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    Earl Grey Tea 101: What is Earl Grey Tea?

    Earl Grey Tea 101: What is Earl Grey Tea?

    Just like cookie dough goes with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter goes with chocolate, and lime goes with tequila, bergamot goes with black tea to create one of the world’s most beloved teas: Earl Grey.

    Earl Grey tea, believe it or not, is not its own category of tea. It falls into the category of flavored teas. Flavored teas include any type of tea—white, green, oolong, black—that has been scented or flavored with fruit, flowers, spices, oils, extracts, and natural or artificial flavors.

    Earl Grey is one of the most recognized flavored teas in the world. This quintessentially British tea is typically a black tea base flavored with oil from the rind of bergamot orange, a citrus fruit with the appearance and flavor somewhere between an orange and a lemon with a little grapefruit and lime thrown in. Today’s cultivar of the bergamot orange is believed to be a hybrid of the bitter Seville orange native to the Mediterranean and a sweet lime/lemon native to Southeast Asia.

    So how did England and the rest of the world come to fall in love with this citrus and floral-infused black tea?

    SHOP OUR EARL GREY TEA

    Earl Grey origins:

    While Earl Grey tea was popularized by the English, it was not an English invention. Scented and flavored teas are uniquely Chinese. Early Chinese tea masters constantly experimented with ways to make their teas more exotic, not only to capture the attention of the reigning emperors of the time but also the business of worldwide trade merchants looking to return home with the unique flavors of the Far East. From fragrant jasmine flowers and wild rosebuds to bitter oranges and sweet lychee fruits, Chinese tea masters infused all kinds of fragrance and flavor into their teas during processing to create distinctive and highly drinkable beverages.

    One history of the origins of Earl Grey explains that a Chinese mandarin tea master blended the first Earl Grey tea as a gift for Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl of Grey and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1830 to 1834. According to the Grey family, the tea master used bergamot as a flavoring to offset the lime flavor in the well water on Earl Grey’s estate, Howick Hall, near Newcastle, England. Earl Grey’s wife, Lady Grey, loved the tea so much that she entertained with it exclusively. It proved so popular with London society, she asked tea merchants in London to recreate it. Exactly which English tea merchant marketed the first Earl Grey tea blend is somewhat of a debate in the world of tea. But one thing is for sure: While the 2nd Earl of Grey abolished slavery and reformed child labor laws in England during his political leadership, he will be most famously remembered for the beloved tea he helped introduce to the world.

    How Earl Grey is made:

    A tea is flavored or scented during manufacturing toward the end of the processing, usually once the tea leaves have dried. One way teas are flavored is by blending the finished tea with flowers, herbs and spices so that the blended ingredients are visually appealing and lightly infuse the tea leaves with their aroma and flavor. Another way tea is flavored is by spraying or coated the finished tea with extracts, essential oils or flavoring agents during or after the drying process. This adds much a much stronger flavor to the tea and uses fewer ingredients. The flavoring-to-tea ratio is completely up to the tea manufacturer, and the flavors that come through to a brewed cup of flavored tea will vary by brand.

    Earl Grey is most widely defined as a black tea that has been flavored with the oil of bergamot. There is no one way to make Earl Grey tea, however, which is why every Earl Grey tea you've ever tried has probably tasted slightly different.

     Some of the most significant variables in how Earl Grey tea is made include:

    TYPE OF TEA USED:

    The classic Earl Grey tea is made with a base of black tea leaves. But the black tea used can be anything from Ceylon to Indian to African. It can be a single estate black tea or a blend of black teas from around the world. The black tea flavor can be sweet and floral or rich and malty. It depends completely on the terroir (the characteristics of the geography, climate and culture) of the tea plant and the processing style of the tea master.

    TYPE OF BERGAMOT USED:

    Both synthetic and natural bergamot is used to flavor Earl Grey tea. Synthetic bergamot is popular with manufacturers because its flavor is consistent and it contains no actual citrus, so it is safe to consume for those with citrus allergies. The flavor of natural bergamot can vary immensely depending on where it was cultivated and how it was processed. Natural bergamot is often defined as a sharp and intensely citrus flavor. Calabria, in Southern Italy, is home to 80% of the commercially grown bergamot, followed by France and Turkey.

    AMOUNT OF BERGAMOT USED:

    The art and style of the tea master will define not only which type but also how much bergamot is used in a particular Earl Grey blend. Depending on the flavor of the base tea, a tea master may decide to use a subtle amount of bergamot flavor so as not to cover up the delicate flavor of the tea leaves. Or a tea master may decide to give a bold, sharp black tea a hefty kick of bergamot to stand up to the bold flavor profile of the tea leaves.

    Black Tea Processing:   Withering  Rolling  Oxidation  Firing
    Our black tea is rolled immediately after withering to help get the oxidation processes started quickly. The leaves are then fully oxidized before they are dried, which is how they get their dark color and rich flavor.

     

    Tasting Earl Grey

    There is something about the sweet, floral, sour and bitter flavor profile of bergamot that blends perfectly with a bold, full-bodied and malty black tea. For some, a flavored black tea is more palatable to sip, hiding some of the astringent or bitter notes that may come through in the steeped tea leaves. For others, a flavored tea is simply a more interesting, exotic and fun way to explore a range of tea flavor profiles.

    The Social Tea House Earl Grey Tea is inspired by the traditional Earl Grey, but it has a delightful lightness and freshness to it. We use one of the finest oils of bergamot, so a mild citrus note hits gently on the center of the palate and seamlessly melds into the satisfying, full-bodied maltiness of our black tea.

    Just as we have created our own inspired take on Earl Grey tea, various regions of the world as well as many tea marketers have adapted their own versions of Earl Grey, some of which move away from the traditional black tea base. Some of the more well known variations include:

    • The English are fans of flavored teas and blended Chinese Lapsang Souchong black tea with Earl Grey for a smoky version.
    • Lady Gray is an Earl Grey blend that is said to be more subtle and more floral than a traditional Earl Grey, but most manufacturers marketing this blend have different approaches.
    • The French add their beloved lavender to Earl Grey for a distinctively Parisian version.
    • Earl Green is blended using green tea instead of black.
    • Rooibos Earl Grey features the South African red rooibos herb, typically marketed as red tea, flavored with bergamot. Earl Grey tea lovers looking for caffeine-free options gravitate toward this blend.

    The unique flavor of Earl Grey is so beloved that it has lately leapt out of the teacup and into all kinds of culinary treats, from marshmallows to chocolate to cookies. One of our favorite tea-inspired treats our Earl of Bengal Cookies, made with Teatulia’s Earl Grey tea.

    Caffeine content in Earl Grey

    The caffeine content in an Earl Grey made with a black tea base will be similar to any other cup of black tea. Like any beverage brewed from a caffeinated plant, however, there are a lot of factors that can determine caffeine levels in your cup of Earl Grey black tea, including how the plant was processed and how the beverage was brewed. Between coffee, black tea and green tea, coffee generally has the most caffeine content per 8 oz. cup (95 to 200 mg), then black tea (14 to 61 mg), followed by green tea (24 to 40 mg).

     

    Buying and storing Earl Grey

    As with any green or black tea, storing a flavored tea properly will ensure your tea will remain fresh as long as possible in your cabinet. It’s always a good idea to buy tea from a reputable company that can tell you when and how the tea was processed and packaged as well as provide storage and freshness tips.

    Generally, an oxidized black tea is more shelf stable than its delicate green tea cousin. But teas that have been flavored have a shorter shelf life than a straight black tea. While your flavored tea won’t really go “bad”, it will get stale if it sits around too long and it will definitely lose its flavor potency. If stored properly in a cool, dark place and in an opaque, airtight container away from light, moisture and pantry items like coffee and spices that can leach flavor into the tea leaves, flavored teas can last six months to a year before they should be used or replaced.

     

    Preparing Earl Grey

    Always ask your tea vendor for brewing instructions specific to the tea you purchased, because flavored teas can have different ideal brewing temperatures and steeping times. Here are a few general Earl Grey tea brewing tips to keep in mind:

    • Use fresh, pure, cold filtered water. Spring water is the best.
    • If your Earl Grey has a black tea base, it can typically brewed for longer periods of time and in hotter temperatures than flavored teas with a green tea base. Generally, this is somewhere between 200 and 212 degrees. We steep our Teatulia Earl Grey tea for 2 to 3 minutes.
    • If you don’t have an electric kettle with temperature control, just remember that at sea level water simmers at 190 degrees and boils at 212 degrees. The boiling temperature drops about a degree for every 1,000 feet in altitude increase. So, generally, somewhere just off a rolling boil should be perfect for brewing a flavored black tea.
    • If your Earl Grey tea came with specific recommendations for brewing, use those. But using about 2 grams of loose leaf tea per 8 oz. cup of water is a safe bet.
    • Cover your Earl Grey tea while it steeps to keep all the heat in the steeping vessel.
    • Avoid over steeping your flavored tea. The longer your tea steeps, the stronger the added flavor becomes and the more quickly the tea leaves will release any of their bitterness and astringency. Taste your tea after the recommended steeping time and then decide if you’d like it to steep a little longer.
    • Many high-quality, loose leaf Earl Grey teas can be steeped multiple times to yield several cups of tea.
    • Most Earl Grey teas are meant to stand up to milk and sugar per the popular English teatime traditions. But for a true education in the flavor differences between the many varieties of Earl Grey, try sipping it plain with no additives.

     

     

    How to Make Lady M's Earl Grey Crepe Cake

    How to Make Lady M's Earl Grey Crepe Cake

    Dessert aficionados may recognize the name Lady M as a French patisserie, famous for their delectable 20-layer mille crepe cake, available in a variety of flavors. Sadly, not everyone has the chance to pop into one of their major cosmopolitan locations. Try this recipe instead—with the addition of warm tea-steeped milk, this impressive dessert tastes just like a fragrant cup of earl grey tea. 

    Lady M's Earl Grey Crepe Cake

    • Prep Time:1 hr
    • Cook Time:1 hr
    • Total Time:2 hrs
    • Servings:12

    Ingredients

    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 ¼ cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 oz premium earl grey black tea.
    • 5 tablespoons melted butter
    • 2 ½ cups milk
    • 5 eggs
    • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 2 tbs lemon juice
    • Pinch salt
    • 2 cups double cream
    • 2 tbs powdered sugar
    • 1 earl grey teabag
    • STEP 1

      For the pastry filling, bring the 1 ¼ cups milk to a near boil over medium heat. Once simmering, lower the heat and steep the 3 teabags in the milk for about 5 minutes. 

      Meanwhile, whisk together the egg, 1 tbs flour, 1 tbs sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth.

    • STEP 2

      Remove the milk from heat and gradually stir into the egg mixture. Return all the ingredients to the stove and keep stirring until thick.

    • STEP 3

      Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. If it’s looking too clumpy, you may want to stir in an extra tablespoon of milk. Refrigerate until firm.

    • STEP 4

      Whip the 2 cups of cream with a hand mixer. Add in the 2 tbs powdered sugar and tea leaves in the earl grey teabag. 
      Slowly fold the earl grey pastry cream prepared in Steps 1-3 into the whipped cream until smooth. Refrigerate the filling.

    • STEP 5

      For the crepe batter, heat the 2 ½ cups milk until steaming. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 
      In a separate bowl, mix together the 5 eggs, 1¼ cup flour, 3 tbs sugar, 5 tbs butter, and salt. Slowly add in the warm milk and mix until smooth.

    • STEP 6

      To make the crepes, melt 1 tbs butter on a pan over medium heat. Pour about 3 tablespoons crepe batter in the pan and swirl until the surface is covered. 
      Flip after about a minute, or once the edges start crisping up. Repeat until you have a stack of 20 crepes (but if you run out of energy, a shorter cake will taste just as good).

     

    • STEP 7

      To assemble the cake, lay down a crepe and evenly spread dollop of the earl grey cream filling over the crepe. Lay down another crepe on top. Keep going until the cake is complete.

     

    • STEP 8

      Once your cake is assembled, cut the tip off a corner of a Ziploc bag and fill with leftover cream to pipe whatever decoration you’d like on top, or simply finish with a dusting of powdered sugar. Take lots of pictures and enjoy

     

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    Chamomile Tea 101: How Chamomile Tea Support Your Health

    Chamomile Tea 101: How Chamomile Tea Support Your Health

    Chamomile tea is a popular variety of tea that helps with digestion and prevents nausea and cramping. Due to its anti-inflammatory nature, it also treats diarrhea and bloating. Other top health benefits of this tea include the ability to protect the skin, lower stress levels, regulate sleep, and soothe menstrual cramps. It also boosts the immune system.

     

    What is Chamomile Tea?

     

    Derived from the Asteraceae family of plants, the dried chamomile flowers are used for different herbal and natural remedies and healing poultices, as well as its most popular form – tea.

     

    The Spanish name for this tea is Manzanilla tea. These plants come in many forms, so chamomile tea in one part of the world may not be exactly the same as somewhere else, but the fundamental components of the plants are quite similar and provide similar effects.

     

    Studies have found that German chamomile flowers tend to have the strongest concentrations of beneficial compounds and nutrients that can be imparted to those who drink this popular tea on a regular basis. [1]

     

    Apart from the pleasant taste and accessibility of chamomile herbal tea, it has been praised over the years for its health benefits. The presence of flavonoids, sesquiterpenes, and other powerful antioxidants in this tea have significant effects on the human body.

     

    While it is commonly consumed as a beverage, chamomile extract is also used in capsules and aromatherapy oils. [2] Chamomile lotions can also be topically applied in certain cases to get relief from various skin issues. ile baby products such as soaps, shampoos, and baby wipes are popular due to their soothing nature.

     

    According to USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, chamomile tea contains many vitamins and minerals that include potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin A. [3] Other nutrients include folate, iron, and zinc. 1 cup (237 g) of brewed chamomile tea provides 2 kcal of energy, 0.47 g of carbohydrates.

     

     

    Health Benefits

     

    Let’s take a closer look at some of its major benefits and uses:

     

    Induces Sleep

     

    According to research published by Lawrence Gould (M.D.), et al. in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, chamomile tea can be an overall sleep aid, particularly for people who struggle with sleep apnea and restless sleep. [4] Drinking a warm cup of non-caffeinated chamomile tea can help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed. It is recommended for women going through the postpartum period as a supplement for better sleep. Moreover, regular sleep is linked to lowering the chances of Alzheimer’s disease. [5]

     

    Improves Digestion

     

    If you are suffering from stomach irritation, ranging anywhere from mild bloating to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, chamomile tea can be a major help. According to Kathi J Kemper, MD, MPH, it has anti-inflammatory properties that help ease the twisting nature of your gut and allow for the passage of gas and smoother bowel movements. [6] It also cures stomach ulcer pains and spasms.

     

    Chamomile tea helps to flush out water, liquids, and other wastes from the body, meaning it acts as a diuretic. This property not only aids in weight loss but also improves overall digestion and fights off bloating.

     

    Prevents Cancer

     

    According to research conducted in the Department of Urology & Nutrition, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, antioxidant apigenin present in chamomile fights various cancer cells including cancer of the breast, digestive tract, skin, prostate, and uterus. [7] Studies reveal that it also prevents the development of thyroid cancer. [8]

     

    Reduces Inflammation

     

    The strong antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile are highly effective in treating stomach and intestinal cramps. Consuming manzanilla tea regularly also helps to get rid of problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea, muscle spasms, stomach flu, and gastroenteritis.

     

    Manages Diabetes

     

    Research has shown that chamomile tea can be useful for people suffering from diabetes. [9] By helping lower blood sugar levels and regulating the amount of insulin in the blood, the powerful organic chemicals in it help to eliminate massive drops and spikes in blood sugar. [10] [11]

     

    Promotes Heart Health

     

    A research published in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA, reveals that chamomile tea helps lower blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, making your heart healthy. [12] Another research study reveals that it also prevents the occurrence of various cardiovascular issues. [13]

     

     

    Boosts Immune System

     

    The phenolic compounds present in chamomile tea helps to strengthen your immune system and ward off infections. [1] The other compounds present in chamomile tea also fights cold, flu, and sinus, ultimately, relieving congestion.

     

    Relieves Stress & Anxiety

     

    One of the most popular uses of manzanilla tea is in the treatment of stress and anxiety. After a long day at work, the warm, soothing nature of this beverage can help increase the levels of serotonin and melatonin in your body. [14] These hormones can successfully eliminate stress and worry.

     

    According to a U.S. Journal, it also provides instant relief from migraines and headaches. [15] while also slowing down your mind and eliminating the classic symptoms of anxiety. 1-2 cups of chamomile tea per day can do a significant help against chronic stress. Research suggests that chamomile tea can also treat the symptoms of depression in postpartum women. [16]

     

    Skin Care

     

    Due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich nature of chamomile tea, it is not exclusively used as a beverage. Topical application of manzanilla tea cures irritations or skin conditions such as eczema.

     

    It can also significantly improve healing and lessen the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles on the face. [17] By eliminating oxidative stress and boosting the immune response it can do wonders for your skin.

     

    Prevents Osteoporosis

     

    Chamomile extract helps to stimulate the activity of osteoblasts, the cells which build bones. [1] Thus, the tea can help increase bone density, ultimately helping you stay away from the condition of osteoporosis.

     

    Relieves Menstrual Pain

    The anti-inflammatory nature of chamomile tea makes this relaxant a popular choice for women dealing with the symptoms of menstruation like bloating, cramping, anxiety, sweating, inability to sleep, and mood swings.

     

    Treats Allergic Reactions

     

    Chamomile tea can help modulate the immune response to allergens in the body. [18] By working as an antihistamine, it can soothe these allergic reactions throughout the body.

     

    Hair Care 

     

    Apart from all of the impressive attributes of manzanilla tea, many users claim that it improves the appearance and strength of the hair. According to a paper published in the International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, the anti-inflammatory components found in chamomile can help alleviate irritation on the scalp, the stronger chemicals can fortify the strands of your hair, eliminate dandruff, and generally give your hair a better, silkier look. [19]

     

    Oral Health

    Manzanilla tea has the ability to fight oral infections, prevent cavities, and protect teeth and gums. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe toothaches.

     

     

    Word of Caution: Caution is advised to pregnant and breastfeeding women as excessive consumption of this tea may result in a miscarriage. [20] According to NIH it can cause allergic reactions and can also lead to drowsiness, eye irritation, vomiting, and nausea, so always drink in moderation. [21]

     

     

     

     

    How to Make: Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

    How to Make: Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

    Pumpkin spice chai latte made with natural ingredients: pumpkin puree, almond milk, maple syrup and spices. This creamy yet skinny latte clocks in at only 90 calories (without the totally optional coconut cream). Amounts listed below yield one latte so multiple up as necessary. If you want to save some time, I think you could use about ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices listed below. I think you could also make a big batch of this, store it in the refrigerator and rewarm individual drinks on the stove (whisk well to recombine).

    INGREDIENTS

    Latte

    • 1 tbsp or decaf spiced chai rooibos
    • ½ cup plain, unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice*
    • 2 tablespoons real pumpkin purée
    • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup or honey
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
    • Dash nutmeg
    • Dash cloves
    • Tiny dash salt
    • ½ teaspoon arrowroot starch or cornstarch (optional, makes the latte super creamy)
    • Optional garnishes: 1 cinnamon stick or star of anise, coconut whipped cream

    Optional coconut whipped cream

    • 1 can (14 ounces) full fat coconut milk, chilled at least 10 hours (the coconut milk MUST be full fat and MUST be refrigerated for at least 10 hours. Put a mixing bowl in the freezer to chill while you’re at it.)
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
    1. In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup water to a gentle boil. Remove the water from heat, add the tea, and let it steep for 4 minutes, then remove the tea leaves. 
    2. Add the almond milk, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt to the pan. Whisk in the optional arrowroot starch or cornstarch. Pour the mixture into a stand blender and blend for a minute or two, until the components are blended together and the drink is nice and creamy. (You can alternatively use an immersion blender, but I had much better results with my stand blender.)
    3. Pour the mixture back into your pan and gently rewarm on the stove, then pour it into a mug. Top with totally optional whipped coconut cream and/or garnish with the totally optional cinnamon stick or star of anise.
    4. To make the coconut whipped cream: Pull out the chilled can of coconut milk and mixing bowl. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop the solid coconut cream into the chilled bowl (you can use the remaining coconut water in smoothies). Using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream until fluffy and smooth. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and cinnamon and gently blend again to combine. Use the coconut cream immediately or cover and store in the fridge for later (it will be soft at room temperature and more firm when cold).

    NOTES

    *Recipe is from Cookie + Kate

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    How to make Pumpkin Spice Bubble Tea With BOBA

    How to make Pumpkin Spice Bubble Tea With BOBA

     

    (makes 1 large serving, or two smaller servings of tea)

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 3 1/4 cups water
    • two tea bags of Ceylon black tea
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend (ground)
    • 1/4 cup tapioca pearls

    Directions:

      For the pumpkin spice syrup

    • Add pumpkin puree and 1/4 cup of water to a small saucepan over low heat and stir to combine.
    • Remove from heat and strain through a coffee filter. Be patient, as the mixture might take 10-15 minutes to pass through completely. Gently use your hands to squeeze any excess water from the puree. Try your best not to break the filter when doing so.
    • Add the pumpkin water back into your saucepan over medium heat, then add the pumpkin spice and the brown sugar. Cook at a low simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved – about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.

      For the boba

    • Add two cups of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add boba and quickly stir until the boba are all floating at the surface.
    • Decrease the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes.
    • Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for another 15 minutes.
    • Strain the boba, then transfer into the pumpkin spice syrup until ready to serve. Use within 5-10 minutes while fresh, or keep them inside the syrup and refrigerate.

      For the tea

    • Add two tea bags to one cup of boiling water and steep for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and let the tea cool to room temperature.

      For the drink

    • Spoon the boba to bottom of a tall glass.
    • Add the milk, tea and 1 1/2 oz of the pumpkin spice syrup to a shaker. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and vigorously shake for 5 seconds.
    • Strain into the glass overtop the boba. Add some new ice, a wide mouth straw, and serve!

    (Recipes and mages by HonestlyYUM)

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