Baroness Grey

Monday, June 9, 2008

Baroness Grey, much like Dorian Grey, is a fruit based offshoot of Earl Grey. This simple black tea, while flavored with a bit of oil from bergamot oranges, also contain large shavings of lemon zest.A special blend by Hina's Tea here in Sacramento (which can be ordered online) notes: British legend has it that this Baroness of Grey, who lived sometime in the 16th or 17th century, was married to a man who was a Ship's Captain in the Royal Navy. As the story goes, his ship never returned from a trading voyage to China. Refusing to believe that her husband would never return the Baroness would walk to the port lands every morning to greet each ship hoping for news of her husband. Sadly, she continued this practice until the day she died. In honor of the loyal Baroness Grey, we blended this tea with the traditional bergamot and the addition of lemon to represent the bitter tears shed over her beloved. The dried lemon peels add an additional tartness to the citrus character of the tea making it a fantastic alternative to traditional Earl Grey.

The tea has piquant flavor that gives the tea a bit more zing to it. As a lover of black tea to wake me up int he morning, this extra little tingle of taste is appreciated, practical, and seems to simply match well with early Spring mornings. Flavor notes from cinnamon and cornflower give the tea a nice bouquet as well, which may be described as a bit grandmother-ish but pleasant as it subsides when steeped in hot water, allowing the scents of the actual tea leaves to take over. It can be a little overly floral for some people, including me on some days so it's not one I drink all the time.

A pleasant black tea perfect for early morning breakfast or after dinner tea paired with a bit of shortbread or lemon pound cake. The only downside is it brews poorly for further infusions, so while other black teas may make cup after cup, this one is a one hit wonder.


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