I had the pleasure of going to a wedding recently. It was a socially responsible wedding conducted in a backyard, facial masks included, under ten people attended and it lasted approximately ten minutes. Covid-19 may dampen and put a gloom over an ordinary day. But this was no ordinary day! There was a bride and groom, love, and hot tea!
Compatibility Is Tea
Two people vastly different, yet having several commonalities together, getting married. One compatibility is their love of tea. In fact, the love of Earl Grey hot tea in particular, is something this couple both share. They like to prepare their cup of tea in different ways. This post is in honor of two people with different preferences in how they enjoy their tea.
There are specific taste sampling (tea cupping) rules for cataloging the taste profile of a tea. There are specific water temperatures depending on the type of tea being steeped. There are specifics in how to store tea. In making your own cup of tea however…....it all boils down (pun intended) to your own personal preference. Imbibing in a cup of tea can be a very personal thing. How you prepare your own cup of tea is for your sensory pleasure and preferences can override the correct way of steeping a cup of tea.
History Of Earl Grey Tea
The newlyweds both enjoy a black tea that happens to be one of the most popular tea blends globally; especially in the West. Earl Grey tea originated as a black tea but can be found utilizing green tea, white tea, decaffeinated tea; the choices are many! Earl Grey tea originated in the 1830’s and was named after the British Prime Minister, Earl Grey. Legend has it that while he was Prime Minister, he was sent a gift of black tea flavored with a unique citrus. When he ran out of the tea, he asked a tea company to blend him some more of the tea he so enjoyed. There is a debate about who originated the first blend of Earl Grey tea. Both Twinings and Jacksons of Piccadilly are contenders for having the original blend recipe of Earl Grey tea. While I don’t know who actually originated the first blend of Earl Grey; I do know that it is a very compatible blend that can be paired with various foods. The tea is flavored with the essential oil of Bergamot. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a type of orange that typically grows in the Mediterranean region. It is a bit more spicy and bitter in aroma and taste than other varieties of oranges. The essential oil from this orange is also used in the perfume industry.
Bride and Groom Teas
The bride and groom are particular in their preparations of their own cup of Earl Grey tea. The bride likes to use water that is just under boiling. She will pull the tea kettle off the burner when she sees the water just starting to bubble, but not boil. Then she uses a black Earl Grey tea bag, with a touch of milk and honey. The groom prefers to use loose Earl Grey black tea and will put the tea leaves directly into the cup before adding the boiling water. He will also put in a pinch of cardamom and a drop or two of honey.
Differences in how tea is consumed is a matter of preference. The underlying point is to enjoy the tea! Whether it is hot, cold, black, white, herbal, or green, tea preparation is your personal uniqueness shining through. Two tea worlds can happily coexist in preparing a cup of tea. I have seen it first hand with the happy couple.
Keep steeping and happy sipping!
About the Author
Leslie Sundberg is a World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist, a World Tea Academy Apprentice Tea Sommelier, a Specialty Tea Institute Level IV trained Tea Specialist, and a Tea and Business Etiquette Specialist. On any given day, Leslie can be found teaching, speaking or sharing in the joys of a cup of tea. No matter what Leslie is doing or where she is, one thing remains constant: 4:00 in the afternoon is tea time!