Country of Origin: Sri Lanka.
Grade: Pekoe Gunpowder.
Altitude: 2500 – 3000 feet above sea level.
Manufacture type: Orthodox.
Cup characteristics: The all-natural bergamot oil with excellent Ceylon green tea gives a lively and sprightly Earl Grey.
Infusion: Pale yellow green.
Ingredients: Luxury green tea, cornflower petals, natural flavors.
While Earl Grey black tea is the namesake of Charles, the 2nd Earl of Grey, it is a little known fact that Earl Grey green tea is named after Sir Albert Henry George, the 4th Earl of Grey who lived between 1851 and 1917. Sir Albert Henry George, (we’ll call him Sir Al for short) served as Canada’s Governor General, (the Queen of England’s Canadian representative) from 1904 – 1911. It was during his tenure in this position that the tea that bears his name was first brewed.
The incident occurred when Sir Al made a visit to Newfoundland, which was then still part of England. The people of Newfoundland, as everyone knows, are great drinkers of tea, consuming more cups per capita than any other province or state in North America. Upon the arrival of the noble Sir Al, a magnificent tea party was planned on the front lawn of the Newfoundland parliament. The food was ordered a month in advance. The tables were set up days in advance. Everything was going off without a hitch until 2 days before the party when the government’s storage shed was struck by lightning. The fire started by the strike burnt their entire stock of Earl Grey tea.
Here’s where it got interesting. A scrappy young lad named Angus Mcafee recalled that he had seen a few fresh barrels of bergamot down on his grandfather’s dock in the harbor just in from the West Indies. He also knew that his other grandfather, who dabbled in the tea trade, had just received a shipment of green gunpowder tea from Ceylon. He put two and two together and spent the next 48 hours blending the tea and the bergamot together in an old barrel.
The result was served at the garden party to great fanfare. Sir Al was delighted with the innovation and recommended that young Angus ship over to England to be knighted by the Queen herself. (No one is sure if Angus ever became Sir Angus – the records have been lost.) And what did Sir Al like so much about the tea? The answer is in the way the sweet bergamot blends with the slightly smoky profile of this green gunpowder tea. Raise a cup today and give a toast to Sir Al and young Angus. Cheers!
Hot tea brewing method: The secret is to use water that is about 80-85°C. Place 1 teaspoon in your cup, let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves, they foretell your fortune.
Iced tea-brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]
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