Earl Grey tea is probably one of the most popular teas around the world, and has been around for more than 200 years, but have you ever tried Lady Grey tea? What is the difference between Lady Grey vs Earl Grey tea? Let’s talk a little bit about the history and differences of these two wonderful teas.
Read about the Beginner’s Guide to Black Tea
What is the Difference between Lady Grey and Earl Grey Tea
Earl Grey tea is named after Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. During one of his diplomatic visits to China in the 1800s the Earl was introduced to flavored and scented teas. Upon his return to England, he searched for similar tea flavors to those he had tasted on his trip.
There is a rumor that Earl Grey tea was first created by accident when a crate of black tea from Asia was stored next to a crate of bergamot oranges that were being shipped to the Earl’s estate. Turns out that real Earl Grey tea is a little more complicated to make than that though.
Earl Grey tea is made from black tea leaves and they can be sourced from China, India, or Sri Lanka (Ceylon). The leaves are then scented with the extracted oils of the bergamot orange.
The bergamot orange is actually more like a lemon, and is even yellow in color, and has a light, crisp, citrus flavor. Prior to being used in tea making bergamot was mostly used in making perfume.
Earl Grey tea is a strong, full-bodied tea that can be enjoyed alone, or with milk. A lemon slice is often added to a cup of Earl Grey as well to bring out the bergamot flavor. Earl Grey tea is not trademarked and the Earl Grey blend is made by many different tea makers so each blend may taste a little bit different. You should try different brands until you find the one that pleases your palate the most.
When Was Lady Grey Discovered by Twinings?
Lady Grey tea is a relatively new tea that was trademarked by Twinings in the 1990s. Named after Earl Grey’s wife Mary Elizabeth Grey. Many tea drinkers found Earl Grey tea to be a bit strong for their liking so Lady Grey tea is a softer version of Earl Grey tea.
Lady Grey tea is also a black tea but it has softer undertones of bergamot. Lady Grey tea also has lemon and orange peel and some additional citrus flavoring.
Lady Grey tea is light in both texture and flavor. Even though Lady Grey tea is officially trademarked by Twinings that doesn’t mean that other tea companies don’t have their own versions of Lady Grey tea with a different name.
Some of these versions of Lady Grey tea also include lavender, rose flowers, and cornflowers. These additions give those versions of Lady Grey tea a very delicate flavor.
What Flavors Are in Earl Grey vs Lady Grey Tea
Both Earl Grey and Lady Grey teas are made with black tea leaves and the main difference between the two is that Earl Grey tea often has a much stronger and bolder flavor than Lady Grey tea.
In fact, the Nordic dislike of such a strongly flavored tea is what inspired the Twinings company to create Lady Grey tea in the early nineties.
Traditional Earl Grey tea only has two ingredients which are black tea leaves and bergamot oil. Lady Grey tea has at least three ingredients and sometimes more including black tea, bergamot (usually less than in Earl Grey), orange, and lemon peels.
Are these teas available in decaffeinated?
Lady Grey and Earl Grey tea are both caffeinated but you can find decaffeinated versions as well. Both of these teas are excellent first cup of the day teas, and both go well with milk and sugar or honey.
Lemon slices also go very well with each of these teas. These teas are also appropriate for an afternoon pick-me-up. Lady Grey and Earl Grey teas are delicious when served hot, but Lady Grey also makes a wonderful iced tea or cold brew tea.
Earl Grey tea may have been around for more than 200 years, but Lady Grey tea although not around nearly as long has gained a faithful following from around the world. Both of these teas are delicious, and a wonderful choice for those just making an entrance into the wonderful world of tea.
The main difference between Earl Grey tea and Lady Grey tea is the boldness of the flavor, with Lady Grey being the more subtle, and elegant of the two.
What do you think? Do you prefer to drink and serve Earl Grey or Lady Grey tea at your home?