Earl Grey


Twinings Earl Grey has always been one of my favorite teas. I was always under the impression that this was the definitive Earl Grey, and that they were using the original, unaltered recipe used by the Second Earl Grey himself. However, I have recently read on the web that Jacksons of Piccadilly claims that **THEY** and only they have the original recipe. Apparently this has been a long standing bone of contention between the two companies for a very long time.
I have tried both versions and they are noticeably different. Twinings has a much stronger bergamot flavor, whereas the bergamot flavor in Jacksons' formula is very subtle indeed. I prefer Twinings.
Surely there must be a way to determine who is correct in this dispute. Does anybody know if one firm or the other's claim to the original recipe has ever been validated? Which firm do you believe, and what is the consensus regarding whose version is better?
Pat
Reply to
Pat

Pat schrieb:
Twinings Earl Grey use definitly NOT the original recipe, because at Earl Grey's time tea was not harvested by machines. Also there was real bergamotte oil and not just flavouring which is used by Twinings (German declaration law is *very* strict on that, so based on the label with the declaration of ingredients (Zutaten) they definitely use no real bergamotte oil!).
The only brand I know which uses a traditional blend of Chinese black O.P. leaf teas and real (Italian) bergamotte oil is a traditional German brand (Teekanne). Maybe this is the closest match to the original Earl Grey recipe.
On the other hand: does it really matter? Isn't it more important, which taste you like most?
Dieter
Reply to
Dieter Folz

I'll take your word for it regarding the bergamot oil, but what do machines have to do with the recipe? I wasn't referring to how the tea is manufactured, just the recipe itself.
Teekanne owns Redco Foods, the licensee of Red Rose and Salada teas in the US. The only other Teekanne products I've ever seen here are their Pompadour herbal infusions. Any idea where I can buy some of their Earl Grey to sample? Is it available online?
And, BTW, the bergamot orange is native to Vietnam, not Italy, based on what I have read.
Pat
Reply to
Pat

The original bitter orange oil that was used was probably not Bergamot oil anyway, which where things start getting very confusing.
I have seen some commercially made that used real bergamot oil and some which used a bergamot+neroli oil mixture.
It _would_ be interesting to know what the original Earl Grey tea was like. I don't think we'll ever know today, though, because I think the orange oil used is probably unavailable. Bergamot is a reasonable substitute to my mind. --scott
Reply to
Scott Dorsey

Pat schrieb:
There's a great great difference between those "modern" tea bag optimized teas, harvestet by machines and chopped not rolled leafs, and orthodox produced teas.
I don't know. They own several companys now (had an organizational restructuring just a few years ago). They have several product lines (e.g. Pompadur, Sir Winston etc.) and one product line with loose leaf teas, but maybe only for the German market.
Maybe you can email their English speaking customer service.
They have also a Sir Winston Earl Grey which is not so good as the other -- well, in my opinion not so good at all, but as far as I know, they also use real bergamitte oil for that so far.
Nope. It's produced in Italy (on a 100km coast string of Calabria (between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian sea from Villa San Giovanni to Gioiosa Jonica), and is a cross between lemon and grapefruit.
It is one of the ingredients of Eau de Cologne (Kölnisch Wasser) since the 17th or 18th century.
Reply to
Dieter Folz

The East India Company's Staunton Earl Grey uses bergamot and neroli oil. I've never seen any other brnd that used neroli oil, though. The Stauton Earl Grey is quite good, but I like Twinings better.
It's very possible that whatever was used to scent the batch that was given to the second Earl Grey was not available in England at the time, so bergamot might have been the closest thing they could obtain. But there's no reason to think that Twinings and Jacksons haven't been using bergamot oil from day one, is there?
Reply to
Pat

Perhaps. I was referring to Twinings loose-leaf Earl Grey, though, not the bagged version. It is a larger leaf tea, though most likely it is still machine harvested. But that is neither here nor there. Regardless of how the tea is manufactured, that does not mean that the same kind of tea used in the original recipe isn't used today.
Thank you. I will give it a try.
Pat
Reply to
Pat

Perhaps. I was referring to Twinings loose-leaf Earl Grey, though, not the bagged version. It is a larger leaf tea, though most likely it is still machine harvested. But that is neither here nor there. Regardless of how the tea is manufactured, that does not mean that the same kind of tea used in the original recipe isn't used today.
Thank you. I will give it a try.
Pat
Reply to
Pat

I've heard the original Earl Grey recipe brought to England from China included jasmine blossoms in addition to whatever type of citrus oil the Chinese used.
Reply to
aloninna

I've heard the original Earl Grey recipe brought to England from China included jasmine blossoms in addition to whatever type of citrus oil the Chinese used.
Reply to
aloninna

Pat schrieb:
It's the same tea they put in the bags. All is (like with almost every British brand) this modern chopped tea (therefore you don't have the old FOPs, BOPs or OPFs, PDs etc. categories anymore, because while all the same, they don't have to be sieved) -- the only British brands as far as I know which still use orthodox teas are Fortnum & Mason and The Bramah Tea Museum. Compare a FOP or even BOP to Twinings, PG Tips, Typhoo, Taylors of Harrogate or whatever loose or bagged English tea. It is *real* leaf tea to all the same very small stuff which guarantees you a very dark and strong brew, but also a quite different taste compared to an orthodox tea. Chopped teas are best compared to avarage orthodox fannings. They have a body and colour like orthodox fannings but are far less brassy and more brisk (and therefore better), more pungent than bitter but have also their edges, best taken off by flavourings and / or a splash of milk.
No, these modern teas (breeds) are in character *quite* different from orthodox ones. Orthodox teas are not very common in the UK since the 1950s. Whereas on the continent you have still nearly 100% orthodox teas (maybe because it is not very common to drink tea with milk). So, in the UK you have good and decent teas for a price you can't get a decent orthodox tea for. On the other hand you can't get the real exquisite stuff. Because of this you get e.g. in Germany for low and also medium priced teas only total crap (barely- or non-drinkable), esp. with tea bags, but if you pay real good money you can (if you're lucky and know where to shop) get the real good stuff -- but you *have* to pay for that, and there is no way around. So, for a good Earl Grey (like Teekanne) you have to pay about 4 Euros per 100gr (also minimum for a good Assam, min. 10 Euros / 100gr. for a decent Darjeeling (easily up to 30 Euros per 100gr!) etc.). That is one reason why I tend to use more and more e.g. PG Tips for my daily tea shot.
Modern teas like the Brits use have a good to unbeatable price per value ratio in the low and medium price segment. If it's getting expensive e.g. because you have to pay for a fancy label, you better should change to decent orthodox teas.
Cheers, Dieter
Reply to
Dieter Folz

So, for a good Earl Grey
4 euros for 100 grams is a reasonable price. That is about what Twinings and Jacksons cost, so I guess that puts them in the same quality range as Teekanne. 10-30 euros is getting a bit steep. I am not overly fond of Darjeeling, so that is rarely an issue for me. I hate Twinings Darjeeling. Jacksons is better, but give me a good strong cup of English Breakfast over the finest Darjeeling any day.
PG Tips is a very good "every day" tea. That is what I have been mostly drinking lately.
Most of the teas sold in Britain are what I consider decent, especially if you want something strong that doesn't cost a fortune. PG Tips and Typhoo are both very good. Tetley I'm not as crazy about.
I drink a lot of tea, so I don't buy much of the most expensive stuff. Mostly I drink PG Tips, Typhoo or Red Rose. I drink Twinings English Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings, when I have more time to savor it. I usually have a cup of Earl Grey in the afternoons, and out of all the Earl Greys I've tried, Twinings is by far the best. I am not sure if Twinings is what you would consider a fancy label. It's a good few notches about the standard supermarket fare and reasonably priced, IMO. There are other brands like Lipton, which do Earl Grey blends that are more expensive and are undrinkable, IMO.
Twinings, Jacksons and Taylors of Harrogate are about as high in price/quality as I typically go. I enjoy them, and the more expensive orthodox teas I've tried were not enough of an improvement to justify the substantially higher price.
Pat
Reply to
Pat

After reading this, I just tried cutting a commercial Earl Gray from Harrod's with some yellow box jasmine... and the effect is really quite nice, if a little bit strong. --scott
Reply to
Scott Dorsey

snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) writes:
"Yellow box jasmine"? You mean jasmine *green* tea, right? If you want something milder, you might try to find a jasmine black/red.
/Lew
Reply to
Lewis Perin

Yes, the "yellow box" tea from Fujian is a green tea with jasmine flowers. A jasmine black might be a better choice, indeed, but I still found the bergamot too strong for my tastes, as well as the jasmine. Perhaps blending some jasmine flowers and cutting with a raw black tea base would be closer, though I don't have raw jasmine flowers in my office today. --scott
Reply to
Scott Dorsey

I had a chance to try an Earl Grey + jasmine blossoms. As you would expect it's a very pleasantly highly aromatic blend. The sweet fragrance of jasmine is a nice contrast to the spicy-bitter fragrance of bergamot. As far as the taste goes, the jasmine is hardly noticed under the strong bergamot + black tea taste.
I've never tried a straight black tea + jasmine combination, but would assume it the jasmine would kinda get lost. Anyone ever tried it?
Reply to
aloninna

I had a chance to try an Earl Grey + jasmine blossoms. As you would expect it's a very pleasantly highly aromatic blend. The sweet fragrance of jasmine is a nice contrast to the spicy-bitter fragrance of bergamot. As far as the taste goes, the jasmine is hardly noticed under the strong bergamot + black tea taste.
I've never tried a straight black tea + jasmine combination, but would assume it the jasmine would kinda get lost. Anyone ever tried it?
Reply to
aloninna

Someone once gave me a "Afternoon Tea" blend by Whittard of Chelsea, which was a black tea scented with jasmine. I did not like it at all; the jasmine was very overpowering.
Reply to
Rob

"Pat" schrieb im Newsbeitrag news: snipped-for-privacy@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
That's where it starts for Assam (at least at the moment, because of the Dollar-Euro ratio).
Oh no. Twinings is far too overpaid. Btw therefore Twinings failed the last tea expert ratings for the German consumer report.
I would doubt if it really is Darjeeling! As far as it goes and as I mentioned it, if you want the good stuff you have to pay for it! And esp. the good ones of the real Darjeeling (those with the certificate) are not cheap. But also the taste has nothing in common with the Twinings "Darjeeling".
That's the point. For that money it's definetely the best you can get.
Well, at least meanwhile (or at the moment) here in Germany, you get for the price of Twinings Breakfast a very good and decent Assam (at that price these Assams you can drink the English way with some milk), which is *far* more better than the Twinings stuff!!! I can recomment the Assams teas (and also the Darjeelings, of course!) of Betty-Darling.de (besides the blends which are in my opinion crap). I don't know if they deliver outside Germany but it is definetely worth a try!
OK, but Lipton isn't tea, is it ;-) ?
Dieter
Reply to
Dieter Folz

A matter of opinion, I suppose. I like it. It is within my budget and I know what to expect when I purchase it.
It is Darjeeling. Perhaps not 100% Darjeeling, and undoubtedly not first or second flush Darjeeling, but there is enough Darjeeling in the blend to be legally labelled as such. I do not care for it, but I am not a Darjeeling sort of person, anyway.
Do you happen to know if they have an English language website?
Of course it is. Not good tea, but tea nonetheless. They actually have a decent English Breakfast blend. It was on sale at my local supermarket; actually it was marked down because they are discontinuing it. I bought some just to sample, and it was not bad at all. Infinitely superior to their regular blend. It is not easy to find, and I would not bother to seek it out again, as it is actually more expensive than Twinings, and I like Twinings English Breakfast better. But Lipton ought to package this stuff as their regular blend.
Pat
Reply to
Pat

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