The secret of bergamot and Earl Grey: is it perfume or tea?
One of the things I love most is talking about tea with anyone, anywhere at anytime! I want to know what they love or detest and why that is.
Some of the most common comments I hear are that people find green tea to be bitter (but that's another blog post for another day!), or that Earl Grey tastes like Auntie May's perfume. Yikes! Well, we certainly can't let that go without some explanation.
Don't blame the bergamot
...but you can blame the type of bergamot the tea maker chose.
Let's start with understanding bergamot: it's a pear-shaped citrus fruit, similar in flavor to an orange, but yellow like a lemon when ripe. It's more bitter than an orange, but less bitter than a grapefruit. This interesting little fruit is grown as a graft on other, more sturdy citrus trees, like a lime tree.
Now, there are unique varietals grown in different parts of the world used for scenting foods (like tea), cosmetics and perfumes. Each varietal is affected by the different "terroirs" (the soils, sun, air, etc., that affect the flavor and growth) they are grown in, just like tea and wine.
Make it Fantastico for tea
The most delicious bergamot best suited for tea is of the Fantastico variety, known for its full, aromatic citrus flavor. This is grown primarily in the sunshine and rich soil of the province of Calabria in Southern Italy. The essential oils from the rind of this fruit is what gives our Earlie Grey Dawn its wonderful flavor and fragrance.
As for Auntie May's perfume, it more than likely was scented with a bergamot grown in France or other parts of the world in very different environments. So if you find yourself drinking an Earl Grey tea that reminds you of your dear Auntie, it's likely made with a different variety of bergamot.
And that my friends, is why our Earlie Grey Dawn is just as it should be, 'fantastico' and delicious! So please, don't count Earl Grey out until you've given a our organic Earlie Grey Dawn a try!