Earl Grey is a firm favourite among our customers and tea drinkers across the world. 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, 2nd Earl Grey. The story goes that during a trip to China, Grey 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 fruit, which established the beginning of Earl Grey's flavour profile. The second version tells the story of a Chinese friend of Grey's who incorporated the orange flavours of bergamot to offset the taste of minerals in the Northumberland waters of his home. An alternative story describes how the blend grew from an accidental mixing of bergamot fruit and tea during a shipment from China to England. The stories and numerous attempts to unearth the true origins of Earl Grey have so far been unfruitful.
We encourage the enjoyment of this famous British tea for its careful balance of rich tea and subtle citrus notes, while taking 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 fruit, native to South East Asia and now most prominently grown in Calabria, Southern Italy. When blended with black tea, high quality bergamot oil delivers a refreshing, citrus lift to the infusion. There is no set recipe for this, and the overall flavour depends on the tea master’s desired outcome, the type, quality 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 Ceylon black tea we use in our Earl Grey blend is crafted 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 with other tea brands – poor quality tea masked by artificial bergamot flavouring.
Designed to complement and not overwhelm, a touch of natural bergamot extract tempers the inherent richness of this tea for supreme texture and flavour, with the visual vibrancy of blue cornflowers. Although these don’t impart flavour, they engage the eyes and remind us of the history of this traditional English tea. It is believed that when Earl Grey was first sold in the London tea auctions, tea merchants used a sprinkling of cornflower petals to highlight the highest quality Earl Grey teas.
Keeping the tea fresh is a priority for us, so we pack and store our tea to ensure maximum flavour and freshness. 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.
To ensure you get the most out of your tea leaves, we have created a specific recipe for each tea that includes the proportion of water to tea and the time allowed for the tea to infuse. You can view our recipes on each individual tea page and on the back of each bag of tea.
Why choose JING’s Earl Grey?
The rewarding ceremony of tea drinking plays an important role in connecting us with everyday living and the present moment. To the backdrop of our fast-paced lives, we encourage taking time to pause and reflect, allowing the naturally mindful ceremony of infusing tea to offer us all a brief moment of tranquility.
Earl Grey remains a longstanding favourite amongst JING customers for good reason – its fragrant and floral notes create a calming and memorable experience.