What’s the Difference Between Earl Grey and Lady Grey Tea?


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Earl Grey tea is just about the most famous type of tea in the world. It makes me hear Patrick Stewart say “Earl Grey, Hot” every time. You may have come across Lady Grey sold by Twinnings asking yourself what the difference between the “original” Earl Grey tea and this Lady Grey tea is.

Difference Between Earl Grey Tea And Lady Grey Tea

SHORT ANSWER – The Difference Between Lady Grey And Earl Grey Tea

Lady Grey is a specific type of Earl Grey tea trademarked by Twinnings. Earl Grey itself is not trademarked, so various brands have their own unique variation. While Earl Grey is known for its intense flavor, Twinnings Lady Grey contain additional citrus flavoring to achieve a lighter taste.

As you can see, there are a few key differences between these types of tea. Let’s take a closer look at what separates them, so you’ll be able to find the right one for you.

Do Lady Grey and Earl Grey Taste Different?

There are a few subtle differences in the flavors of Lady Grey and Earl Grey. Lady Grey will have a more subtle flavor, with more citrus elements.

The biggest difference between the two blends is the way that they taste. Earl Grey is typically made from black tea. To complete the flavors, Bergamot needs to be added. Depending on what type of blend you get, there might be a few other ingredients, but those are the most important two. This will create a full-flavored tea.

Lady Grey is also made from black tea and Bergamot. However, it has a slightly more subtle flavor. This is achieved by adding additional orange and lemon peelsBecause of this, it’s commonly described as the lighter version of Earl Grey. 

It should be noted that there are many versions of Earl Grey. Each brand will have a slightly different blend, giving their offering a unique taste. Though these changes will be very subtle, the more astute tea drinker will be able to pick up on them.

However, as we’ll discuss later, Lady Grey is a more modern creation. The trademark is owned by Twinnings. Because of this, every cup should have the same uniform flavor. However, you might be able to find other blends from different sellers under slightly different names.

Why Was Lady Grey Created?

Lady Grey was created by the brand Twinnings. They did this because some people complained about the intense flavors produced by Earl Grey. So, they made Lady Grey replicate the taste but without the same intensity.

Earl Grey has a long history. Though no one is precisely sure where it came from, it is believed to be liked to Charles Grey, the former Prime Minister of Britain. It’s been around since 1832, so it has grown a large fanbase.

On the other hand, Lady Grey has a more modern history. It was created by Twinnings around 30 years ago. They noticed that some tea drinkers in Nordic countries didn’t like the famous Earl Grey variety’s strong flavors. However, they still wanted to experience delicious tea.

So, the company decided to experiment with the flavors of the blend. They used more lemon and orange peels. This let them replicate Earl Grey without the same intense flavors.

They wanted to pay homage to the original Earl Grey blend that it was based on. Because of this, they decided to name it Lady Grey. This is a reference to the wife of Charles Grey. She was known for entertaining guests at her tea parties.

How Do You Prepare Earl Grey and Lady Grey?

Both of these teas will be prepared in a similar way. You can either drink it straight or add milk. You can add either lemon or sugar. 

Both will require you to use hot water. You want it to be just below boiling temperature. This ensures that you won’t burn the tea. Then, you’ll need to leave the tea bag in the water to brew. Often, this process will take two to three minutes.

After this is done, you’ll need to remove the bag. Then, you can add some milk, or you can drink the tea straight. Some people like to sweeten their tea. In this case, you can use either sugar or lemon. If you’re adding milk, you should avoid using lemon. This might cause the milk to curdle. Stir these sweeteners into the tea, dissolving them into the hot water.

Some people will prefer to use sweeteners like honey or brown sugar. This isn’t recommended when preparing Lady Grey tea because these can clash with the flavor. Because of this, it will be best to stick with sugar or lemon.

Often, there isn’t a lot of difference in the way that these teas are prepared. In some cases, you might need less sweetener in Lady Grey because of the more subtle flavors. However, this will depend on your tastes.

When Should You Drink Earl Grey Or Lady Grey?

Typically, the Earl Grey is prepared in the morning and evening. However, the lighter flavors of the Lady Grey make it the perfect choice for drinking throughout the day.

Both of these varieties are black teas. This means that they will both contain caffeine. However, their different flavor profiles suggest that they might be best suited to different times of the day.

For example, many people prefer to drink Earl Grey in the mornings. They like the more robust flavors to help them wake up. They might also want to relax with this type of tea at night, allowing them to get over a busy day at work.

However, during the day, it might be best to pick a Lady Grey. The lighter flavors will pair well with a biscuit or lemon slice. The subtler flavors can also be a good choice for people who aren’t used to drinking tea. The lighter flavors might also be best before bed. This will make it easier for you to drift off into sleep.

What Type of Tea is Used to Make Earl Grey and Lady Grey? 

Lady Grey is typically made from tea from India. On the other hand, Earl Grey tea can come from either China, Sri Lanka, or India. 

Several locations are known for producing excellent tea varieties. However, where the tea comes from will often depend on the company providing the blend. Twinnings tends to source their tea from locations around India.

However, Earl Grey tea isn’t trademarked. As a result, the tea can come from multiple other locations around the world. Though Sri Lanka, China, and India are the most common, there are plenty of other tea-producing regions. Where the tea is sourced from will often depend on the company.

Where the tea comes from can have an impact on the taste. But the most significant impact will be on the lives of local workers. Before buying, make sure that it has been produced ethically. Most tea brands will be able to fulfill these ethical obligations, ensuring that their workers receive fair compensation.

Final Thoughts On Lady Grey Tea

Lady Grey and Earl Grey are some of the most popular tea varieties in the world. Though they seem similar, they have different flavors. Lady Grey is a subtle blend, which uses more citrus. On the other hand, Earl Grey is a more intense flavor. As a result, some people prefer to drink them at different times of the day.

The other significant difference is the ownership of the name. Lady Grey is owned and trademarked by Twinnings while Earl Grey isn’t. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the history and differences between these teas. So, try both and see which one you prefer the most. 

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