Where does the flavor of earl grey come from?

I’ve never been a tea drinker. But I know someone who has. Which makes me wonder if I should. It makes me wonder if…

Yes, The Impression That I Get is totally stuck in my head today! But that is not the point of our little post. We do have a genuine English member on the team here. Like, born and raised. Not just someone that went to London for a study abroad program and now insists on calling their apartment a flat. 🙂

She posed the question to me, “What gives earl grey tea its distinct (and in my opinion) delicious flavor?” We’ll pause here to be slightly disappointed that she has now been in the US long enough that she didn’t use flavour… The English are so charming with all of those extra u shenanigans.

But, getting to the tea. I had no idea. I can tell you that Mexican Coke is so tasty because of the cane sugar. But I don’t even know my green tea from my black tea. So, to the internet!

It turns out the magic of earl grey tea comes from our friend citrus bergamia, or the bergamot orange. More specifically, an essence extracted from the aromatic skin of the fruit.

But it’s not all fun and games with citrus bergamia. Psoralen (extracted from bergamot oil) was used in tanning accelerators and sunscreen. But here’s the rub. It’s photocarcinogenic! So, stay out of the sun, to start. And if you do go out in it, don’t slather bergamot oil on your skin. Because I’m sure it isn’t good. That’s the impression that I get.

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