Earl Grey is a blended tea based, at least originally, on China tea with the addition of bergamot oil (nowadays much Earl Grey contains other teas, and substitutes for bergamot oil). The story goes that the recipe for it was given to the second Earl Grey in the 1830s by a grateful Chinese mandarin whose life had been saved by a British diplomat. The blend was soon taken up commercially, and has since become the epitome, especially among Americans, of the genteel end of the British tea spectrum. It was said in the 1980s that the advance of middle-class British farmhouse- and cottage-buyers in Tuscany could be accurately gauged by the increasing availability of Earl Grey in the local shops.
Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.