Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Earl Grey vs. English Breakfast

To get the answer to this head-scratching question of the ages, I decided to procure the aid of a professional at ChaCha.com.

Status: Connecting ...
Status: Looking for a guide ...
Status: Connected to guide: James(40274)
James(40274): Welcome to ChaCha!
You: Hi James(40274): hi
James(40274): What info on tea can I get for you?
You: What is the difference
You: between english breakfast and earl grey tea?
James(40274): ok
You: because they taste about the same
James(40274): Please wait a moment while I search for your
You: ok
James(40274): Thanks for being patient! Rest assured I'm
finding the most relevant results for your search.
You: its like theyre evil twins separated at birth or something
James(40274): lol
You: Wow there really isn`t a difference is there? it feels like a conspiracy!
You: Just some basic info on both with suffice then good sir
James(40274): i can not find any
James(40274): ok
James(40274): thanks
James(40274): there ytou go
You: thank you
James(40274): good luck with it
James(40274): lol
You: this shall be all
James(40274): bye
James(40274): Please RATE ME. Thanks for using ChaCha.
Status: Session ended.

I feel like writing Twinings and asking that they put the two labels on the same bag to save paper. According to Wikipedia:

Earl Grey tea is a tea blend with a distinctive flavour and aroma derived from the addition of oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a fragrant citrus fruit.
Traditionally the term "Earl Grey" was applied only to
black tea; however, today the term is also applied to both green and white teas that contain oil of bergamot.

The Earl Grey blend is named after the 2nd Earl Grey, British Prime
in the 1830s, who reputedly received a gift, probably a diplomatic perquisite, of tea flavoured with bergamot oil. The legend usually involves a grateful Chinese mandarin whose son was rescued from drowning by one of Lord Grey's men, although this blend of tea was first made from fermented black Indian and "Ceylonese" (Sri Lankan) teas. As green tea is much more popular in China than black tea, it seems somewhat unlikely that they would have had a recipe for what we now call Earl Grey to bestow on visitors, though over the years many other varieties of tea have been used. In addition, Lord Grey never set foot in China. Another version of the legend has the son of an Indian raja being rescued from a tiger by one of Grey's servants.

Whatever. About English Breakfast:

English Breakfast tea is a black tea blend usually described as full-bodied, robust, and/or rich, and blended to go well with milk and sugar, in a style traditionally associated with a hearty English breakfast.The black teas included in the blend vary, with Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan teas, and Keemun common. Common brands
of English Breakfast tea include
Twinings, Taylor's of Harrogate, PG Tips, Stash Tea Company, Lipton, Celestial Seasonings, Ringtons Tea and Dilmah.

Accounts of its origins vary. Many[1][2] attribute its origins to a man named Drysdale in Edinburgh:
Over a hundred years ago in Scotland a man named Drysdale went into the specialty tea business within sight of the
castle of Edinburgh and offered a tea called Breakfast....[ As of 1982 ] they still sell the only tea on the market called simply Breakfast and nothing more, probably reasoning that Scots ... at that time of day want to be told nothing more than which blend of teas makes a good eye-opener. [3][4]
Another explanation of its origin
[5] cites a Journal of Commerce article which dates the blend to 1843 and a tea merchant named
Richard Davies in
New York City. Davies, an English immigrant, started with a base of Congou and added a bit of Pekoe and Pouchong. It sold for 50 cents a pound, and its success led to imitators, helping to popularize the name.

I guess Earl Grey is the one you drink without milk at any time of the day...


Rachel Rae said...

I love Twinings Irish Breakfast tea.

GTangerine said...

lol. sorry.

Martin said...

Mmmm earl grey.

Evil Greg said...

I drink Earl Grey with milk. I like Irish Breakfast too, but I think Earl Grey actually has a stronger flavor and perfume. I hear if you really want a strong flavor, Scottish Breakfast is hardcore.

Kal said...

Both English Breakfast and Earl Grey are a mix of black teas, the ratios differ for each. However, Earl Grey has bergamont. English Breakfast is usually drank at breakfast with sugar and milk. Earl Grey is drank with sugar and lemon during the other times of the day.

Erich said...

Kal's got it. It's the bergamot that's the defining characteristic of Earl Gray. I've never had the Twinings, but I can tell you that Taylors of Harrogate Earl Gray definitely has a citrus flavor that I could identify in a blind taste test. I'm surprised to hear that you think these two types of tea taste the same. Now if you said English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast, then I might understand.

men's underwear said...

I love to drink my tea with milk. I prefer English Breakfast though.