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Tip your hat: Our guide to Lady Grey tea

We love Earl Grey here at Tea Perspective. Not only is it a little bit posh, but the aromatics and complex taste always deliver, together with the health benefits of black tea. Early Grey is one of the most well-known and classical black tea blends in the world, with so many variants to try that we’re still working through them ourselves! Well, we  also love Lady Grey – the wife of the Earl, and a whole different Earl Grey experience. But, what is it, and why do so many people love it?

Lady Grey is an alternative choice for those who love the taste of regular Earl Grey tea, but find the taste a little too strong for them. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the origins, benefits and brewing methods of Lady Grey, as well as where you can buy some of the most popular blends.

What is Lady Grey tea?

Lady Grey tea is a careful blend of black tea that has been mixed with citrus and orange peel, with a touch of bergamot oil for the famous scent. The interesting thing is that Lady Grey tea is actually a brand created by global tea masters, Twinings, and is therefore, their ‘invention’ rather than a blend offered by other companies. Of course, their competitors have created their own versions, but the original (and in our opinion, best) Lady Grey tea comes from Twinings themselves.

The original idea behind Lady Grey was to offer Scandinavian countries the chance to sample the flavors without being too strong, but the variety has since gained worldwide popularity. This is due to branding, and the fact that it is made – and marketed – by Twinings.

How about other brands?

As mentioned, other tea companies have jumped onto the popularity to create their own versions. Rather than being a direct copy, they have taken their own spins on the recipe while making sure to retain the sophistication of the original tea – especially in their use of bergamot oil for the aromatic aesthetic. Rivals are also using different leaves and blends, infusing other black teas from producers in China, India and Africa.

Are there any health benefits from drinking Lady Grey Tea?

More than just a delicious hot drink, Lady Grey tea has a number of potential health benefits, especially as it includes bergamot oil in its recipe. We’re going to have a quick rundown of the health benefits of drinking it, but please bear in mind that research is ongoing, and Lady Grey tea should not be used as a cure for any chronic or serious conditions.

As a black tea, Lady Grey can possibly help fight free radicals in the body, as well as decreasing blood sugar, regulating blood pressure and potentially helping to fight cancer as well.

The bergamot oil in Lady Grey is also used in various aromatherapy practices and has been linked with mood enhancements and mental wellbeing, which can help with mild stress levels and anxiety. So, the next time you’re brewing up a cup of Lady Grey tea, take a moment to inhale the scent of the leaves to get the full advantage of the bergamot oil.

There are no real side-effects associated with Lady Grey blends, but the usual ones that you get in black tea still apply. There is still a reasonable amount of caffeine (more on that below) and having too much of that could lead to stomach problems and issues with sleeping.

Lady Grey vs Earl Grey tea

We’ve already touched on the differences between these two teas, but here are a few more for you to read the next time you’re sipping a cuppa.

  • Lady Grey was created within the last 50 years by Twinings whereas Earl Grey tea has been around for centuries
  • Both black tea types have been created by English teamakers and grown abroad
  • The flavors and blends of Lady Grey will always be determined by twinings, whereas Earl Grey has many different producers to put their own spin on things.
  • As part of their ‘story’, both teas are part of the same family. For instance, Earl Grey is said to be named after the British Prime Minister, Charles Grey, whereas Lady Grey is associated with his wife. 
  • Earl Grey originally had only two ingredients, which were the traditional black tea blends and bergamot oil. Lady Grey on the other hand contains orange and lemon notes, with other additions which account for its softer taste.
  • While Lady Grey does share a lot with its ‘husband’, Earl Grey will always be stronger in flavor.

How to brew Lady Grey tea

Just like regular Earl Grey, the flavor of your cuppa will depend on how you make it. As usual, we recommend using freshly drawn and boiled water, together with a quality kettle and mug to make the experience as regal as it deserves to be. Here’s what you need to do to create the different ways to enjoy Lady Grey tea.

  • For Hot Tea – pour near-boiling water over the tea bag and steep for 3 minutes, depending on how strong you like it. The stronger flavor you like, the more likely you’ll prefer Earl Grey tea.
  • For Iced Tea – for a quart, use 4 tea bags and brew with 4 cups of water, then allow it to cool and serve over ice. Alternatively, you can cold brew it in the fridge overnight.
  • For Loose Tea – per 6-8oz cup, use 1 teaspoon of loose tea each and steep in near-boiling water for 3 minutes, then strain, unless using an infuser or French press.

Although we consider ourselves as reasonable tea experts, if you have any brewing methods or tips that you know are great for Lady Grey, please do get in touch and let us know! 

Should you add milk to Lady Grey tea?

One of the main selling points of Lady Grey tea is that it is a smoother and more gentle variation of black tea. How you choose to drink it, is of course up to your preference but you can fine-tune things a little more if you want to. 

While many tea purists may balk at the idea of adding milk to Earl Grey, many people prefer to put a little bit to take the edge off the flavor to add even more smoothness. While Lady Grey is less bitter, you can still experiment with putting a little milk in to see how it combines with all the other flavors that are already happening. And in terms of sugar, this is again up to your own preferences. We would not generally recommend adding sugar to any kind of Earl Grey, but if you do like a little sweetness in your hot drink, a spoonful of honey will more than do the trick.

Lady Grey Tea Caffeine

As we know, caffeine is a double-edged sword. While many of us drink black tea for better focus and alertness, having too much could affect your sleep and digestion – especially if you’re more sensitive to caffeine than others. 

Even though Lady Grey Tea contains less caffeine than Earl Grey, the caffeine levels range from 25-110 mg, depending on how strong it’s made or whether a tea bag or loose tea is used for brewing. You can buy a decaffeinated version if you’re concerned with Lady Grey Tea caffeine levels.

So, if you love Earl Grey but don’t necessarily want to go for a decaf version, Lady Grey is the perfect middle ground.

Where to buy Lady Grey

Buying Lady Grey tea is not too difficult as it is produced by twinings, who we know are very prolific around the world. Even though there is just one producer, there are still some different variations that you can try, including tea bag and loose-leaf options. Here are some that we can recommend you try:

Twinings of London Lady Grey Black Tea Bags

  • FRESH FLAVOR: Six boxes of 20 Lady Grey Black...
  • ONLY THE FINEST QUALITY: Our expert blenders...
  • LADY GREY TEA: Lady Grey is offered...

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Well, here it is. The definitive and classic Lady Earl Grey from Twinings. With thousands of online reviews, this is by far the most popular variant, and for good reason! The fresh flavor is everything that you’d expect from a more mellow tea, with the unmistakable aroma of bergamot oil to round things off nicely.

And, of course, because this is Twinings, you can be sure of the quality. This particular product comes in the form of tea backs, which can be bought in different counts. Of course, tea bags are the easiest ways to prepare tea, so if you like things quick and easy, this is the tea for you.

Twinings of London Lady Grey Bright and Zesty

  • Twinings Lady Grey Teabags 100 250g

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Lady Grey tea has more subtle flavors at play than the regular Earl Grey blends. This variant is described as bright and zesty, which we can certainly agree with! As well as the usual Lady Grey blend, you can enjoy the notes of orange, lemon peel and citrus zest, which not only makes this uplifting tea delicious but refreshing as well.

And of course, when combining these unique flavors with aromatic bergamot, you can be sure that every cup tastes as good as the last. Also, we would say that this is a fantastic tea to drink in the morning with your breakfast, or at the office as you snack on your mid-morning biscuit.

Twinings of London Loose Leaf Lady Grey

  • Tea, Orange Peel (3%), Lemon Peel (2%),...

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Everybody likes to prepare their tea differently, and while most people tend to prefer tea bags because of their convenience, many true tea experts would argue that loose-leaf is always more natural. By using loose leaf variants of tea instead of tea bags, you’ll be able to create a better infusion of the flavors because of how much more space the leaves have to swirl around in the infuser.

If you have a good infuser and know what you’re doing, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the loose-leaf variation of Lady Grey from Twinings as it takes an already-delicious hot drink and turns it into a true classic. Just remember to use good quality infusers and fresh water to make the most of it!

Tealyra – Milady Grey

  • You've been asking for it and we are proud to...
  • This blend infuses a malty, buttery, citrusy...
  • We blended together luxury grade black tea,...

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We spent a fair amount of time debating whether or not to feature a brand that wasn’t strictly ‘Lady Grey’, but after a few cups we decided that this ‘Milady Grey’ was very much in the same spirit as the original. So, what are the differences here? Well, in Tealyra’s valiant attempt they have taken the aromatics to the next level. 

As well as the normal citrus flavors, this loose-leaf blend contains orange pieces, rose petals, lemon peel, cornflower petals, bergamot oil and lemon oil. While that might sound like a lot, they have balanced it all perfectly, and since this is a loose-leaf product it all comes together perfectly. So, if you’ve tried and loved all of the Lady Grey options from Twinings, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to broaden your taste horizons. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

A delicate lady indeed

Now that you know more about Lady Grey tea, you can go ahead and try it for yourself. Even though there is just one type from Twinings, there are of course other brands that have taken their own twist on the classic recipe. 

Just like its name, Lady Grey tea is a more delicate version of Earl Grey tea and is great for those who like a smoother drink that also has less caffeine. We hope that this guide has been useful for you, and if you’re ever having a cuppa with other fans of tea, you can drop some interesting little factors to discuss over your drink and biscuits. And, if you’re a fan of Earl Grey tea, this is a must.

And, just before we go – while Lady Grey is not exactly exotic, it is certainly one of the more ‘fringe’ teas out there. We love learning about new blends and types all the time, so if you do have a hot tip (and cup) of a tea that you love that hasn’t yet been featured on our site, please get in touch.

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