Earl Grey Tea
What is Earl Grey tea
One of the most popular flavored teas, Earl Grey tea, also known as bergamot tea, is prepared by blending regular tea leaves, preferably black tea leaves, with the oil extract of the rind of bergamot orange, an aromatic citrus fruit. Apart from having a strong citrus flavor, the active ingredients in the tea contribute to its therapeutic properties that help in improving several health conditions.
History and origin
Earl Grey tea was named after Charles Grey, the second Earl of Grey, as well as the prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1830 to 1834, when a Chinese mandarin tea master blended it for the first time and presented to him. In fact, his family members claimed that flavoring the tea with bergamot was done to neutralize the taste of lime in the well water of their estate. It became a favorite drink of Lady Grey, the wife of Earl Grey, and she ordered the tea merchants of London to market the tea under a new brand name after seeing its rising popularity in the London society.
Does Earl Grey tea have caffeine
The leaves of black tea, green tea, and white tea used for preparing several variations of the tea contain caffeine.
Earl Grey tea health benefits: What is it good for
Traditionally used as a digestive aid, its consumption provides relief from acid reflux, nausea, and constipation. It is also believed to be useful for infant abdominal conditions such as colic. However, make sure you discuss with a doctor before including the tea in your baby’s diet.
The bergamot extracts contain antioxidants that help in boosting the function of the immune system by fighting against free radicals, and thus preventing infections.
The potassium content of black tea maintains the fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, helping in preventing dehydration. Although caffeinated drinks exhibit mild diuretic effects, the amount of caffeine in black tea has been shown to be lower than coffee.
Drinking bergamot tea might be effective for strengthening the teeth, reducing the risk of tooth decay and cavities, due to the presence of fluoride. Additionally, its catechins exhibit antimicrobial properties that aid in preventing common oral infections such as gingivitis.
Since bergamot has stress-relieving properties, inhaling the aroma of its oil extract while sipping a cup of the tea may assist in minimizing anxiety and the symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
As a result of its citrus content, incorporating the calorie-free tea into your weight loss diet can be useful. A potential remedy for reducing fever and boosting energy, it has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels, curbing the risk of cardiovascular disorders and diabetes, respectively.
How to make and drink Earl Grey tea
In case you are using an electric kettle for heating the water, maintain the temperature between 200 and 212 degrees before pouring the tea leaves. On the other hand, if you are using a glass kettle or stainless steel teapot, then bring the water to boil and turn off the heat. Here are the steps to prepare 1 cup of Earl Grey black tea.
- Add 2 grams (less than 1 tablespoon) of loose Earl Grey black tea leaves to the boiling water
- Cover the kettle or pot and allow it to steep for about 2 to 3 minutes
- Strain the mixture
- Add sugar or honey for enhancing the taste
Earl Grey Tea Latte
- Earl Grey tea leaves- 2 grams
- Dried lavender- 1/2 tablespoon
- Steamed milk- 1/2 cup
- Sugar- 1 tablespoon
- Vanilla extract- 1/4 tablespoon
- Water- 1 cup
- Infuse the Earl Grey tea leaves with dried lavender in water and let it steep for 3 minutes
- Strain out the tea leaves and lavender
- Add the remaining ingredients to the mixture and stir well
- Serve the drink warm
You may also use tea bags to brew the tea. Make sure you heat the milk in a steamer, microwave, or in a saucepan on medium-to-low heat till it starts simmering. However, it should not be allowed to boil.
Earl Grey Iced Tea
- Water- 1 cup
- Sugar- 1 cup
- Earl Grey tea bags- 5
- Fresh or dried lemon slices- 4
- Soda water
- Ice cubes
- Pour the sugar into the water in a saucepan placed over medium heat and bring to boil
- Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved while stirring it at regular intervals for 5 minutes
- Remove it from heat and let the syrup cool for about 20 minutes
- Pour water into a saucepan and bring to boil
- Add the tea bags and lemon slices in the saucepan
- Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature for about 1 hour and dispose of the tea bags
Combine the tea and syrup in a large jug filled with ice cubes and pour the preparation into the glasses. Add soda water to each glass and serve.
Safety and precautions
Being a caffeinated drink, its excess intake can lead to sleeplessness, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, and appetite loss. Besides, bergamot tea may increase caffeine dependency as well as cause withdrawal symptoms when you restrict or discontinue its consumption after prolonged use. In some cases, it may also trigger an allergic reaction.
Due to its caffeine content, pregnant women are advised to stay away from the tea to avoid the risk of miscarriage and other fetal health complications. It would be better to avoid its intake while breastfeeding.
Where to buy
Organic Earl Grey tea leaves and tea bags can be purchased from any herbal tea shop or online store. The other variations of the tea such as Earl Grey green tea, Earl Grey lavender tea, and Earl Grey white tea can also be purchased from any herbal tea-selling store.
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