My Love Affair with Earl Grey
Early Grey. In my early twenties, I was a glorified coffee junkie. Every flavor and option out there, you name it, I had tried it, and for the most part was in love with them all.
Then one day, while at a lovely bed and breakfast I was in search of my afternoon fix and there was no coffee to be found. As you can image my body was not happy it wanted not only the caffeine but the soothing warmth of holding the mug of piping hot liquid in my hands.
What I found instead of my normal coffee, was the bed and breakfast had afternoon tea. My mind was going through the options, do I go out in search of the coffee I was so use to or instead give the tea a try.
Since I was in the mountains in the winter and it was very cold out I decided to give the tea a try, and to my wonderful surprise I found a new love in my life, his name was “Earl Grey”
Holding the cup in my hands I received the warmth I desired and then tasting the light brown liquid, much lighter than the deep dark brown coffee I was so fond of, my taste buds were challenged to discover the hint of something different than other teas I had tasted in the past.
As I was soon to learn the taste was from the lovely flavor of bergamot, bergamot a citrus fruit that added a lemony taste to the wonderful woody note of the dark tea.
Once I begin this new love affair I soon discovered that there are many varieties of my new love.
There was, Earl Grey with jasmine, and Earl Grey with lavender, and there were options like French Earl Grey that has rose petals add.
One of my favorites ways to indulge in my new addiction was a beverage called “London Fog” a combination of Earl Grey and steamed milk.
Many years have passed now since my first chance encounter with this wonderful tea, and since I have begun my journey into the world of essential oils and herbs I have now learned that the tea I fell in love with all those years ago, is created by adding the oil of bergamot to a black tea.
Lately I have been experimenting with an aromatic honey recipe to sweeten my teas, that I have added lavender essential oils to.
Lavender Aromatic Honey Recipe
¼ cup honey (I use local raw honey)
1 to 2 drops lavender essential oil
Begin with one drop, it is usually enough and stir well
I also found a recipe to make my own Earl Grey using essential oils
Basic Earl Grey Tea with Essential Oils
1 cup black tea
5 to 20 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
Large Jar with lid
To jar add Bergamot Essential Oil (5 drops Yields a light bergamot flavor, 20 drops is pretty strong for all but the most diehard Earl Grey lovers)
Add the black tea
Cap jar and shake vigorously to help distribute the essential oil to all the tea leaves.
Let the tea infuse anywhere from 12hrs-3 days to allow proper curing.
Use within 5-6 months for the best flavor as this tea will weaken over time.
When I tested the above recipe, I use the 5 drops of oil (following the less is more rule of essential oils) and found it to have a good flavor.
I have enjoyed learning how to use essential oils in my everyday life and look forward to experimenting more with this. I have found an earl grey cookie recipe that I think I will try next using my new homemade blend of Earl Grey.
So, the love affair lives on.
Sources and References:
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, by Kathi Keville & Mindy Green
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