The first mention of Earl Grey tea was in 1824 and it was associated with the idea of using bergamot to enhance the taste of low quality tea. The name ‘Earl Grey’ is most often connected to the English aristocrat and Prime Minster Charles Grey
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The History Of Earl Grey Tea
The first mention of Earl Grey tea was in 1824 and it was associated with the idea of using bergamot to enhance the taste of low quality tea. The name ‘Earl Grey’ is most often connected to the English aristocrat and Prime Minster Charles Grey.
A potted history of Earl Grey
NEW VOCABULARY: mention, bergamot, enhance, aristocrat, significant, lawn mower, suffice it to, suffice to say, is clear cut, opaque
AUDIO LISTENING 1: Remember to listen and read together:
The origin of tea
Earl Grey tea was originally Chinese black tea flavoured with bergamot oil. Bergamot trees grow almost exclusively in Calabria in southern Italy. They are a natural hybrid of sweet lime and bitter orange. The fruit is about the size of an orange but with the colour of a lime. Therefore, significantly, the flesh and juice of bergamots are extremely acidic, so the fruit is predominantly grown for its zest from which bergamot oil is extracted. This oil is added to the dried black tea leaves to give Earl Grey its distinctive lifted-floral scent and sweet-citrus flavour.
NEW VOCABULARY: lies in, leaves, brewed, Han Dynasty, invented and marketed, exclusively, a hybrid of sweet lime, the flesh, extremely, acidic, zest, its distinctive, lifted-floral scent, and sweet-citrus flavour
AUDIO LISTENING 2: Remember to listen and read together:
The 2nd Earl Grey
NEW VOCABULARY: lay claim to, numerous, involvement, prime minister, reportedly received a diplomatic according to, tea merchants
AUDIO LISTENING 3: Remember to listen and read together:
Video Listening Section: Watch the video and then answer the questions below.
Twinings is a British tea company. Twinings tea is available in Brazil. Twinings make quality teas including Earl Grey tea.
- What does “AKA” mean?
- What is Earl Grey Tea flavoured with?
- When they take the skin off the bergamot and make ‘pulp’ with it. What do they use the pulp for?
- How much is 1 kg of bergamot worth?
- Where is the company ‘Twinings’ situated? https://twinings.co.uk/
- What was Queen Elizabeth’s favourite tea?
NEW VOCABULARY: Perfumed, fragrant, scented, floral , apply to, aside from, meticulous, plenty of, essential oils, ease, anziety citrus aromas, anxiousness, feel het up, better still, admire, beautifully cut lawn
AUDIO LISTENING 4: Remember to listen and read together:
Flavour to enhance or disguise?
There may be a more cynical angle to the development of Earl Grey tea. As with all valuable commodities, fake and illicit tea imports were rife. Tea was so popular it was heavily taxed; indeed it was the British tea tax in America that saw the dumping of tea leaves into Boston Harbour which led to the American Revolution barely sixty years earlier.
By the early 1800s, tea was in demand, smuggling was an issue – and so was the quality of some teas. What better way to disguise your ‘fannings’ or dust than by flavouring them with something else? However, regardless of however humble (or not) its beginnings, Earl Grey tea quickly became very fashionable.
NEW VOCABULARY: cynical angle, valuable, commodities, fake, illicit, heavily, taxed, indeed, tea, Boston, Harbour, barely, smuggling, demand, to disguise, fannings, dust, flavourings, regardless of, however, humble, fashionable
AUDIO LISTENING LESSON: Remember to listen and read together:
Write 150 words about your preference of beverage. Say why you prefer it and how you take it.
In your text use one example of the present perfect progressive tense and one comparative and one superlative. You will find the relevant lesson documents below on our FREE book download website.