We discover the historical past of this trade favourite, the way it’s made, and the distinctive methods it’s being integrated into café menus.
BY EMILY JOY MENESES
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Featured photograph by Matt Seymor through Unsplash
We see Earl Gray at nearly each café—however have you learnt how the tea grew to become a coffeehouse staple in so many elements of the world? In right this moment’s installment of “Know Your Components,“ we’re exploring the whole lot Earl Gray, together with the way it’s made, the way it grew to become well-liked, and the distinctive methods it’s being integrated into store menus.
Making Earl Gray
To begin, let’s discuss what Earl Gray truly is: black tea scented with bergamot oil. Bergamot oil comes from the bergamot orange (citrus bergamia). This aromatic citrus fruit is concerning the measurement of an orange. It has a bumpy rind and a yellow-green shade harking back to lime. The bergamot orange is believed to be a hybrid of bitter orange and lemon or lime, and its taste is sharp and bitter.
The dad and mom of the bergamot orange are believed to have originated in Asia, and finally arrived in Italy. Centuries of commerce and cross-pollinating produced the bergamot orange. At the moment, Italy is the highest producer of bergamot oranges, with fruits rising abundantly alongside the coast of the Ionian Sea.
It takes about 100 bergamot oranges to provide simply 3 ounces of bergamot oil. To make Earl Gray tea, black tea leaves are flavored with the oil, with ratios various between varieties. Several types of black tea, similar to Darjeeling, Ceylon, or Assam, can be utilized. The ensuing tea is fantastically fragrant and flavorful.
Opposite to frequent perception, Earl Gray is just not an English invention, although it was popularized in England. Earl Gray and different scented teas truly stem from historic China. There, tea leaves have been usually infused with herbs and flowers similar to jasmine or rose. This made the beverage all of the extra alluring to emperors and different royalty all over the world.
We are able to hint the consumption of Earl Gray tea again to the 1820s. There are a number of tales circulating about how precisely the tea was first created. One story tells of how, throughout a visit to China, English Prime Minister Charles Gray was gifted black tea scented with the oil of bergamot oranges—and the ensuing beverage was named after him. Some imagine that Earl Gray was created when bergamot oranges have been by accident combined with tea leaves being shipped from China to England. The outcome was a satisfying mixture of aromas and tastes. No matter which story is true, the creation of Earl Gray was a cross-cultural affair—a melding of traditions and flavors from all over the world.
Earl Gray on the Menu
Aside from merely brewing Earl Gray tea, there are such a lot of methods to benefit from the taste of this fragrant beverage. You could have heard of a London Fog—Earl Gray sweetened after which topped with steamed milk (which tastes nice “soiled“ with a shot of espresso). Or possibly you’ve loved a slice of Earl Gray-flavored cake. Positioned in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, Alchemist Espresso Undertaking provides Earl Gray macarons of their store, together with the loose-leaf tea.
With a narrative relationship all the way in which again to the 1820s, Earl Gray is a dwelling legend within the meals and beverage world. We’re completely satisfied to see that this drink has withstood the check of time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily Pleasure Meneses (she/they) is a author and musician primarily based in Los Angeles. Her hobbies embrace foraging, cortados, classic synths, and connecting along with her Filipino roots by music, artwork, meals, and beverage.