Earl Grey

2016/01/12 - Gaëlle

Earl Grey tea is well known - at least his name will be familiar even to those reluctant to try a good cup of tea. In its classic version, it is black tea with bergamot accents: a nice mix of robust and fresh flavors. But do you know the story of his discovery and his name?

Earl Grey


"Earl" in Britain, is the noble title of counts. And our count in question was called Charles, Count Charles Grey. He would have marked the 19th century with his return from a diplomatic trip to China. Indeed, the tea he brought from Asia and offered to the Jacksons of Piccadilly tea house quickly became the most drank black tea in the world. And the Piccadilly tea house gave to this mixture so special and cozy, strong and lemony notes the name of Earl Grey, in honor of the one who introduced it to the English society.


Unfortunately, as is the case when playing Chinese phone, from ear to mouth, a story can change that in the end it becomes unrecognizable. And that's kind of what we find in the story of Charles and his Chinese black tea.

The Chinese society has never been very focused on black tea, largely preferring green tea and jasmine tea. Besides, demystifying historical accounts, it becomes clear that the Earl Charles Grey never even set foot in China. Black tea serving as the base for the Earl Grey tea instead come from India and Sri Lanka! In addition, the icon of Jacksons of Piccadilly tea only possesses contested paternity, since the Twinings company officially claims the first "Earl Grey's Tea" sold in Britain.

But these petty squabbles and indeterminate origins should not stop you from enjoying your next cup of tea!

À la découverte du thé

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