Tea is one of the staples of British culture. So there is no surprise that popular teas are often named after prominent British figures. Such is true for Earl Grey tea named after Charles Grey, a British Prime Minister in the 1830s.
Appealing to the masses, tea is no longer reserved for the elite – although they do indulge from time to time. Tea Sommelier and CEO behind Tease Tea, had the pleasure of meeting with Prince Charles over Canada Day long weekend to talk tea and his more traditional black tea favorites.
And while the base of Earl Grey has remained the same (black tea flavoured with Citrus bergamia oil/bergamot oil), there are many popular variations. Check out Tease Tea’s Duchess of Earl, a stronger version of the traditional with corn flowers and rose petals resulting in a decadent brew with natural creaminess.
Earl grey is my favorite go-to tea flavor and now that summer heat is in full swing, it’s a nice reminder that Earl Grey tea can be enjoyed in different, cooler forms:
Ice cream – I scream, you scream we all scream for ice scream. It doesn’t get better than artisanal ice creamery, VanLeeuwen for the summer. Find shops in Brooklyn, New York and LA. Note to event planners: there is also a truck that you can rent for events! The secret to creamy ice cream is steeping the tea in fresh whole milk before adding the cream, eggs and sugar.
Chocolate – Who’s not a fan of tea infused chocolate? Coco Chocolatier based in Edinburgh in 2004, Coco is one of Scotland’s first chocolatiers and has two brick-and-mortar stores. The Earl Grey Tea & Bergamot bar is organic dark chocolate from the Dominican Republic. This scrumptious bar is beautifully hand wrapped in a delicate floral pattern making it a piece of art.
Cocktails – Sip the best (and famous) Earl Grey Martini at the Café Grey Deluxe, the Upper House’s restaurant on the 49th floor overlooking the Victoria Harbor. Let’s be honest, would you expect anything less from a restaurant that has grey in their name? The smokiness of the tea adds to the robust flavor and its shaken to perfection
Here is an easy recipe for Earl Grey Martini just in case you won’t be visiting Asia anytime soon:
1oz earl grey tea, steeped for 20 minutes then cooled
1oz citrus vodka
0.5 oz grand marnier
Shake in a martini shaker filled with ice, strain into martini glass
If you are more interested in bubbles, this Champagne cocktail is quite easy. Orange is often a complimentary flavor of the bergamot oil, heightening the unique Earl Grey flavor.
0.05 oz earl grey infused simple syrup
Sparkling wine or champagne
Simply fill bottom of champagne glass with earl grey simple syrup
Top off glass with champagne
Garnish with orange
Cookies – No tea party is complete without cookies. The most traditional cookie over tea would be the shortbread. Leave it to TWG to perfect a shortbread recipe worthy to pass them off as your own when you host your own tea party. TWG was established in 1837 in Singapore; this pays homage to when the island became a trading post for teas, spices and epicurean products.
Caramels – Famed Vancouver pastry chef, Thierry Busset offers a variety of confections in his Alberni store and online. To complement his collection of treats, Thierry offers these classic caramels are infused with Earl grey tea. Packed in a tube, these soft candies are perfect for sharing.
Needless to say, if you’re only drinking your earl grey tea, you’re missing out as it’s an incredibly versatile baking, cooking and cocktail ingredient.
The aromatic punch of dried black tea leaves coated in bergamot oil can elevate your recipes to new heights of flavour and complexity.
Do you have any favourite earl grey recipes? I’m always looking for more, feel free to share them.
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