Whether it’s a hot cup of Earl Grey Crème Tea, or preparing a luxuriously sweet and comforting London Fog Tea, there’s no mistaking its unique flavor. Bergamot oil. Bright orange citrus notes, with spiced undertones.
Sure, it imparts bright crisp flavors, but how? And what is it?
Bergamot is an essential oil. The oil comes from cold pressed peels of nearly ripe Bergamot oranges. Though native to Asia, Bergamot is extensively grown in the Calabria region of southern Italy. It was named from the Italian City of Bergamot (or Bergamo) in Lombardy, where the oil was first sold. It takes 100 Bergamot oranges to produce just 3 oz of Bergamot oil. Bergamot oil is blended with organic black tea from China. This bright combination, along with cornflowers, orange peel, and natural vanilla and crème flavoring, creates the hallmark flavor of The Spice & Tea Exchange®’s Earl Grey Crème Tea.
It is the perfect starting point when making Earl Grey Crème Chocolate Mousse. A decadent yet creamy dessert with a sweet, delicate finish.
So now that we know what Bergamot is, let’s discuss where the name “Earl Grey” came from.
Earl Grey tea was named after Charles Grey, an English aristocrat, and Prime Minister of England. “Earl” was not his name but he was an Earl; and the 2nd Earl Grey, after his father. It is unclear how he became associated with the tea, though stories include, gifts of tea & Bergamot oranges that were shipped together from diplomats in China resulted in the fruit flavor being absorbed by the tea during transit. Or a Chinese mandarin friend of the Earl blending the tea in hopes of offsetting the mineral taste in his home’s water. There is even a legend of Earl Grey saving the son of a Chinese tea blender from drowning and being given the recipe as a thank you.