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Earl Grey Tea; interesting and curious things about this famous tea

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Earl Grey Tea, one of the typical English teas although in actual fact it’s not very English; the tea comes from China and the bergamot orange from Calabria.

In the 1700s tea became fashionable in British homes and merchants who imported it from various parts of the empire created their own blends by mixing different types of tea, adding spices and other flavors.

In most cases the recipe remained secret but occasionally the recipe of tea blend was then sold. This happened with Earl Grey  tea. We don’t know with certainty who invented this tea, most likely the name 

There are several stories that explain why the earl gave his name to the tea, some speak of a gift from a Chinese Mandarin after the earl saved his son’s life.

We know three things for sure: Earl Gray uses Chinese black teas, the Chinese didn’t put bergamot in their tea, and the count had never set foot in China.

We also know that there was the custom of putting bergamot in Chinese teas in Great Britain to pass them off as expensive and highly aromatic teas.

Why do you put bergamot in Earl Gray Tea?

The Grey family says the recipe was invented by a Chinese to make tea from water on their property in England which was very heavy and rich in limestone. Bergamot was meant to neutralize limestone but this recipe became very popular with guests and Twinings marketed it.

Today Twinings is no longer the only one who sells Earl Grey tea, there are several brands on the market, but it was the first to sell what was in any case a  family recipe used by few people. Earl Grey in the UK is often still considered a tea for posh people.

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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Drinks

New Year Sale for tea and other products at Twinings

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The cold weather means that we want to drink something hot quite often, we can’t drink too much coffee or tea otherwise we would be awake all night, therefore herbal teas are a good solution. 

The lockdown also means we can’t do much shopping outside but the Twinings website has a vast choice of excellent healthy herbal teas that are only 4 calories a cup. Furthermore they are now 25% discounted, it’s definitely the right time to start shopping for teas.

If herbal teas are not your thing, there are also discounts for other products such as Cold Infuse, while | has a 50% discount. 

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Christmas

Mulled wine – easy recipe for Christmas

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Mulled wine is a simple but wonderfully evocative recipe fragrancing your home with the scent of Christmas.

Said to have been invented by the Greek father of medicine, Hippocrates, originally white or red, it was heated with honey and spices. In the 2nd century Romans drank warm wine believing it kept them healthy in  the  long ,cold winter months.

But when did we begin to equate mulled wine with Christmas? We have one Charles Dickens to thank for that; the writer included a passage which mentioned Smoking Bishop, a popular mulled wine of the day, in his classic A Christmas Carol.

Mulled wine is a simple but wonderfully evocative recipe fragrancing your home with the scent of Christmas.

For this mulled wine recipe, you will need:

  • Wine: any basic bottle of red wine will do. Boxed wine is ideal for making a huge cauldron full!
  • Fresh oranges:  sliced  if you prefer something a little less tart then thinly peel the zest before using.
  • Cinnamon: sticks are ideal but ground cinnamon can be used,
  • Whole cloves 
  • Star anise 
  • Sugar or honey to taste
  • An extra glug of brandy will only add to its potency!
  1.  Combine all ingredients in a saucepan 
  2. Simmer.  Heat until the wine just reaches a simmer over you don’t want to boil off the alcohol . Reduce heat to low, cover, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours. 
  3. Alternatively a slow cooker is ideal for this and you dont need to worry about boiling.
  4.  Finally strain and add extra sugar to taste.
  5. Serve warm.

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