Put the kettle on and add one more to the 60.2 billion cups of tea we drink in the UK every year! 2014 marks the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey.
There was so much more to this man than simply lending his name to a variety of tea, and here at Low Wood Bay throughout the month of June 2014 we commemorate his anniversary …
The history Earl Grey
Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey, was born in 1764 and was Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. He was responsible for the reform of the House of Commons and the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire in 1833.
- The story goes that Earl Grey helped the drowning son of a Chinese mandarin while on diplomatic mission in 1803. The grateful father presented the Earl with a gift of these flavoursome leaves.
The Earl Grey blend
- Earl Grey tea is black China tea treated with natural oils of Bergamot citrus fruit, a relation of the orange. At Low Wood Bay we prefer to use the Ringtons Fair trade loose leaf blend.
The Earl Grey fan club
Earl Grey tea is second only in popularity to English Breakfast tea.
- Those favouring Earl Grey as their tea of choice include celebrities such as actor, Patrick Stewart aka Jean Luc Picard; famous Chef, Heston Blumenthal and English fashion designer, Cath Kidson.
The benefits of Earl Grey Tea
- Zero calories! (unless you add sugar and milk of course)
- Earl Grey tea contains fluoride, which can promote dental health. In a study of 6,000 English children, it was found that those who drank tea regularly had the least cavities and best dental health.
- 4 cups provide the following proportion of your recommended daily intake:
- 17% of calcium
- 5% zinc
- 22% Vit B2
- 5% folic acid
- 5% Vit B1 and B6
- Bergamot extract has been found to be just as effective as statins at controlling cholesterol – although nobody is saying just how many cups of Earl Gray tea would have to be consumed to get the benefit! Bergamot has long been used in traditional ‘folk’ medicines in the Mediterranean not only as a protection for the heart but also to treat wounds, inflammation and as an antiseptic.
Celebrate Earl Grey with Low Wood Bay
To celebrate all things Earl Grey, Low Wood Bay will be serving Earl Grey specials throughout June 2014 in the Langdale Lounge and Bar.
- £3.00 Earl Grey Latte
- £8.50 Earl Grey Spritzer with Laurent-Perrier Champagne
- £4.50 Earl Grey Spritzer with Prosecco
Can’t make it to Low Wood Bay? If you fancy trying something different why not try making the latte or spritzer at home? Recipes below…
Earl Grey latte Recipe
- ¾ cup boiling water
- 1 single-serving Rington’s Fair Trade Earl Grey (loose leaf or tea bag)
- ½ cup of milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar or some vanilla syrup
- Turn on a hob on a low heat and pour the milk into a pan.
- Start whisking the milk. Whisk faster as the milk heats up, but do NOT let it boil. That will change the flavour of the milk. The milk with soon start the froth.
- Pour boiling water into a tea cup with tea bag.
- Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar or syrup.
- Remove tea bag and spoon in your frothed milk.
Earl Grey Spritzer Recipie
- 1 cup of caster sugar
- 2 Rington’s Fair Trade Earl Grey (loose leaf or tea bag)
- Very cold Presseco or Champagne (we use Laurent-Perrier)
- 2 thin Lemon Slices
- Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup water and bring to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture turns syrupy, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Place the tea bags in the saucepan and let the mixture come to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. (Syrup will keep up to one month stored in the refrigerator in a container with a tight fitting lid).
- Spoon 3 tablespoons of the cold Earl Grey syrup into each Champagne flute and top up with your favourite fizz. Garnish with a thin slice of lemon.
- Written by +Tina Taylor