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Lemon or Orange? How to serve the perfect cup of Earl Grey

Earl Grey tea is a must that is loved for its unique flavour, which comes from adding bergamot oil to a black tea, when the recipe is a good one, like ours.

While the tea is delicious on its own, some people like to serve it with lemon to enhance its citrusy notes and provide a refreshing twist. But we, at Babingtons, prefer to serve it with a slice of orange or, strangely enough, with milk. Why the orange? It’s less aggressive, thus respecting the tea leaves and their beneficial properties.

“We worked a lot on this blend and I tasted many samples before deciding on this one. I wanted to taste the actual tea which is at the base of this blend, a Ceylon tea, as well as the bergamot. The result I’m glad to say is a very well-balanced tea. I ask my clients not to ruin it by adding a slice of lemon . Always better to use an orange slice to enhance the delicious flavours.” 

Chiara Bedini, Babingtons Tea Guru & descendent of the co founder, Miss Isabel Cargill

What You'll Need:

Earl Grey tea bags or loose leaf tea

Milk or orange slices

Hot water

Teapot or tea infuser


Steps to Serve Earl Grey with milk or orange slices

Boil cold water in a kettle or on the stove. Bring the water to 95° (not boiling) and then gently pour it over the tea.

Prepare the tea. If using tea bags, place one bag in a teacup or teapot for each serving of tea. If using loose-leaf tea, use a tea infuser or strainer to steep the tea in the teapot. 2 gr per 150 ml is a good quantity to enjoy your Earl Grey

Add hot water. Pour the hot water over the tea bags or loose-leaf tea and let it steep for 3-4 minutes. To get a stronger brew, don’t steep for longer, but add a little more tea leaves.

Dress your tea. After the tea has steeped you are ready to serve and dress with a slice of fresh orange or a drop of milk. Earl Grey teas also like a little sugar - only if you do too, of course. 

Enjoy it with freshly baked scones, a chocolate cake or a fruit tart.

Tips for Serving Earl Grey with Orange Slices

Use fresh fruit for the best flavour. Avoid using bottled juice or pre-cut fruit, as these can have a weaker flavour and may not taste as fresh.

Be mindful of the tea's pH level. Adding citrus to tea can make it more acidic, which can cause the tea to curdle when mixed with milk. If you plan to add milk to your tea, it's best to skip the citrus.

Serving Earl Grey tea with orange slices is a simple and delicious way to enhance the tea's citrusy notes and create a refreshing drink. Whether you prefer the classic black tea version or one of the many variations available, adding a slice of fresh citrus can provide a zesty and flavorful twist to your tea.