Secrets To Steeping Earl Grey Tea

Whether we’re starting our day, having a friend over for an afternoon chat, or electing to spend a few hours cozied up with a good book, we believe that a well-prepared cup of hot tea is an essential wintertime element. To help us make the most of this cold-weather ritual, we reached out to Abigail StClair, owner of Tampa Bay-based TeBella Tea Company, who provided us with her expert advice for how to steep the perfect cup of Earl Grey tea. Here are her recommendations:

  1. Select a high-quality loose leaf blend of Earl Grey. We prefer blends heavy on the bergamot (the citrus fruit that gives Earl Grey its distinct flavor), and while we’re partial to our own blend, we also recommend Fortnum & Mason or Mariage Frères; they know their way around Earl Grey.
  2. Heat your water in a kettle. Once it has started to boil, remove from the burner and let sit for about a minute. Different teas steep at different temperatures, and Earl Grey is fairly hardy; we steep our Earl Grey at 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. When making a cup of tea, you only need one teaspoon of loose leaf tea per 8-ounce serving of water. Measure out your tea into a steeping basket or teapot, add your hot water, and steep for 3 minutes.
  4. Now comes the most important part: how do you take your tea? Some prefer Earl Grey plain, but it pairs well with milk and a subtle sweetener like raw honey or rock sugar. And don’t forget the shortbread cookies! Earl Grey pairs wonderfully with the crowd-pleasing treats.

Expert tip from Abigail StClair, owner of TeBella Tea Company in Tampa Bay, FL. Tip image from TeBella Tea Company via Instagram.