What Does Earl Grey Tea Taste Like?

Earl Grey is one of the most popular types of black tea—and for good reason! This bright, energizing blend combines black tea leaves with bergamot essential oil for a brisk, flavorful tea with notes of citrus and spice. We’ll cover what Earl Grey tea tastes like, how to brew it properly, and how to choose an Earl Grey blend.

Our Earl Grey Teas

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What Earl Grey tastes like

Earl Grey blends black tea leaves with bergamot, a small citrus fruit native to the Meditteranean that’s sometimes described as a cross between a lemon and a lime. Earl Grey tends to be smooth and balanced, with notes of citrus, spice, malt, and smoke. Like English Breakfast, Earl Grey shares the full body and malty, spicy notes of a classic black tea, while also adding a citrus kick to the mix.

What does bergamot taste like?

Bergamot is a small citrus fruit native to the Mediterranean. It’s sometimes described as a cross between a lemon and a lime. On its own, bergamot has a tart, citrusy flavor. When bergamot essential oil is added to black tea leaves, as is the case with Earl Grey tea, it imparts a rich, citrusy, spicy flavor to the tea. Think of the flavor when you zest a lemon, or add a lime garnish to a cocktail: the bright, energizing, slightly bitter flavor of a cistrus peel.

About Earl Grey tea

Unlike classics black teas like English Breakfast, Earl Grey contains more than just plain tea leaves. Citrusy and with a hint of sweetness and spice, Earl Grey is a tea flavored with bergamot essential oil. While the history of Earl Grey tea is unclear, it most likely acquired its name from Earl Charles Grey, a 19th-century British Prime Minister who helped to popularize the tea. Today, Earl Grey is a well-loved classic.

Bergamot is a small, pear-shaped citrus fruit cultivated primarily in the Mediterranean. The aromatic essential oil pressed from the rind of bergamot has a slightly spicy, citrusy taste that, when added to tea, lends Earl Grey its distinctive flavor. While bergamot is typically added to black tea to make a classic Earl Grey, the essential oil can be added to any type of tea to create a similar flavor.

How to brew Earl Grey tea

Tea prepare Earl Grey tea, we recommend using one level teaspoon of tea leaves for every six ounces of water. If you like a stronger cup of tea, feel free to use more tea leaves. Heat water until it has reached a full boil, approximately 212 degrees. Infuse your tea for three to four minutes, then remove the tea leaves and enjoy!

We recommend preparing Earl Grey using a teapot, tea infuser, or tea filter. These brewing methods allow the loose leaf tea leaves to fully expand and result in a richer, more flavorful cup. Earl Grey can be enjoyed on its own or with a splash of milk and sweetener.

How to make Earl Grey tea taste better

If you’re not happy with the way your cup of Earl Grey is tasting, there are a few things you can do to improve its flavor. First and foremost, it’s important to buy high quality loose leaf tea in order to get the best possible flavor from your tea leaves. The tea found in tea bags is often composed of low-quality dust and fannings, while loose leaf tea typically features whole tea leaves with a superior flavor.

You should also keep an eye on how long you’re infusing your tea for. We recommend steeping Earl Grey for about three to four minutes. If you infuse it for too long, it may become bitter. Finally, many people enjoy Earl Grey with milk and sugar or honey. If you find that Earl Grey on its own is too strong a flavor, try adding a splash of milk or a little sweetener!

Our Earl Grey teas

We carry several different Earl Grey blends, including both caffeinated and caffeine-free options.

Organic Earl Grey Black Tea

Our Organic Earl Grey is our classic Earl Grey blend—a perfect combination of black tea leaves and bergamot essential oil that’s sure to delight all Earl Grey lovers. Flavored with oil of bergamot sourced from Italy, this tea has a smooth, citrusy, slightly floral flavor and a full body with a smooth finish. This tea is refreshing hot or iced, or even prepared as a London Fog Latte!

Earl Grey Francais Black Tea

If you love the taste of bergamot, you're sure to enjoy this tea. Flavored with bergamot oil from France, this tea is a bolder, more aromatic version of the traditional Earl Grey, with citrusy, sweet, and slightly spicy notes.

Earl Grey Lavender Black Tea

A classic cup of Earl Grey gets a makeover in Provence! This lovely blend of bergamot flavored black tea and lavender blossoms adds a soothing floral note to Earl Grey. This tea is soothing, aromatic, and refreshing hot or iced.

Earl Grey Rooibos Herbal Tea

Love Earl Grey but trying to steer clear of caffeine? This naturally caffeine-free version of Earl Grey is sure to hit the spot. Rooibos tea leaves are flavored with oil of bergamot for a light, citrusy tea with a pleasant natural sweetness.

FAQs about Earl Grey tea

Does Earl Grey tea have caffeine?

In most cases, Earl Grey tea contains caffeine, typically about half the amount of a cup of coffee. However, some Earl Grey-inspired blends, like our Earl Grey Rooibos, are naturally caffeine-free.

Is Earl Grey tea a black tea?

Yes, Earl Grey is a type of black tea. Earl Greys typically combines black tea leaves with oil of bergamot for a brisk, citrusy blend.

Is Earl Grey good for you?

Like other types of black tea, Earl Grey is full of beneficial properties. These include boosting your immune system, soothing inflammation, and increasing your energy levels thanks to a moderate amount of caffeine.

Is Earl Grey the same as Lady Grey?

Earl Grey and Lady Grey are two very similar tea blends. Earl Grey, broadly speaking, refers to any black tea flavored with bergamot. Lady Grey, which was created by the tea company Twinings, also contains lemon peel and orange peel.

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