick, Northumberland, England in the late 1700's and the early 1800's. They were married in 1794 and had at least 15 children during their marriage. Despite this, proliferation of children, Earl Grey had several affairs with different ladies. These dalliances however didn't seem to get in the way of his leadership of the Whig party. While he was the leader of the Whigs, and eventually Prime Minister, several important acts passed, including the abolition of slavery in Britain and The reformation of the House of Commons.

One story about the creation of the Earl Grey Blend was that the Earl Grey received a gift, perhaps a diplomatic present, of tea that was flavored with bergamot oil. It became so popular that the Earl asked British tea merchants to recreate it. Another is that the original Earl Grey tea was specially blended by a Chinese mandarin to suit the water at Howick Hall, and was later marketed by Twinings. Any way it came about, it came, and it stayed.

Kind-Black Tea Blend
Brew Time-3 minutes
Water Temp-195*
Color-Dark Honey to Dark brown
Taste-light with some orange
Best during- Late morning, Afternoon
Style- Bagged
Price per oz- abt $2.70
Place bought-Grocery store
Overall-Refreshing, light, and very drinkable.

1 comment:

  1. I love your history of tea in your entries-- that's so fun, and oh-so-historychick of you. I like it. Great pick for a first cup of tea! Have you read "Three Cups of Tea"? It goes incredibly well with tea, and is a very moving story. Here's a question for ya- how are you supposed to measured the water temperature for the tea? Do you?


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