Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845)
You either hate it or love it. There are no fence sitters for the Earl Grey Tea. For me, I like to brew a cup on sluggish mornings. I find the citrus bergamot refreshing and perfect to jump start my day. Just like we have numerous versions on the discovery of tea (camellia sinensis) itself, there are enough and more stories on how this iconic tea got it's name.
Who is Mr. Grey?
Earl Charles Grey served as Prime Minister of England from 1830 – 1834. Though he accomplished a great deal during his term, the abolishment of slavery being key among them, he is most fondly remembered through England's most popular beverage, Earl Grey Tea.
Legend has it that the recipe for Earl Grey tea was given to Earl Charles Grey when he saved the son of a tea blender in China from drowning and the recipe for scenting and flavoring black tea with bergamot oil was given to him as gratitude for this good deed. It is unlikely, however, that Earl Charles Grey ever visited China, much less saved a drowning boy there. Tea and mystery are old friends, I guess. Since there is no concrete story about how Charles Grey was honored by having a tea named after him, it could have been a nod to a powerful political leader, because Earl Grey Tea got its name around his time in office.
Fast forward to present day, Earl Grey tea has made a number of appearances in popular culture. It is a favorite of Star Trek: The Next Generation's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, as well as The Davinci Code's Sir Leigh Teabing.
Tea and Food Pairing
Earl Grey Tea holds its own with stronger flavoured foods. Earl Grey fits like a body glove with Bacon and Fried Eggs
A bar of Dark Chocolate along with a cup of Earl Grey is another good idea to try out. Only for those who adore Dark Chocolate though. If desserts and tea is your ritual, go for Creme Brulee/ Creme Caramel. Fruit Compote's or Fruit tarts (Citrus based in particular) work very well with a cuppa Earl Grey.
DIY Earl Grey
If you have access to bergamot, you can make your own Earl Grey Tea at home! Here’s how – http://www.thekitchn.com/diy-earl-grey-tea-for-earl-grey-tea-haters-and-lovers-too-183012 Reference: http://coffeetea.about.com/od/typesoftea/a/Earl-Grey-Tea.htm