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British Earl White Tea
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British Earl White Tea
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Many of us, indeed most of us, tea lovers are familiar with Earl Grey the beverage. (It is arguably the most popular blended tea in the world after all.) In all its variations, Earl Grey is a flavorful concoction of tea and bergamot oil that is as distinctive on the nose as it is in the cup. One whiff as it passes your table in a restaurant, or breezing out through a kitchen door, and you know immediately that someone is about to enjoy a few moments of refined pleasure. As the tea rolls over the tongue, pointed touches of citrus come to the fore blending gently with the astringency of the base tea letting you know that yes in fact, this is Earl Grey. The tea we know about. But what about the man? Don’t you agree that at least a cursory knowledge of Earl Grey seems important when discussing his signature brew? We do, so we thought we’d pass on our knowledge.First, the textbook stuff: Earl Grey’s political affiliation was to the Whig party, (the Democrats of old England.) His first parliamentary address as Prime Minister took place on the 21st of February 1787. The topic was a recent free trade agreement made with France to which he was vehemently opposed. In all he oversaw four years of political reform that had enormous impact on the development of democracy in Britain.Ok, now the more interesting stuff: Earl Grey’s interests included gallivanting about the countryside like a proper British dandy, breeding dogs and the occasional game of cribbage. In appearance he was said to be “tall, slim and strikingly handsome”. (Not surprising given the fact that he is known to have fathered at least one illegitimate child!) Unfortunately for the Earl and his love life, in his later years he went bald and was made to wear spectacles.Ok, now we have a basic understanding of the man behind the world’s most popular tea. We did forget one thing though. He died on July 17th, 1845 - about 150 years before the creation of British Earl White tea. Too bad because we’re sure he would have loved this version of his famous blend. The cup is full bodied with a heady Earl Grey flavor and touch of fresh cream leading to a profound jammy finish. (Jammy is a term frequently used to describe the fullish character of Pai mu tan, the Chinese white tea used for the blend.) Brew a pot and raise a cup to the old Earl. Cheers.
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