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Tea, Earl Grey, Hot: A History of Earl Grey Tea

Probably one of the most famous tea blends, Earl Grey is traditionally a black tea flavored with the oil from the bergamot orange. It can be served black, with milk, or with a squeeze of lemon juice. The bergamot oil adds a fragrant flavor to the tea.

What's in a Name?

Earl Grey is actually a hereditary title of the British aristocracy. The title was created in 1806, and the second person to hold the title, Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, is the person who the tea blend is thought to be named after. The 2nd Earl Grey became Prime Minister of the UK in 1830, and oversaw the abolition of slavery across the British Empire and was author of the Great Reform Act, which updated and modified the electoral system in the UK. Today, his name is mostly remembered for the tea blend named after him.

There is still an Earl Grey peer today. Peter Grey, the 7th Earl Grey, is the great-great-grandson of Charles, 2nd Earl Grey.

Origins of the Blend