Not all Earl Grey tastes the same. Although it’s identified by the addition of bergamot oil to black tea, not all brewers use the same blend of additional ingredients. It means that the Earl Grey tea from Whittard (opens in new tab)will taste completely different to Taylors of Harrogate and we can’t necessarily tell you which one tastes best – that’s completely up to your taste buds to decide.
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According to experts, the best tea for Earl Grey is Sri Lankan tea, although that certainly shouldn’t mean you should dismiss an Earl Grey that has its roots based in China or India.
As we’ve already mentioned, the taste of Earl Grey tea is a personal thing so while someone may enjoy the hints of lemon in Twinings Earl Grey Tea (opens in new tab), they may find the infusion of Elderflower Earl Grey (opens in new tab) too floral. Nor should there a bias towards tea bag or tea leaf; that too, is down to you.
There’s no denying that finding the perfect Earl Grey tea for your palate is like trying to find a hole in a tea bag, but to help you along your way, we’ve done some research into what arguably are the best Earl Grey teas around so you can choose from the most flavoursome blends.
There’s Earl Grey tea, then there’s Earl Grey tea and if your taste buds are affirmative to the traditional, you probably won’t find an Earl Grey tea more traditional than this one. It’s made from tea leaves grown in Sri Lanka, arguably the tea that lends itself more to the unique Earl Grey flavour. It’s scented with bergamot and corn flowers, which promises a rich and aromatic blend that doesn’t deny you punchiness.
If you’re not a fan of strong herbal infusions, Twinings could be just your cup of tea. Flavoured with bergamot and lemon, the Twinings Earl Grey focuses on the citrus element of the famous tea, rather than the floral, creating a light and refreshing blend that’s easily drinkable. With 100 bags in a box and it costing you under £5, there’s isn’t much not to like about this tea from the popular brand.
A complex blend consisting of vanilla and flower petals, this tea is sweeter than our first two picks yet should deliver a soft and subtle flavour. While the bergamot is there, the focus is on the sweeter floral notes, with Whittard also choosing a Chinese tea blend over Ceylon tea to bring citrus notes to the blend. All in all, this is a perfectly balanced cup of tea, ideal for enjoying in the sunshine.
If tea number three sounds too sweet and sickly and number two a bit too subtle, we think this Earl Grey from Taylors of Harrogate sits nicely in the middle. Its roots are in Chinese tea leaves so it’s going to have a fruitier and more floral taste to our first two picks, while the hint of bergamot infuses the citrus notes. With 100 tea bags and costing around the £6, it’s not particularly expensive, making it a fantastic alternative to the Twinings.
Anyone who loves their loose tea should consider this 16oz bag from Davidson’s. It’s a tea more celebrated across the pond, but it’s certainly worth a mention this side, too, largely because of its decaffeinated properties. It contains natural bergamot for that authentic Earl Grey flavour and Rooibos (red bush), which gives it that reddish colour in the cup. If you like having a cup of tea before bed and want to make it Earl Grey, this is your tea.
Whittard have taken Earl Grey tea on a summer holiday with this elderflower infused blend. Suggesting it’s the perfect combination of crisp Ceylon tea, floral bergamot and summery elderflower, those looking to celebrate the arrival of the warmer months with a light and refreshing tea should certainly take note of this number. Coming in its own little caddy, this tea may cost a tad more than others on our list, but we think it’ll be worth it.
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