This morning’s cuppa

Screen shot 2014-01-20 at 6.20.38 PMEarl 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.

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10 thoughts on “This morning’s cuppa

  1. I like Earl Grey too, but can never understand why people put milk in it. If ever a tea cried out for lemon it is Earl Grey.

    Of course we English are great tea drinkers but ordinary daily English tea is strong and black,usually with milk, made with fresh actually boiling water which a lot of people cannot seem to understand. I have given up ordering tea in French cafes, because they bring a cup of hot water and a teabag. Already the water is not hot enough to “brew” the tea . The water has to be boiling when it is poured on the tea,…. bag or leaves it doesn’t matter.

    Loved the” licorice” tea. I tried to buy some here, but was not the same. But I think I will go and have some. Just had a tooth out feeling a bit delicate.

    Love Denise

    • I hear you about the lack of boiling water. That’s what turned me on to infusions! But, I have to say that I am a milk and sugar girl for my morning Earl Grey. It makes a great ice cream, too. On the otherhand, I have never tried tea with lemon. Perhaps its time.
      Lov is Good… that is the name of the licorice tea. Hope your mouth heals quickly!!!

    • Absolutely agree about the horror of being brought a cup of hottish water and a teabag. It doesn’t happen only in France either. So, generally now order coffee unless it’s a place that understands, like a proper tea salon.
      For me Earl Grey is an afternoon or dessert tea. Most of the time I prefer Orange Pekoe (often just called Ceylon tea because it’s been grown in Sri Lanka) – or if not available, Irish Breakfast. Twinings do a rather nice Russian Caravan tea, very refreshing with lemon. Also rather like Darjeeling which seems to be popular in Paris. Having lived for two years in Colombo and had the best most wonderful tea (orange pekoe) FRESH (most tea available in shops is already months old) from friends on tea estates, everything else is an anticlimax. Cheers, Pamela

  2. Thanks for helping me to uncover the ‘mystery’ ingredient in Earl Grey tea, Sylvia. Personally, I prefer the ‘standard’ black tea and have never been too keen on Earl Grey. At least now I know that it’s bergamot that adds to the intensity of the flavour. Maybe I’ll try your herbal infusion if I ever come across some bergamot for sale.

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