What is earl grey tea?
Earl grey tea is a kind of flavored tea which comprises of black tea flavored with oil from the rind of bergamot orange. Bergamot orange is a citrus fruit with the appearance and flavor between an orange and a lemon. It also slightly tastes like grapefruit and lime.
Earl Grey is in essence a British tea. Even though it is mostly popular in England, it did not originate there. Scented and flavored teas are largely credited to the Chinese. In a bid to reach out to reigning emperors and worldwide trade merchants looking to take home something from the Far East, early Chinese tea masters infused different kinds of fragnance and flavor to their teas during processing.
The name ‘Earl Grey tea’ is said to have originated from Charles Grey who was the 2nd Earl of Grey and the UK Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. A Chinese Mandarin tea master blended the first Earl Grey tea and took it as a present to Charles Grey. The tea master used bergamot to counter the lime taste in the water on Earl Grey’s estate. The wife of Earl Grey, Lady Grey, fell in love with this tea so much that she used it exclusively to entertain guests. The tea thus became popular with the London society and Lady Grey asked English tea masters to recreate it.
Benefits of earl grey tea
For tea drinkers, the rewards of earl grey tea go well beyond its great taste and aromatic flavor, earl grey tea also has vital health benefits. The health benefits of earl grey tea are attributed to natural chemicals contained in the tea including flavonoids, flavonols, theaflavins, and thearubigins. Below are some of the health benefits of earl grey tea:
Theaflavins and flavonoids which are found in earl grey tea act as antioxidants. They prevent the damage of body cells by harmful free radicals. Free radicals are formed in the cells during digestion and also in one’s skin following exposure to sunlight. Exposure to toxins and other harmful chemicals can also lead to formation of free radicals in the body organs.
Antioxidants prevent cancer and also skin damage.
Earl grey tea promotes healthy teeth. It contains fluoride in its natural form and fluoride is essential for the development of strong and healthy teeth. A study which was published in the January 2003 issue of “International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition” found that laboratory animals given an extract of black tea and fed a high-sugar diet that promotes cavities had about 64 percent fewer cavities than those fed placebo and a regular diet, a benefit the authors attributed to the fluoride content of the tea extract.
Earl grey tea helps to uplift one’s mood. Its ability to boost mood is attributed to the calming effect of bergamot. Inhaling the aromatic essential oil found in the rind of bergamot orange is therapeutic. It reduces stress and anxiety and also alleviates mild depression. Drinking a hot cup of earl grey tea can therefore serve to uplift you when you are down.
Drinking earl grey tea helps to keep the body well-hydrated. Earl grey tea contains substantial amounts of potassium and potassium helps in maintaining fluid balance in the body cells. Fluid balance ensures that cells absorb more water. This helps one to stay well-hydrated throughout the day.
Earl grey tea helps with digestive problems like nausea and acid reflux. It has also been found effective in combating constipation. Earl grey tea treats various digestive problems.