- Earl Grey Background
- Black Tea Preparation
This classic British Earl Grey Orange Pekoe tea is the most popular tea in the world! We have been told time and again by our customers that this is the best Earl Grey they have ever tasted! It has an unbelievable aroma that portends an unbelievable taste with a bright coppery infusion. Traditionally Earl Grey was a blend of Chinese and Indian teas scented with oil from the citrus bergamot fruit - a sort of orange.
This exceptional Earl Grey leaf is decaffeinated using a patented Canadian Chemical Free CO2 process. During the process, naturally occurring CO2 is circulated under high pressure to extract caffeine. Not only is this process completely chemical free and kind to the environment, it leaves none of the chemical flavor residue associated with chemically decaffeinated teas.
In blending our Earl Grey we only use high grown teas from the top 3 tea growing regions of Sri Lanka - Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula and Uva. These three high-grown districts produce flavorful teas that have classic ‘Ceylon’ tea character which is noted by floral bouquet and flavor notes, touches of mild astringency, bright coppery color and, most importantly - perfect for use as the base tea of our flavored teas. (We have tested teas from various other origins around the world as base stock for our flavored teas, but none of these teas made the grade.) Dimbula and the western estates of Nuwara Eliya have a major quality peak during Jan/Feb, whereas Uva and the eastern estates of Nuwara Eliya have their peak in July/Aug. This ‘dual peak period’ allow us to buy the best for our flavored tea blends several times during the year, ensuring top quality and freshness.
Next, we use flavoring oils not crystals to give the tea drinker an olfactory holiday before indulging in a liquid tea treat. We specify natural flavors. High quality tea tastes good and natural flavors do not mask the natural taste of the high grown Ceylon tea. (The norm for many making flavored tea is to use overpowering artificial flavors, which can be used to hide lower quality tea). Natural flavors do not leave an aftertaste giving the tea a clean and true character. It should be noted that natural flavors tend to be somewhat ‘soft ‘ and the flavors slightly muted, but for many this is a refreshing change and one of the desired attributes of our naturally flavored teas.
Ingredients: Organic Artisan decaffeinated black tea with organic natural flavors
Origin: Sri Lanka
Stories about the origins of Earl Grey are numerous. One such tale tells how a British diplomat on a mission to China saved the life of a Mandarin. As a gift of gratitude, the diplomat was given the recipe for this flavored tea. Upon his return to Britain, the diplomat presented the tea to the Prime Minister of the day, Earl Grey. Another story says it was the Prime Minister himself who saved the Mandarin. In any event it was the Prime Minister of England (1830-1834) Earl Grey who made this tea fashionable.
Water Temperature: Just off the Boil (205 degrees)
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 1 tsp. to 1 Tbl.(2.5 grams)
Steep Time: 2--4 minutes
Number of Infusions: 1
When measuring it is best to weigh your tea. (I use a small pocket scale. We have a few or you can get good inexpensive scales at Old Will Knotts) Measuring volume with a teaspoon or tablespoon is not accurate because whole leaf teas take up much more space than broken, graded teas.
We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." However, leaving the tea leaves in the water will result in an over-infused, bitter tea. If you want a stronger cup of tea increase the amount of leaf rather than the steeping time. If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, pour all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot.