Comfort in a cup, lovely bergamot... milk? Lemon? One lump or two? Earl Grey is a blend of fine black China teas and the natural oil of bergamot, a pear-shaped citrus fruit. The name bergamot comes from the Turkish for 'prince's pear'. Bergamot is grown exclusively in Italy and Sicily. It has very powerful oil that can be pressed out of its rind. It is this oil that is blended with the tea to provide the aromatic and distinctive flavor that is the signature of Earl Grey tea. It is this same oil and its distinctive aroma that is at the heart of Demeter's Earl Grey Tea cologne.
The legend is that a British diplomat, sent as part of a trade delegation to China in 1834 by the second Earl Grey, saved the life of a mandarin's son who was drowning. The grateful mandarin gave the diplomat a recipe for a blend of tea to present to the Earl. The second Earl Grey passed it onto his tea merchant, who used the recipe to recreate the blend for the Earl's private use. The tea was so well received among the Earl's guests that they began asking where they could buy the tea. The Earl gave it his name, and the rest is history.