There are many stories around the bitter orange and black tea blend that is now known as Earl Grey in the West. Some say it was a gift from a Mandarin to an English diplomat (The Earl of Grey, 1764-1845) for one of his men saving the Mandarin’s son from drowning who brought it back to the British Isles. Others dismiss this theory and claim is was created in Europe using the oil of Italian Seville oranges. The truth seems to be: Bitter orange is native to Southeast Asia and has been used to blend with tea since ancient times. It spread to Persia and the Mediterranean along the southern Silk Road along with tea. More than likely, an Englishman did receive this blend as a gift at some point in China and brought it back with him, or a fanciful story was created for marketing by a tea tradesman who acquired some. The hybrid varietal of this Asian orange, later known as the Bergamot orange, was not planted in Calabria, Italy until around 1750.
Five Mountains: Bergamot Black (earl Grey) Tea, 15 Bg
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