What is Earl Grey tea?
Do you know what the most consumed beverage in the world is? Of course, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water.
Tea has many varieties, including black tea, green tea, Oolong tea, and flavored tea. All these are processed from Camellia sinensis, which is commonly known as “tea bush.”
“Earl Grey” is the most famous flavored tea in the world. Its unique flavor comes from the rind of bergamot fruit (Citrus bergamia). The appearance and flavor of Bergamot are very much similar to the orange and lemon with a little taste of grapefruit. Bergamot is commercially grown in Calabria, Italy, and export worldwide.
This article will take you a tour around everything you need to know about Earl Grey tea, including its history, how is it made? , benefits and what happens if you overuse it.
History of Earl Grey tea
Does your tea represent your class or your status? People in the past believed drinking Earl Grey tea represents the highest status in society.
There is a well-known story related to its origination. A Chinese tea master blended the first Earl Grey tea as a gift for Charles Grey, the second Earl of Grey and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The tea master used bergamot to enrich the flavor of tea because the water on Earl Grey’s estate was somewhat lime. However, his wife, Lady Grey, was passionate about this tea. She used it to entertain their high-class friends and families. Not soon, it became popular among people, and lady grey has to sell it to others. However, Earl Grey came to market it as a well-recognized brand.
How is Earl Grey made?
Tea manufacturing is a somewhat complex process with multiple steps. Tea leaves have to undergo withering, rolling, fermenting, drying, and grading steps to get black tea.
If you choose green tea as the base you should neglect the fermentation step. Finally, the tea is flavored at the end of the processing. There are two methods of flavoring the black tea leaves with bergamot.
The first is the coating or spraying of the black tea leaves with bergamot essential oils, and it gives a stronger citrus flavor. Either you can add dried bergamot orange rinds to the tea leaves, which gives the citrus flavor during the brewing process.
Preparing Earl Grey tea
If you taste Earl Grey tea from different companies you may feel the taste is different from each other. That’s because the taste depends on the variety of tea leaves, the variety of bergamot, and the amount of bergamot used. But the method of preparing is very simple.
Here are the steps of preparing Earl Grey tea.
- Pour pure, freshly boiled water into a teapot. (Water should boil up to the boiling point /100oC )
- Add a tea bag or loose leaf tea to the hot water. (2 mg / 8 oz)
- Let the tea steep in the water for 3-5 minutes. (Too much steeping can result in a bitter flavor)
- Take out the teabag and taste the tea. (Need not add sugar)
Taste of Earl Grey tea
Have you ever tasted Earl Grey? If you are not you can easily recognize the taste with the prominent citrus or orange flavor and the little bit of grapefruit.
But the juice is bitterer than grapefruit and less sour than lemon. The fragrance of bergamot is fruity and citrusy with floral hints.
Do you know that Earl Grey tea can use for flavorings sweets such as cakes and chocolates? If you are interested, you can try it by adding loose tea with bergamot to the melted butter and strained after the flavor got infused. But most people prefer it as a drink which helps delight and calms the mind.
Earl Grey tea with milk
Of course, you can have it with milk. But most tea lovers prefer it as it is. Anyway, if you want to enjoy the real taste of Earl Grey, you should drink it without milk.
Although it seems adding milk to your tea is ideal, have you ever thought that it can be unhealthy? A study has shown that adding milk can reduce the number of antioxidants like catechins in your tea. But it’s not a big deal if you don’t drink tea with milk regularly. You can get a better taste with creamy milk also.
Benefits of Earl Grey
Unfortunately, people drink tea without knowing its valuable health benefits. Most people drink it as a habit or as a routine. But in ancient times, people used tea as a medicine. Even modern medicine is also surprised by its medicinal values to the human body.
Moreover, Polyphenols like catechin helps you to overcome many health issues in your body. On the other hand, D-Limonene in bergamot has health benefits too. When it comes to a disease, “prevention is better than cure.” Therefore, Earl Grey tea would be a great choice of yours. Here are some health benefits of drinking Earl Grey tea.
Stimulate your nervous system.
Caffeine in tea can boost your nervous system and can relax your mind. That’s why you seek a cup of tea after you getting tired. Normally, there is 20 mg of caffeine in an average of 100g of brewed tea.
Prevent from Heart Risks
Bergamot flavored tea helps you to prevent the risk of heart attacks by lowering blood pressure. A study conducted in 2016 found a nearly 20% reduction in the risk of heart attack and a 35% reduced risk of stroke among those who drank one to three cups of tea a day.
Reduce the Risk of Cancer
It is better to drink Earl Grey tea if you suspect you may get cancer in the future. Polyphenols such as theaflavin and catechin are effective in the prevention of various cancers. These compounds have anti-tumor properties.
Loss the bodyweight
Polyphenol in tea burns the calories in your body. Therefore the regular use of its loss the body weight and prevent you from obesity.
Boost the immunity
Catechin in tea can boost your immune system and keep you healthy longer. Tea is a great antioxidant with antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, some researchers have found that bergamot has antioxidant properties too.
Neutralize Gastric acid
D-limonene in bergamot can dissolve the cholesterol-containing gallstones. On the other hand, it can neutralize gastric acid. Therefore it has also been used as relief of heartburn and gastritis.
Drinking too much Earl Grey tea
There is a popular saying that “too much of anything is bad.” Therefore, overconsumption of tea can risk your health, although it has many health benefits.
Tea can absorb the iron in your body. That’s because of the compound called “Tannins.” If you drink tea just after having your meal, that’s not good for your health. Your body can’t absorb iron because of tannins. Finally, your body will show the symptoms of iron deficiencies.
Additionally, too much caffeine can cause anxiety, abdominal pain, seizures, increased blood acid levels, irregular or fast heartbeat, and reduce blood flow to the heart. Therefore, it is recommended not to drink more than about 3 per day.