Who would have guessed bergamot and black tea would pair as nicely as cookies and milk? As the most ordered tea worldwide, it is safe to say everyone is familiar with Earl Grey tea. But who was Earl Grey?
Power of Earl
Born in 1764, Charles Grey—yes Charles not Earl—was an English aristocrat who served as Whig Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Charles Grey was not only a Prime minister, but an Earl (a British noble ranking) hence the name Earl Grey tea. His most known acts in power was abolition of slavery in the British Empire.
An Earl to Remember
Grey married Mary Ponsonby in 1794, and by 1819 the couple grew a family of 10 sons and 6 daughters. Before marrying Mary, Grey had an affair with the Duchess of Devonshire (as played by Keira Knightley in “The Duchess”), and delivered an illegitimate daughter, Eliza Courtney. However, it was not until after her mother’s death 14 years later did she learn of her true father.
Earl Grey Tea
Although popularly consumed in England, this blend did not originate anywhere on the European Continent. According to the Grey family, the tea which bears his name was specially for the Earl. The bergamot flavor was infused to offset the excessive lime in the water in his residency at Howick, however, this is one of the many legends on how this blend came to be. Regardless, we must salute to the Earl for bringing one of the world’s most popular form of flavored teas.
Newby’s Earl Grey contains natural bergamot oil for an ultimate blend in its loose-leaf and bagged forms available at the Newby e-boutique.