Earl Grey tea is considered a quintessentially British brew. It is a black tea blend flavoured with oil of bergamot, which gives it a citrus/floral taste. Allegedly, it was created for Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey – British Whig politician, who served as Prime Minister between 1830 and 1834. Basically, he wanted to mask the taste of the water at his home.
It is lovely and refreshing and most places in and around Bude that sell tea offer Earl Grey. Hooray!
However, traditionally, Earl Grey is served with lemon, not milk. Americans typically drink their Earl Grey with milk and sugar, but we are not in America.
Earl Grey with an offering of lemon is really easy to create. Using loose leaf or a tea bag, add water which you have boiled and left for a minute (I know this is hard in a business set up), steep for about four minutes and offer with a slice or two of lemon.
Some cafes in Bude excel at this. But my last two experiences of Earl Grey (trying to cut down on hot chocolate) have involved no lemon, only the offer of milk and sugar. I did once have a slice of frozen lemon put in the teapot, which was bizarre.
So, my view to businesses who sell Earl Grey would be: please get a lemon or two in.
Or maybe just take it off the menu, and stick to good old builders’ tea (which suits milk perfectly).
If anyone can tell me where to get a good cup of Earl Grey (with lemon), please share your secret!