Imagine this: You step into your local cafe for your morning brew, and when you exit, you not only have a delicious morning beverage in your hand but you also hold the key to anti-aging, improved digestion, heart health, and better skin.
And its not the latest, over-priced, miracle cure-all either. Its simply a cup of Earl Grey tea.
You read that right, were talking about a simple (and delicious) cup of black tea that can help you not only get a dose of caffeine but also reap several other key health benefits, inside and out. And there’s more than one way to enjoy this versatile drink, so you dont have to worry if a cup of tea, well, isnt your cup of tea.
Ready to get the tea on this delicious, beneficial drink? Lets get into it!
What is Earl Grey Tea?
Earl Grey tea is a black tea that has been flavored with the oil of bergamot, a citrus fruit. If you’re a seasoned tea drinker, you’ll likely be familiar with this citrusy, enticing black tea – but you may not be familiar with the varying legends of how this tea came to be.
According to one legend, the recipe for Earl Grey was a token of thanks. The story goes that Charles Grey, an Earl who served as Britains Prime Minister from 1830-1834, was thanked by a Chinese tea blender, whose son was saved from drowning by the politicians’ guards. The blender, in gratitude for his good deed, gave him a special recipe for black tea flavored with bergamot oil.
Others say it was formulated at the request of the Earl and his wife to hide the taste of their alkaline, lime-heavy water that left tea tasting bitter. The bergamot and black tea neutralized the taste of the water when the couple was hosting their many guests.
One thing we can confirm about the origins of this tea is that Twinings was the first to distribute the tea widely, introducing it to the British public in 1831 and cementing it as a classic favorite until today.
What Does Earl Grey Tea Taste Like?
Earl Grey tea is a black tea that has been flavored with the oil of bergamot, a citrus fruit. It’s sweet and aromatic, with varying degrees of bitterness depending on how long it’s steeped for and where it was grown.
A typical cup of Earl Grey tea has a flavor profile that can be described as:
In general, Earl Grey tea has a light flavor that’s fruity but not overpowering. The taste does vary from producer to producer, and some people prefer a more pronounced bergamot flavor than others do.
Caffeine in Earl Grey
Everyone has heard that too much caffeine makes you jumpy and jittery – and of course, ready to pull that all-nighter!
But how much caffeine is in Earl Grey tea? And how does it stack up against a cup of coffee?
In your regular cup of brewed joe, you can expect to find around 100 grams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup and more for larger, more intense blends like espresso. Its recommended that adults dont consume more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, and it can be a better choice to opt for a less caffeinated beverage if you like to have more than those few cups of coffee per day.
Teas like Earl Grey are one of those options that can leave you feeling a little less jittery but still give you the kick of “energy” youre in search of when the afternoon slump comes around.
A sample of tea varieties caffeine contents, including Earl Grey tea, are outlined in the table below.
|Variety||Type of Tea||Milligrams of caffeine in a 6oz cup, steeped for 1 minute|
|Earl Grey||Black||19 mg/cup|
|English Breakfast||Black||14 mg/cup|
|Green Tea||Green||16 mg/cup|
As you can see, Earl Grey tea offers less caffeine per cup than coffee, making it a more friendly choice to pregnant women (who should only consume less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day) and those who arent fans of the anxiety-inducing buzz coffee leaves some people with.
Earl Grey Tea Benefits
If you’re looking for a tasty hot beverage in your life, Earl Grey tea is it. The combination of bergamot and black tea will help you feel energized but not jittery.
But what else can this strong tea provide you? And were not just talking about a tasty way to wash down a few afternoon cookies!
Earl Grey tea is filled with nutritional benefits and health help that goes beyond a boost in your energy and helps:
- Improve and soothe skin
- Assist in heart health
- Give a boost to your immune system
- Aid in digestion
- Help boost dental health
Read on to discover more about how these benefits all stem from a simple cup of Earl Grey tea.
Earl Grey Tea Benefits Skin
Earl Grey tea contains bergamot oil, which is made from the citrus fruit of the same name. Berries from this plant have been used in herbal medicine for centuries.
The bergamot oil in Earl Grey tea has been shown to have a number of beneficial properties for skin health including:
- Antioxidant properties: Antioxidants help fight off free radicals that damage cells and cause aging.
- Stimulate autophagy: Autophagy is your body’s natural way of getting rid of damaged cells, including skin cells.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Improves skin tone, makes skin more radiant, and balances natural oils.
- Vitamin E: Reduces wrinkles by keeping skin hydrated and preserves the skins moisture barrier.
Bergamot oil also contains compounds like carvacrol and limonene, which give it antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties! These compounds work together to not only treat acne but also prevent it and reduce the appearance of blemishes. It can even provide those with psoriasis some relief, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
When you pick up a cup of Earl Grey tea, youre picking up a great boost to your heart health, too. Bergamot oil in this tea contains antioxidants, a natural substance that helps to protect the body from free radical damage.
And what are those pesky things, you ask? Free radicals are unstable molecules that bounce around your body and can cause DNA damage in your cells. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and help to prevent oxidative stress on the body. Pretty neat, right?
In addition, by drinking a few cups of black tea like Earl Grey tea, you can reap other heart health benefits like:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Lowering LDL cholesterol
- Reducing lipid levels
Earl Grey tea has been found to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both important factors for heart health. Bergamot contains flavonoids that can reduce lipid levels in your bloodstream, which may also play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Our immune systems can always use a boost. Whether its a change in season or not enough sleep, we all get run down from time to time. Certain ingredients like Vitamin C can help enhance immunity by helping white blood cells fight off infection.
And bergamot oil in Earl Grey tea contains plenty of Vitamin C, which means a cup or two can be useful in perking up your immune system when it’s down. Additionally, the antioxidants in Earl Grey tea are also great for your immune system. Antioxidants have been proven to help boost the immune system, fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.
Earl Grey is also great for digestion. It soothes stomach muscles that are irritated and cramped, which helps to improve your gut function. In fact, when studied, it was found that bergamot juice inhibited the release of inflammatory proteins and reduced diarrhea episodes for sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease.
Whats more, other test-tube and in vitro studies suggest that bergamot juice may reduce intestinal inflammation and fight H. pylori bacteria, which are associated with stomach ulcers and pain. This means that Earl Grey tea has the potential to help alleviate gastric problems like constipation and help your sore stomach feel just a little better.
Additionally, Bergamot contains a compound called linalool, which may sometimes destroy bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses like listeria. This is an amazing benefit that is being explored more through research.
You might not think that drinking tea could improve the health of your teeth, but it actually can.
Earl Grey tea contains catechins, an antioxidant compound, as well as fluoride. These compounds are used in toothpaste and mouthwashes to prevent cavities and the breakdown of tooth enamel.
The fluoride in Earl Grey tea is a type of calcium fluoride, which helps strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent decay. It also helps prevent cavities by preventing plaque buildup on your teeth. By consuming a cup or two of this fragrant beverage each day, you can protect yourself from dental problems — and that’s pretty sweet.
How to Drink Earl Grey Tea
Now that you know all the health benefits of this delicious tea, here’s what you need to know about making and drinking it.
Lets start out with some Earl Grey tea basics:
- Make sure you use good quality Earl Grey tea bags or loose leaf tea for a better brew. Avoid any blends that contain mysterious fillers and artificial flavorings.
- Use 1 bag per cup of water and steep for 3 minutes. This will give you optimal strength. If using loose-leaf tea instead of bags, then use two teaspoons per cup and allow the brew to steep for at least 5 minutes before drinking.
- If you want to drink your Earl Grey tea cold, you’re in luck – it works well as an iced tea as well as a hot tea. The best way to prepare it is by using freshly boiled water and steeping it for 3 minutes. Allow it to cool down, and then pour over ice cubes. Be sure to add any sweeteners before cooling so they can dissolve properly.
- Earl Grey tea with some milk and sugar is a classic way to enjoy this beverage. Be sure to add a teaspoon of each while it is piping hot, and give it a stir before you sip and enjoy.
Now that you have these basic guidelines in mind lets take a look at the steps to creating the perfect cup of Earl Grey tea.
Here are our steps to preparing Earl Grey tea:
- Grab your favorite mugs, a teapot, and your Earl Grey tea of choice. If its a bagged tea, pop it in the cup or put 2 in the teapot, spending on the size of your serving. If you are using loose Earl Grey tea, measure it per package instructions and put it in your steeper.
- Boil the kettle to get the optimal temperature for brewing. Ideal temperatures for brewing Earl Grey are similar to that of other black teas, around 212 degrees. A programmable temperature kettle is great for this, but typically black teas are fine at full boil.
- Allow your tea to be steep for 3 to 5 minutes before removing the bag and enjoying it.
- If youre adding milk or non-dairy substitutes, sugar, or other sweeteners, then this is the step to do so. We suggest a 2:1 ratio of dairy to sweetener for a balanced cup that isnt too sweet.
- Stir, and enjoy!
Earl grey tea doesnt have to be just a plain old cuppa. Try using it in a London Fog, a tea latte that uses earl grey tea as a base. Simply brew your tea as usual, remove the tea bag and add a few drops of vanilla and sweetener of your choice, or a shot of vanilla coffee syrup. Top with hot, steamed milk that has been frothed with a milk frother, and enjoy.
Check out some commonly asked questions that tea lovers and tea newbies alike may have about Earl Grey and how to best enjoy drinking it!
Earl Grey Tea Calories
As long as you’re not adding sweeteners, milk, or any other dairy alternatives and there are no added flavors, Earl Grey tea on its own has no calories.
If you add milk or sweetener to your Earl Grey, it can change the number of calories significantly, depending on how much you personally like to add. However, if you drink your tea plain and black, it will be a calorie-free drink that also provides you with some additional health benefits along the way.
What Is Earl Grey Tea Made Of?
Earl Grey is a type of black tea that features distinct flavors. It is made from black tea leaves that have been infused with bergamot oil, which gives this type of tea its distinct taste and aroma. Black teas are produced by oxidizing the dried leaves of Camellia sinensis plants in Oolong, green and black varieties.
Thats not to say that your Earl Grey tea cant include other ingredients and flavors.
In fact, there are all kinds of unique blends of Earl Grey tea available from special-tea retailers like Davids Tea:
- Chocolate Earl Grey
- Pumpkin Earl Grey
- Easter Earl Grey
- Strawberry Earl Grey
English Breakfast Tea Vs Earl Grey
If you are a tea lover, then you have probably tried both English Breakfast and Earl Grey. However, if you are just getting into the world of tea drinking, then you may not be familiar! Let us take a closer look at these two teas and their differences.
Tea Type Caffeine Content Flavour Profile Earl Grey Black Tea 20 to 50 mg per 8 oz cup Citrusy, light, fruity, and aromatic. English Breakfast Black Tea 30 to 50 mg per 8 oz cup Malty, bitter, and mildly sweet undertones with a full body and strong flavor.
Earl Grey is a black tea that has citrus notes to it and also tastes like bergamot oil. On the other hand, English Breakfast is just as it sounds: breakfast-like with malty undertones and full body flavor which makes it perfect for any occasion or meal time during your day.
Earl Grey tea is a total classic – a delicious tea that has been around for centuries and is enjoyed by people around the world. Its perfect for any time of day, whether you want to simply enjoy a few quiet sips after a long day or you’re seeking a boost of energy. No matter what, Earl Grey tea can greatly benefit your health in more ways than one.
Now that you’ve got the tea on this tea – happy sipping!
Love our nutrition-related content? Head over to this article and discover the benefits of spearmint tea!