Lady Grey Tea: A Delicious Earl Grey Alternative

lady grey tea post header

What may sound aristocratic with a sense of regality punches forward ever so delicately on your first sip? That’s Lady Great tea! If you haven’t tried this tea yet, it’s a must-do. The ingredients are intriguing, and the aroma mesmerizing. Curious to find out more?

What is Lady Grey Tea?

Lady Grey tea is a trademarked tea created by Twinings in 1994 for those who love Earl Grey but preferred a more subtle intensity in flavor. The essence of Earl Grey’s hallmark bergamot aroma and flavor is maintained in Lady Grey but is less pronounced. Infusions of orange and lemon, along with the delicate bergamot, blue cornflowers, and black tea, forms the perfect marriage for a lovely tea.

Many of us know bergamot as a fragrance found in soaps, lotions, and other products. However, bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a fruit grown in Italy. This plant is a hybrid of a cross between an orange and lemon. Bergamot oranges are green, bumpy, and extremely bitter, but the aroma is sublime!

The essential oil from the bergamot is infused into dried tea leaves which go on to be Earl Grey and Lady Grey tea.

History and Background Of Lady Grey Tea

Lady Grey tea is a young tea that’s only been around for a few decades. However, Earl Grey tea is its predecessor that paved the way for Lady Grey to make its debut. Earl Grey tea is a tea most tea-drinkers know well because of its distinct bergamot aroma and flavor.

Earl Grey gets its name from Charles Grey, 2nd Earl of Grey and former Prime Minister of Britain back in the 1800s. Legend has it that a Mandarin tea maker from the Qing Dynasty gifted a tea infused with bergamot to Charles. This tea became something often served by Countess Grey (also known as ‘Lady Grey’ – Charles’ wife) while entertaining influential guests.

The tea caught on and became a mainstream tea that we know and enjoy today. Lady Grey tea is a subdued version of Earl Grey with a more pronounced subtly in bergamot and an infusion of orange and lemon. 

Lady Grey tea may not have a grand historical story to tell just yet, but in the years to come, we are sure there will be more attestations to its fine taste!

Black Tea: The Basis Of Lady Grey

Lady Grey tea blend

The foundation for Lady Grey Tea is black tea from China and Central Africa. The tea plants are carefully cultivated on tea plantations in areas where the clouds kiss the tea leaves, the sun embraces the plants, and the soil provides dense nutrients. 

These things lend to the flavor of the tea and pack it full of healthy benefits for drinkers.

China Black Tea

The black tea sourced from China is Keemun which comes from the Camellia sinesis var. Sinensis plant. Keemun is grown in China’s Anhui Province. The tea plants are perched on steeps sides of towering mountains at elevations of 6,000 feet and more. 

Black Tea From Africa

Africa is where Lady Grey’s other component of the black-tea blend originates. This tea is grown at altitudes where the clouds float listlessly past pickers on the steep mountainsides picking the tea leaves. 

Elevation and Flavor

The elevation plays a vital role in how tea will taste. The same species of plant grown at two different elevations will have a different flavor profile. The lower the elevation, the more subdued the flavor. At higher elevations, the tea flavor is more intense.

Teas grown at higher elevations are considered premium teas.

Low-Grown Elevations:

  • Elevation: under 2,000 feet
  • Climate: hot and humid
  • Flavor: less pronounced, diluted

Medium-Grown Elevations:

  • Elevation: 2,000-4,000 feet
  • Climate: cool, dry
  • Flavor: mellow, fruity

High-Grown Elevations:

  • Elevation: 5,000-6,000 feet
  • Climate: pure/condensed moisture and cool air
  • Flavor: intense, tangy, highly aromatic 

The Importance Of Flushes

Tea leaves are handpicked at seasonal intervals called “flushes.” The flavor and quality of the tea are dependent on which flush it happens to fall in. 

Black teas are harvested in different flushes. The number of flushes varies according to the climate, culture, and type of tea. For example, Keemun tea (from China) goes through four flushes from spring to early summer. Other black teas from other countries go through an average of two to three flushes.

The time of year a flush occurs plays a significant role in the flavor and quality of the tea.

  • Late winter-early spring: The tea plant has been dormant all winter, and it is nutrient-dense.
  • Spring-fall: By this time, the plants’ leaves are full and dense from absorbing the sun. The more sun it absorbs, the fewer the nutrients. 

As you can see, the first flush is more beneficial nutrient-wise to drink, and the leaves are tender. First flushes produce the more sought-after tea making it a premium batch of tea.

Is Lady Grey Tea The Same As Earl Grey?

Lady Grey tea vs Earl Grey tea

Many wonder why have two separate yet similar-tasting bergamot-infused teas such as Earl Grey and Lady Grey? Drinkers who love the taste of Earl Grey but prefer something a little less-empowering but still embodies the flavor of Earl Grey often come to enjoy Lady Grey.

The Difference Between Earl Grey And Lady Grey Tea

There are a few differences between the two teas.

Lady Grey TeaEarl Grey Tea
Introduced in 1994 by Twinings in honor of Countess Grey (wife of Charles Grey, 2nd Earl of Grey)Introduced in the 1800s by a Mandarin tea maker who gifted the tea to Charles Grey, 2nd Earl of Grey. The tea entered the mainstream society because of Countess Grey serving it to influential people.
Lady Grey is a lighter version of Earl Grey.Earl Grey strongly embodies bergamot.
Black tea base (Keemun being one, the other is sourced from Africa).Black tea base (Ceylon or Assam)
Ingredients include:

– Black tea blend
– Peels of oranges and lemons
– Blue cornflowers
– Infusion with essential oils of bergamot, orange, and lemon
Ingredients include:

– Black tea
– Infusion of essential oil from bergamot
What does Lady Grey tea taste like?

– Floral
– Citrus
– Delicate and light
What does Earl Grey tea taste like?

– Floral
– Citrus
– Strong
– Malty

Is It Okay To Drink Lady Grey Tea Every Day?

Lady Grey tea, like any other black tea, should be consumed in moderation because of the caffeine level. Black tea has the highest amount of caffeine (up to 50 mg per 6 oz. cup.) The daily recommended intake of caffeine is 400 mg

Bergamot, which is responsible for the lovely aroma and flavoring of this tea, may cause some unwanted side effects if too much Lady Grey tea is consumed. Bergamot essential oil (used to flavor the tea) contains Bergapten. Bergapten affects the level of potassium in our body and, if ingested regularly, can cause “potassium impairment.” This impairment causes muscle cramping. 

So, it’s best to enjoy Lady Grey tea a few times a week to avoid any adverse effects.

Is Lady Grey Tea Good For You?

lady grey tea type

Black tea is packed with benefits that stimulate and boost our overall health. We not only benefit from drinking this tea physically but mentally as well. The “intentional tea time” set aside to enjoy a cup gives us the chance to slow down, breathe in, recharge, and, well, just be still.

Vitamin C

The lemon and orange peel in Lady Grey tea provides us with Vitamin C, which helps our body to heal, absorb iron, and form necessary tissue for our bones, muscles, and blood system. This vitamin also gives our immune system a boost to fight off getting sick. Citrus is a leading source of Vitamin C, and the Bergamot orange ranks right up there with regular oranges, lemons, limes, etc. 

Healthier Heart

Black tea is chocked full of antioxidants that reduce heart disease and cardiac disorders. The leading cause of death just happens to be heart attacks, so by enjoying a cup of Lady Grey tea, you are providing your cardiovascular system a preventative that keeps your ticker in tip-top shape. Additionally, the essential oil in bergamot reduces cholesterol which in turn leads to a healthier heart.

Digestive Health

The blue cornflowers in Lady Grey tea not only provide a dash of color but also have health benefits that include antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic. Additionally, polyphenols and polysaccharides present in blue cornflowers act as a protectant in the stomach lining against gastric ulcers.

How Much Caffeine In Lady Grey Tea?

Caffeine amounts in any tea are hard to narrow down to a precise level. However, we do know that black tea contains the highest amount of caffeine. The amount of time the tea brews also contributes to the overall level of caffeine. The longer you brew, the higher the caffeine.

Lady Grey tea caffeine averages:

  • 1-minute brew: 14-19 mg 
  • 3-minute brew: 22-39 mg
  • 5-minute brew: 27-49 mg

How to Drink Lady Grey Tea

“Lady Grey” implicates a rather “pinky-up” style of drinking this tea. The name evokes a sense of delicacy often associated with the fairer sex. Because this tea hasn’t been around too long, there isn’t much of precedence to follow in how to prepare and enjoy this tea.

We have a few recipes to help you in your exploration journey with Lady Grey tea.

Lady Grey London Fog-Style


  • 1 tablespoon loose leaf Lady Grey tea (or 1 teabag)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 pinch of dried lavender
  • ¼ cup of steamed milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
  • Honey (optional, to sweeten)


  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat.

Tip: Use a bit of the hot water to bathe your teacup and discard. This warms the teacup making it receptive to pouring the tea in.

  1. Add tea, vanilla, and lavender to the hot water and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Steam the milk.
  3. Drain tea mixture and discard.
  4. Pour steamed milk into the teacup, and then add the tea.
  5. Sweeten with honey as desired, and enjoy!

Lady Grey Summer Zinger


  • 6 cups of warm water
  • 2 oranges (sliced)
  • ½ cup of loose Lady Grey tea
  • Large Pitcher
  • Sprigs of fresh mint


  1. Fill the pitcher with warm water.
  2. Add sliced oranges and tea.
  3. Cover and place in direct sun for a few hours.
  4. Drain tea/orange mixture and discard.
  5. Pour over ice and add a sprig of fresh mint and enjoy!

A Refined Tea Worth Having!

Lady Grey tea has the fine qualities of Earl Grey but in a more subtle yet refined manner. The hints and aroma of bergamot are preserved without being overpowering. We highly recommend trying this tea if you haven’t.

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