Episode 3: The Staunton Earl Grey
Although British Prime Minister Charles Grey popularised the hot beverage we now call Earl Grey tea, it was in fact Sir George Staunton, a botanist with The East India Company that we have to thank for its creation. The use of orange flowers to flavour tea was first observed in China by Sir George, who sent a sample back to Sir Joseph Banks at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. At the time, neroli blossoms were unavailable in Europe, so Joseph Banks used bergamot as a substitute. Today The East India Company blends neroli, as recommended in Sir George’s original writings, with bergamot and, in his honour, have named their tea The Staunton Earl Grey.
Perhaps Lady Brockenhurst enjoyed a refreshing cup of Staunton Earl Grey with the Duke of Devonshire after their stroll around the newly opened Kew Gardens. She would no doubt be celebrating, having extracted a rather crucial piece of information from Anne Trenchard . . .
Visit The East India Company online and find out more about this week’s perfect pairing, which may inspire you to take tea in your own garden.