Bergamot

Earl Grey tea

I noticed this particular blend of Earl Grey tea has blue flowers. Blue flowers? Not knowing what flower this could be, I did a tiny bit of research on Earl Grey tea, and of bergamot too, wondering if those petals could be bergamot flower?  My findings  enlighten me to the fact that there are actually two kinds of bergamot in the botanical world!  First, the European grown Bergamot Orange , botanical name is Citrus Bergamia.

ec9e8651e96c25feb9183932b51ef4b2--botanical-drawings-botanical-illustration
Second, the North American herbal plant Wild Bergamot, also known as Bee Balm,  botanical name is  Monardae20b82df1129d9ef5b8e8e91d7e1a0cb
This was confusing to me, because the herbaceous bergamot has a purplish flower, which some of the Earl Grey tea blends have.  Now, reading up on ingredients in Earl Grey blends, I found that the dried petals in my tea could very possibly be cornflower petals !HHDL_Garden_Cornflower
The type of blue flower petals in my tea blend is still a mystery, however, there is no debate that the signature flavor of Earl Grey tea is the citrus kind of Bergamot, the essential oil which is extracted from the aromatic skin of the sour fruit.

I have also discovered that Earl Grey tea is one of the most varied blends of tea,  and that “Earl Grey” as applied to tea is not a registered trademark, thus numerous tea companies produce their own blends of Earl Grey tea, using a wide variety of tea leaves and additives.  Aside from black tea, obviously, ingredients vary enough to make me dizzy; there is foremost the essential oil of the citrus bergamot, but may also citrus rind, licorice root, lavender, mallow flower, monarda flower, cornflower, jasmine, rose petals lemon grass,  vanilla ~~ just to name a few ingredients I have found so far.  What are the ingredients in your favorite Earl Grey blend?

All very well & good!  Actually, the reason for my curiosity is that I have been thinking about making Earl Grey ice-cream lately,  among other forthcoming tea-inspired ideas, so I finally did, and here’s  how I made a small sample batch, including a little photo slideshow…

  1. Heat to scalding, 1 cup of heavy cream with 2-4 tablespoons of your favorite Earl Grey blend in the cream — no need to boil.
  2. Add 1/2 cup sugar, and let it sit a couple of hours at least, to get the Earl Grey flavors exuding into the cream.
  3. When completely cool, stir well, and strain through sieve, then and add 1 cup milk.
  4. Churn freeze & enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Served up in a little espresso demitasse,

and let me tell you,

the ice-cream is every bit as fragrant as the tea,  

absolutely delicious … 

jenjoycedesign© Earl Grey icecream

Earl Grey  tea ice-cream

… and I think that the Earl himself would approve!

image

The Earl Charles Grey, 1764-1845

 

9 thoughts on “Bergamot

  1. Your Earl Grey ice cream looks very tasty. I love Earl Grey tea as well as Lady Grey tea. Lady Grey tea by Twinings has black tea, orange peel, lemon peel, cornflowers, and citrus flavouring. Twinings Earl Grey tea doesn’t have the cornflowers but another brand I bought had cornflowers.

    • Thank you for sharing your favorite Earl Grey ingredients! I guess the ‘citrus flavoring’ is suppose to be the Bergamot, do you think? But why cornflowers I wonder, as I think they are a dye too~~ guess I ought to research that too. 🙂

  2. You have so many talents, I have decided to call you the first-ever Swizard. Sweet wizard of all things natural and fascinating, collector of knowledge, lover of wisdom is the Swizard Jenn.

    • Terry, thank you, but you yourself are so ever cleverly fun! Perhaps you ought to be a famous critic writer, you seem to have a penchant for coming up with great metaphors and rhymes! xx

    • I remember you were the person who told me a long time ago about Earl Grey tea & bergamot! My favorite blend has to date been the Peets blend, but I’m still working on that lot that I got from Traditions. xx

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