Earl Grey tea is a unique blend of black teas enhanced with oil from the rind of bergamot oranges. The result is a bright, complex steep, with a subtle aroma and deep flavour. It marries the strong flavour of black teas with the brightness of bergamot oil, resulting in a savoury and aromatic brew. Considered by many to beone of the most fundamental, approachable types of tea, representing an anchoring point in tea culture, a cup of Earl Grey is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Here’s how you can brew the perfect cup of Earl Grey Tea, be it for a cosy day in or a warm afternoon in the garden:
Step 1: The water
To make the perfect cup of Earl Grey tea, begin with fresh, cold, filtered water. Water for brewing tea should always be heated in a non-reactive vessel, such as a glass kettle or stainless-steel pot, so as to prevent impurities from transferring to the tea.
Step 2: The temperature
Earl Grey tea should always be prepared with water heated to 98°C, 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.
Step 3: Warm the pot or the cup
Many people omit this easily missable step, but it's actually vital to brewing the perfect cup. Tea is delicate, and needs precisely the right temperature to give up its essence. Throwing hot onto a cold cup or pot, makes it begin to cool, throwing away any and all efforts at keeping the right temperature. 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.
Step 4: Proper measurement
Precise measurements will vary depending on a large variety of factors, like how strong you like your tea, how large your favourite cup is, and how many cups your teapot holds. The general rule would be to take one teaspoon of McLeod Russel Earl Grey Tea blend per cup, though, of course, it may be necessary to adjust this measurement to suit your taste.
Step 5: Steeping time
Steeping time is very much a matter of personal preference and taste when it comes to a cup of Earl Grey. Most aficionados enjoy their brew steeped for three to five minutes. While many claim that anything longer than four minutes is disastrous, others say a full five minutes is needed to enjoy the full benefit of the citrus aroma.
Step 6: How to enjoy your cup of Earl Grey Tea
Traditionally, this tea is served with a slice of lemon, with sugar to taste. This brings out its bright flavour and shows off its rich colour. McLeod Russel’s special blend of Earl Grey tea is made with an expertise based off of centuries of craftsmanship, adding just the right flourish to satisfy even the most discerning of palates. Enjoy it with lemon or milk, or savour the natural flavour and colour straight from the pot.
Fret not if you’re not in the mood for a sublime cup of Earl Grey, however, there are alternatives at hand.