It's wet. It's warm. And it smells. My top 3 Earl Grey teas worth boiling the kettle for.

Earl Grey is that quintessentially English ‘posh tea’. It’s also what Captain Picard drinks on Star Trek so it must be good. And hey, if it’s good enough for 24th century space travel, it’s good enough for me. I’ve been drinking it for as long as I can remember and it’s my go-to tea.

Though Earl Grey has a bit of a poncy reputation it can’t be that posh because a) I drink it and b) you can usually find it in some form next to those weird little UHT milk portions in even the dingiest of hotels.

If you’re completely unfamiliar with Earl Grey you probably ought to get out more. I jest, though even if you’ve never had the pleasure of drinking it from a fine bone china cup (does anyone actually do that?) you’ve most likely smelt it. It’s basically what most of us would refer to as good old British tea (builder’s brew) that’s been flavoured with bergamot oil. Granted, that’s an oversimplification but you get the idea. And no you’re not alone in wondering what bergamot is. It’s a pretty pungent citrus fruit about the size of an orange, most of which are produced in Calabria in southern Italy and it’s what gives Earl Grey its characteristic smell or, for Earl Grey haters, it’s repugnant stink.

Despite Earl Grey tea, at least as a commercial product, having been named after then Prime Minister Charles Grey in the early 19th century, it was never trade marked. The downside of this means any old pond water can technically be called Earl Grey, and trust me I’ve tasted said pond water and it’s grim, but the upside is that you can get some seriously decent version of this tea. Below are three of my all time favourites which I think are worth checking out.

Twinings Earl Grey (£1.99/100g)
Arguably the most-loved of Earl Grey teas and the first variety I ever tasted. It may not have the edgy branding of other varieties but it does have heritage on its side. Instantly recognisable, Twining’s Earl Grey is familiar and comforting. So much so in fact that when Twinings changed the recipe back in 2011 there was a frightfully British outcry (lots of frowning and tutting). It’s a really well-balanced variety and the best place to start if you’re staring to get into the fancy pants world of tea.


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Jeeves & Jericho Girlie Grey (£5.80/100g)
A lot of floral teas taste insipid or just remind you of grandmas’s perfume. Thankfully Girlie Grey steers well clear of these pitfalls. Jeeves & Jericho are seriously good tea blenders and like many of their teas this delivers delicate flavours but still has the oomph of Earl Grey. It both smells and tastes amazing.


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T2 French Earl Grey (£7.50/100g)
My most recent discovery. This Earl Grey has a cleaner, sharper and more defined taste than the others and is what I turn to when I want something bolder in flavour. It’s the kind of tea that makes people ask where you got it from. The most expensive of the bunch, this one’s thankfully worth the money.


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