Earl Grey is my favorite tea. It has been my favorite tea since I first tasted it, so long ago that I can’t even remember when. When I went through my purist Chinese tea and scorned any other flavored teas, I still loved a good Earl Grey.
Its the bergamot flavoring that I really love. What’s a bergamot? Its an orange! A tiny little orange from Southern Italy and it taste very much like a lemon. They don’t use the acid fruit of the citrus, but the fragrant oil that is in the skin.
A few years ago, while shopping at my local market, I came across a black slate sign with “bergamot” scrawled across in chalk. Without hesitating, I scooped a few of them and put them in my bag to see what I could do with a bergamot of my own.
Not much, it turns out. I have never learned how to make anything extraordinary with this fruit, except a nice, hot, fragrant drink the French call an Infusion. I boil water, pour it over the rind and let it steep for a few minutes before adding a bit of honey. A lovely, relaxing drink I look forward to every January.