woensdag 21 oktober 2009

Earl Grey tea

Any Star Trek fan knows that Captain Picard drinks Earl Grey tea (hot!). Well, lots of other people drink Earl Grey too. It's one of the most popular and best known kinds of tea in the Western world.

First of all, Earl Grey tea was indeed named after the second Earl Charles Grey of Britain back in the 1830s. Though proof is scarce, he is traditionally credited with the creation of this blended tea. Charles Grey was prime minister from 1830-1834, during which time the act was passed to abolish slavery in the British Empire. Seems like quite an accomplishment, yet most people know him for his wonderful tea instead.

Contrary to popular belief, Earl Grey is not a kind of tea at all. It's actually plain black tea, infused with the citrus flavour of bergamot (similar to orange blossoms). This gives a bright, tart and refreshing tea that is unlike other black teas.

While the term 'orange pekoe' is all about the quality and grade of a tea, Earl Grey tea is not necessarily a high quality tea. Since the taste of bergamot is quite strong, it is often used to mask the lack of flavour from poor quality black tea. When shopping for Earl Grey, make sure to double-check the grade of the tea before making your choice.

Earl Grey tea is a favorite in Britain and in North America, and you can be sure to find it on the menu at any tea room, or in any supermarket.

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