Infused with bergamot oil essence and soft citrus, this smooth black tea has a rich history, incredible health benefits, and delectable taste. As the modern other half to the beloved Earl Grey, Lady Grey strikes a perfect compromise between classic black tea and refreshing, bright flavors. So even if you’ve never warmed up to black tea or Earl Grey blends, you’ll love Lady Grey as it’s one of the best underrated flavored black teas you can enjoy all year long!
Here’s everything you need to know about Lady Grey tea, from its colorful history and unique flavor profile to some surprising health benefits and caffeine content. Plus, you’ll get a breakdown of exactly how Lady Grey tea is different from Earl Grey tea, how to brew the perfect cup of Lady Grey, and some delicious Lady Grey tea-infused recipes.
SHOP EARL GREY TEAS
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WHAT IS LADY GREY TEA?
Lady Grey tea is a lightly flavored black tea blend infused with orange and lemon peel and hints of bergamot oil essence. It is traditionally made with black teas from China, Africa, and India, and flavored with fragrant bergamot oil from cultivated citrus trees in Calabria, Italy. Lady Grey tea is crafted to be uplifting and light while still being comforting on a cold day. Because of this intention, it can be enjoyed equally hot and cold and is delicious on its own or enhanced with milk, sugar, or lemon.
While the name sounds elegant and old-fashioned, Lady Grey tea is actually a modern invention originating from the early 1990s. Twinings, a popular British tea company, noticed that their Earl Grey tea wasn’t selling in Nordic countries because the flavor was too strong. To appeal to their Nordic market, the Twinings tea company crafted a new black tea blend flavored with more citrus for a smoother tea that was reminiscent of their popular Earl Grey yet entirely its own brew. They trademarked this new tea blend Lady Grey, making it the only tea created to (literally) be enjoyed by everyone around the world!
HISTORY OF LADY GREY TEA
While Lady Grey is a relatively new type of tea blend, the name itself has roots deep in British history. It all began with tea enthusiast Earl Charles Grey, a British Prime Minister from 1830-1834 who is most famously known as the author of the Reform Bill of 1832 and the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.
While the classic Earl Grey tea was created for Earl Charles Grey, the modern Lady Grey blend is named after his wife, Lady Mary Elizabeth Grey. Her tea parties became notorious around London’s high society because she served her husband’s specially crafted Earl Grey tea. Eventually, the exclusive Earl Grey blend became so popular in these inner circles that she was asked if it could be sold to others.
Since we have Lady Grey to thank for pioneering into the world our beloved Earl Grey, it’s only fitting that the new and improved blend was named after her! In addition to the groundbreaking political accomplishments, this power couple’s notoriety lives on in our teacups to this day.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LADY GREY TEA?
Lady Grey tea is known for being a remarkably healthy tea to drink any time of the day. While this delicious tea blend will grace the sipper with a plethora of health benefits, here are 7 of the best benefits of Lady Grey tea.
- Anxiety Relief The bergamot oil essence present in Lady Grey tea blends will instantly relieve stress and reduce anxiety through its aromatherapeutic properties. Limonene and alpha-pinene are also natural components in extracted bergamot oil that will be naturally soothing to the sipper.
- Dental Hygiene Want to impress your dentist? Drinking Lady Grey tea means that you are naturally getting important catechins and fluoride which are good for your teeth and will help you fight oral infections.
- Metabolism Because Lady Grey tea often has additional citrus added to it in the form of lemon and orange peels, research shows that the ingredients combined with the thermogenic effects of drinking Lady Grey help speed up your metabolism.
- Fight Colds As a black tea blend infused with several healthy ingredients, Lady Grey tea is naturally full of powerful antioxidants, especially in the bergamot oil, that will boost your immunity and help you fight pesky colds and the flu.
- Heart Health Drinking Lady Grey tea over a period of time can benefit your heart health as black tea has been linked to lowering blood triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels, preventing issues like heart disease from developing. Learn even more about the health benefits of drinking black tea.
- Reduce Inflammation Feeling sore? The bergamot oil in Lady Grey tea has natural analgesic properties and works wonders as an anti-inflammatory for muscles, headaches, and general body pain.
- Skincare Did you know that tea can play an important part in your skincare routine? Different types of tea can give you great skin, and black teas help fight damaging free radicals with antioxidants which in turn can protect and heal your skin from acne, eczema, or psoriasis. Grab a cup of Lady Grey and get your glow on!
EARL GREY TEA VS LADY GREY TEA
So, what’s really the difference between Earl Grey tea and Lady Grey tea? And does one reign supreme over the other? We’ll admit, the two tea brews are similar because the freshened Lady Grey blend was inspired by the classic Earl Grey taste. But even in the traditional blends there are a few differences that make each tea unique, and as a tea lover, it will be hard to pick your favorite!
The best Earl Grey teas are traditionally a blend of Assam, Darjeeling, and Keemun black teas with a hint of bergamot oil essence. Bergamot falls somewhere between a lemon and orange with a hint of grapefruit in taste. This tea will have a robust and malty flavor base that pairs well with the complex citrus flavor. It depends on the blend, but both Earl Grey and Lady Grey teas will typically have the same health benefits of black tea and citrus.
Lady Grey tea is similar to Earl Grey because it’s a black tea flavored with citrus, but the black tea tends to be lighter in flavor and reddish in color when steeped properly and more citrus is typically added. In addition to the bergamot oil, Lady Grey tea will have pieces of lemon and orange peel too. Lady Grey tea will also usually be crafted with Assam or Ceylon tea.
While the trademarked Lady Grey tea is exclusive to the Twinings British tea company, today you can find countless variations of Lady Grey tea - though none will be named exactly Lady Grey - that experiment with the classic flavors and add new twists like lavender or cornflower. We recommend Stash Tea’s Empress Lady Grey for a classic Lady Grey with lemon and orange peels, or Rocky Mountain SereniTEA’s Maroonbells Lady Grey for a lovely spin on the classic with real lavender and rose.
While we’re at it, let’s settle the debate between grey vs gray. You might see the word spelled with both an E and an A when looking around for teas, but which one is correct? And is there even a difference?
Simply put: It can be either, but not when it comes to tea. When referring to the color, “gray” is more common in American English while “grey” is standard in British English. Yet, because Earl Grey is traditionally a British tea, named after our dear Earl and Lady, any true Earl Grey and Lady Grey teas should only be spelled with an E. Pinky’s up!
WHAT DOES LADY GREY TEA TASTE LIKE?
We get it, sometimes black teas can be too bold or overpowering when you’re just not in the mood for such a rich cup of tea. Lady Grey is the perfect solution if you’re like me, an unabashed black tea lover looking to switch up your black tea drinking experience sometimes! A black tea that can taste as light and fresh as a summer’s day? Yes, please!
Because it’s relatively new and experimental, you can find several creative Lady Grey combinations reminiscent of the original trademarked Twinings blend. The classic blend starts with a base of amber-colored black teas grown in China, Central Africa, and India and is freshened with both orange and lemon peel and other natural citrus flavors.
Other non-trademarked variations will add different types of tea and even experiment with other ingredients besides citrus. For instance, Rocky Mountain SereniTEA’s complex Maroonbells Lady Grey takes a creamy Earl Grey base tea and mixes it with green tea and jasmine flower before topping it with rose and lavender. The creaminess of this Lady Grey blend would steep perfectly in a cozy homemade London Fog on a rainy day.
Enchanting and sophisticated citrus blends like Stash Tea’s Empress Lady Grey take refreshing to the next level by adding the best bergamot, actual orange rinds, and zesty lemon oil to their secret blend of black teas. When made with this light and bright Lady Grey, an Earl Grey Palmer would be even more refreshing on a warm summer afternoon!
CAFFEINE CONTENT IN LADY GREY TEA
The exact caffeine content of Lady Grey tea will depend on each blend and how the specific leaves were grown, processed, and brewed. Nowadays, you can even find Lady Grey teas made with different types of tea like green or white teas, or even pick up decaffeinated options. However, a classic cup of black Lady Grey tea steeped for the recommended amount of time will generally have around 30-60 mg of caffeine per cup. Black teas generally have more caffeine than other teas, but still significantly less than coffee which reaches up to 200 mg per cup. With so many different variations, you can learn more about the caffeine in different types of tea.
STORING LADY GREY TEA
When stored properly, tea can retain its original flavor and nutritional benefits for up to two years. The less fermented and more broken tea leaves are, the faster they expire. As a result, tea bags will generally expire faster than loose leaf tea because they usually contain broken leaves and tea dust that lead to the deterioration of the tea’s flavor.
The key to keeping your Lady Grey tea from expiring too soon, and maybe even to extending the freshest flavor of your tea beyond the expiration date, is proper storage. Loose leaf Lady Grey tea, tea sachets, and even individually wrapped tea bags should always be stored in a dark, cool, and dry place in airtight containers. This will also protect your tea from getting wet (until you want to steep it!) so it doesn’t develop mold.
PREPARING LADY GREY TEA
To brew the perfect cup of Lady Grey tea, make sure to check your tea package first or the brand's website for instructions specific to your tea, because different varieties might have different ideal brewing temperatures and steeping times. However, here are a few general brewing tips to keep in mind for a classic cup of Lady Grey tea.
HOW TO BREW LADY GREY TEA
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
- Kettle or pot to heat water
- Lady Grey loose tea leaves, sachets, or bags
- Teapot with filter, teacup, or your favorite mug with an infuser
STEP ONE: HEAT THE WATER
- 205℉-212℉ // Soft boil
Pro Tip: Use freshly drawn cold filtered water for the best tasting cup!
STEP TWO: MEASURE THE TEA
- Generally use 1 rounded tsp or 1 tea bag/sachet per 8 oz. (1 cup) of water
Pro Tip: Add tea leaves to an infuser that lets them open fully, or you can put them straight into the teapot and use a strainer when you're pouring a cup!
STEP THREE: STEEP THE TEA
- 3-5 minutes
Pro Tip: Don't let your tea steep for too long! It's best to strain your leaves or take your sachet/teabag out when the time's up so you aren't left with a bitter cup. Taste your tea after the recommended steeping time and then decide if you’d like it to steep a little longer.
Pro Tip: Cover your tea while it steeps to keep all the heat and aroma in the steeping vessel, allowing the leaves to relax and unfurl.
STEP FOUR: ENJOY!
Lady Grey tea is traditionally enjoyed plain or with lemon, but it's also delicious and creamy when served with milk, a teaspoon of honey, or a bit of sugar.
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