Earl Grey is a firm favourite among our customers and tea drinkers across the UK. The origin of this traditional blend is shrouded in legend, but its delicate, fresh flavour has withstood the test of time.
A History of Earl Grey
The name, “Earl Grey”, is most often connected to the English aristocrat and Prime Minister, Charles Grey. The story goes that during a trip to China, Charles saved the life of a nobleman. As a token of his gratitude, the nobleman presented a recipe for black tea scented with the oil of bergamot oranges, that established the beginnings of the Earl Grey. An alternative story describes how the blend grew from an accidental mixing of bergamot oranges and tea during a shipment from China to England. And a third version tells of a Chinese friend of Charles who incorporated the orange flavours of bergamot to offset the taste of minerals in the Northumberland waters of his home. The stories and numerous and attempts to unearth the true origins of Earl Grey have so far been unfruitful.
We encourage customers to enjoy the tea for its careful balance of rich tea and subtle citrus notes and maybe take these tales with a pinch of salt. Although many variants of the original Earl Grey blend are available today, the most renowned blend remains the original bergamot-flavoured Earl Grey.
How is Earl Grey produced?
Classically. Earl Grey is composed of a black tea with added bergamot flavour. Bergamot is a citrus tree most commonly found on the coast of Italy. The extracted oil is used to perfume the black tea, creating the blend’s zesty flavour. There is no set recipe and depends on the tea master’s desired outcome: the type and origin of black tea and the quality and quantity of bergamot oil.
As it is a flavoured black tea, Earl Grey will naturally contain some caffeine.
What makes JING’s Earl Grey special?
So how does JING’s Earl Grey distinguish itself from other Earl Grey blends? The full-bodied black tea we use in our Earl Grey blend is produced by experts in Ruhuna, on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. Our base tea is sourced from a single origin, ensuring the character and soul of the tea shines through and is not overpowered by the strength of the bergamot. Unfortunately, we see this time and time again – poor quality tea masked by artificial bergamot flavouring.
This low-grown tea boasts a rich mellow base combined with high-notes from the bergamot fruit and the visual vibrancy of the blue cornflower. It can be enjoyed with or without milk, depending on your preference.
Keeping the tea fresh is a priority for us, so we pack and store our tea to ensure maximum flavour and freshness – as you would find it in the garden. You can also enjoy the same Earl Grey in tea bags. Our tea bags are pyramid-shaped, allowing the leaves room to unfurl and infuse properly for the full-flavoured experience.
We ensure that carefully ascertains how to enjoy this unique flavour, down to the meticulous calculation of water to tea and the time allowed for the tea to infuse. View our recipes on each product page.
For more information on the production of the blend, take a look at JING’s Earl Grey guide.
Why choose JING’s Earl Grey?
Amidst the chaos and pace of life today, we believe in taking time to pause and reflect. We believe in tea’s benefit of providing a brief period of tranquillity. We believe in the rewarding ceremony of tea drinking and its role in connecting us with everyday living.
Earl Grey remains a longstanding favourite amongst JING customers for good reason – its fragrant and floral notes create a calming and memorable experience. We believe in that.