Earl Grey tea is a blend of black tea enhanced with oil from the rind of bergamot oranges. The result is a bright, complex steep with a subtle aroma and deep flavor. As a result of the time-honored process used to produce black tea blended with the sunny fragrance of citrus, Earl Grey is a crowd pleaser served all around the world.
Black teas undergo a natural oxidizing process before drying, which lets enzymes alter the chemical composition of the leaves and results in a stronger, slightly tannic flavor in the final steep. This quality gives it a distinctive character. Earl Grey tea marries this strong flavor with the brightness of bergamot oil, resulting in a savory and aromatic brew.
1 - The water
To make the perfect cup of Earl Grey tea, begin with fresh, cold, filtered water. Never use hot water from the tap, or water that has previously been boiled. Water for brewing tea should always be heated in a non-reactive vessel, such as a glass kettle or stainless steel pot. This prevents impurities from transferring to the tea.
2 - The temperature
Earl Grey tea should always be prepared with water heated to 208°, just below its boiling point. If your kettle doesn't have temperature controls, simply heat the water until it begins to boil, then turn off the heat while you warm the pot.
3 - Warm the pot or the cup
Many people omit this step, but it's actually very important. Tea is delicate, and needs precisely the right temperature to give up its essence. When hot water is poured into a cold cup or pot, it begins to cool. Warming the pot ensures that the steep will be consistent. Pour a small amount of hot water into the pot or cup, swirl it around, and pour it out.
4 - Proper measurement
Exact measurements will vary depending on how strong you like your tea, how large your favorite cup is, and how many cups your teapot holds. For loose tea, the rule is one teaspoon per six ounce cup, or two teaspoons per eight ounce glass of iced tea. It may be necessary to adjust this measurement to suit your taste, or to accommodate a large mug.
5 - Steeping times
Steeping time is very much a matter of taste when it comes to Earl Grey. Most aficionados enjoy their brew steeped for three to five minutes. Many claim anything more than four minutes is disastrous, while others say a full five minutes is needed to enjoy the full benefit of the citrus aroma.
How to enjoy Tea Forté Earl Grey Tea
Traditionally, this tea is served with a slice of lemon, with sugar to taste. This brings out its bright flavor and shows off its deep brown color. Tea Forté's special blend of Earl Grey tea includes a dash of organic cornflowers for an added flourish. Enjoy it with lemon or milk, or savor the natural flavor and color straight from the pot.