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Earl Grey

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The very essence of British tea drinking…

Our take on the quintessential British blend of fine Chinese and Ceylon black tea is perfectly balanced with flavours of citrusy bergamot - we've even added a scattering of blue cornflower petals for an elegant final flourish.

Renowned for its wonderful bergamot aroma, Earl Grey tea has become firmly ensconced as an afternoon tea classic. The story goes that the iconic blend was specially created for Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, in reward for saving the son of a Chinese mandarin from drowning. When his supplies of the tea had run out, the earl commissioned British tea blenders to recreate the taste. A few decades later, Walter Whittard devised his own signature version which took the tea auctions by storm. Have a taste, and find out what all the fuss was about.

  • Tea Type

    Black Tea with Flavouring

  • Origin


  • Taste Profile

    Citrus, Refreshing

  • Tastes like

    Refreshing, with notes of fragrant bergamot

  • Food pairing

    Milk chocolate

  • When to drink

    Firmly ensconced as an afternoon tea classic

Brew the perfect cup

Add one teaspoon (around 2g) of loose leaf tea per cup and always use freshly drawn and boiled water. Allow to brew for 3-5 minutes according to taste. Can be enjoyed with or without milk.

* * - - - (25)

25 Reviews

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* - - - - Where's the Bergamot? More like BergaNOT!! by Carolyn Postans on 21st March 2017

I loved Whittards Afternoon Early Grey blend for such a long time. It was the best I could find. Until my last order. I asked the other half to make me a cup of tea one afternoon "Earl Grey please darling" I shouted to the kitchen. When I got my cup of tea, I took a sip and had to ask him if he heard me shout, he said yes, he'd opened a new box. I had to double check I’d actually ordered the right tea. There it was sitting in my cupboard "Earl Grey" on the box staring back at me. Urgh, it doesn't taste like Earl Grey. I had to take a really long sniff of the box to even get a hint of Bergamot, more like BergaNOT! Very disappointing! I should have read the reviews before ordering and looking at them now, it's been a year or so of bad reviews for this particular tea. Why aren't you listening to your customers Whittard? Surely we all can't be wrong? Please bring back the old blend.

* - - - - Do Not Buy! by Mark G on 14th January 2017

I should have listened to the other reviews, I thought I knew better. Why oh why did you change the recipe? I have been drinking Whittards amazing Earl Grey for years, but now it's awful. Very thin fragrance on the nose, if you didn't know it was earl grey you would struggle to tell. On the palate orange absolutely dominates this drink, but that's not the only issue. The thinness of the nose carries through to the taste, it's -very- weak, if you add a slice of lemon it just tastes of lemon and if you add even the smallest splash of milk it tastes of orange fruit tea (with milk). Very unpleasant brew, very disappointed, I implore you to not waste your money. I will be trying Kanuka Earl Grey until Whittard come to their senses.

* - - - - Why ruin perfection? by Lynn on 19th December 2016

I wish I had believed all the other online reviews, this is not a patch on the previous blend. If I’m going to have to drink a sub standard Earl Grey tea, then I shall be buying a cheaper one elsewhere. I had been a customer for at least ten years, but not any more! Very disappointed indeed.

* - - - - No Longer The Best by Nicola Jones on 8th December 2016

I used to enthuse about Whittards Earl Grey, how it was the absolute best and I used to make special journeys to stock up... no longer. The new blend is not a patch on the old so I certainly won't be recommending it, paying top whack, or giving it as a gift.

* - - - - Totally ruined a classic tea by Adrian Bottomley on 25th November 2016

I have long been a big fan of Whittards Earl Grey teas, especially the afternoon Earl Grey but following the change in recipe and the added orange peel it is nothing like the original and more like Lady Grey. I wrote to Whittards asking if they were going to listen to the critisism and go back to the original blend but the reply was "we will pass on your comments to the buying team" read into that what you will. Anyway I have found a fantastic alternative Earl Grey tea at the Bari Tea brewery in Alnwick, Northumberland, its similar to Whittards original but in my opinion slightly better.

Reply from Whittard, 26th November 2016

"Thanks for your review Adrian, we do always pass comments about the taste of our tea back to our buyers but don't forget you can return your tea for a refund or replacement under our taste guarantee. Sorry you've not enjoyed this blend


The Customer Care Team"

* - - - - Not nice by Philip on 4th October 2016

Not a very nice tea I am afraid. It seems from other reviews that the old formula was superior.

* * * * * Lovely tea for a pleasant afternoon by Julia on 15th September 2016

We love this tea for our tea time in the afternoon. It has a perfect balance of black tea, orange and bergamot and leaves a pleasant aftertaste in the mouth. Definitely an all time favourite.

* * - - - Earl Grey Peel by Karen on 6th September 2016

Sadly I didnt like the orange peel in this tea, I think it may have impacted on the taste and it wasnt to my taste at all for Earl Grey. Im only reviewing because I hope it will help Whittards review this tea as it would be great to have one that got 5 starts again!

* - - - - Very disappointed with new Earl Grey by Peter Morgan on 30th July 2016

Just bought this Earl Grey Tea and didn't realise that the formula had been changed. I liked the old blend, but the new blend is dominated by orange peel and tastes much too fruity and doesn't really seem like Earl Grey, so I am very disappointed.

* - - - - Earl grey by Alice firs on 30th July 2016

Woah! Serious disappointment! You had the best Earl Grey (Afternoon Earl Grey) in the country. And you've actually ditched it. What are you on?! Time to wake up and smell the tea..

* * - - - Unfortunately disappointing by BB on 11th July 2016

Tea was rather disappointing. Not bad, but also nothing special. Just the standard you would get elsewhere as well.

* * * * * My go to tea by Diana on 6th July 2016

Perfect balance of tea to bergamot - not over powering or like washing up liquid, like to many cheap alternatives.

* * - - - If it ain't broke, don't fix it! by Mimi Scott on 20th June 2016

Please bring back the wonderful Breakfast Earl Grey, I miss it so much, and the current one isn't a patch on it!

* * * * * Love this tea by Bert on 14th June 2016

Really surprised by some of the bad reviews of this tea, it's delicious - smooth base, without a hint of bitterness and fantastic bergamot flavour. Sweet, sublime. Perfect in the afternoon for a pick me up. That said, I never tried the afternoon earl grey, but this Earl Grey is perfect for me.

* - - - - Shame about the breakfast Earl Grey going by hj on 1st June 2016

Loved the breakfast Earl Grey and did not realise it was being stopped until I went to try and order some. Pity you did not bother to warn existing online customers it was going to be withdrawn so we at least could stock up a bit before it went. Please reconsider and bring it back.

* - - - - Bring back old earl gray please by Takahiro Kawaguchi on 4th May 2016

What did you do with the old one? We loved it as is - why put flower pedal ? we don't care about aesthetics but Whittard earl gray flavor. Please bring back the old one.

* - - - - Why? by Jette on 2nd May 2016

Why did you change the wonderful Earl Grey you had in stock previously? Why the addition of the orange peel? It is no value added to the tea? We spent an evening with tea on the table and tweezers to take out as much orange peel as we could to make it drinkable. We also dearly miss your wonderful Afternoon Earl Grey.

* - - - - Scam Earl Grey by Louise Harris on 21st April 2016

Ruined this tea, its not just weak, tasteless its a scam it has much less black tea and less than half the bergamot oil instead bulked out with cheap peel etc but yet they have increased the price and reduced the quantity by 25grams as now only 100grams ...clearly think their customers are halfwits without taste buds !

* - - - - Absolutely frustrated :-( by Johannes Kramer on 14th April 2016

I am absolutely frustrated about the change of the complete range! What has happened to Earl Grey, where is afternoon Earl Grey and Breakfast Earl Grey?! It’s hard to understand how a company with such a long tradition and heritage decides to relaunch the the whole product range. You had good working products and many stores with thousands of regular customers. I think this was the badest idea you or your management could have had! I’m from Germany and I bought always teas for home, when I came to England or Scotland. But now I don’t know if I ever will buy your tea again. There are many good teas out there and I don’t want to spend my money on a company that doesn’t cares about its customers... Please perceive your error! Then I will be back.

* - - - - why the flowers by Ross Neale on 2nd April 2016

had an old batch of earl grey from whittards and it was great. bought this new one and it tastes more like a lady grey. as another review said it bits in. bring back the simple earl grey with a bit of oil in thats all.

* * * * * Fantastic by Alun Thomas on 14th March 2016

Wonderful earl grey -it has the perfect balance of bergamot and tea, no bitterness and the flavour is carried through to the taste, rather than just aroma like so many other earl greys in the supermarket. Can't recommend it highly enough.

* - - - - Ruined by Michael Keeler on 12th February 2016

Whittard used to do a wonderful Early Grey until 6 months ago. They've ruined it. This tea has now got extra bits in it and the tea element seems reduced. Flavour is high on scent and low on the taste of tea. Never buying again. Bring back the old stuff it was amazing. A good example of if it's not broke, don't fix it.

* - - - - What's happened to Earl Grey? by Steve Cavill on 10th February 2016

I recently bought some loose-leaf Earl Grey (as I have done regularly for many years). When it arrived I was very disappointed to find that the usual robust bergamot flavour had been replaced with a bland, pastel, floral tea. It was not unpleasant but I wouldn't want to drink it more than once a month. Afternoon Earl Grey also seems to have disappeared! Do I really need to look elsewhere for a decent Earl Grey tea? PS Customer services were excellent and immediately agreed to let us sent the tea back.

* * * * * Nice Afternoon Tea by Renee-Claude Tanguay on 9th December 2015

This is one of the faithful I brought with me on one of my tasking this summer and I am glad I did. It has a nice flavour and enough caffein to give you the boost you need when the afternoon slump hits. Great for the avid traveler and tea drinker who may not have access to a quality tea during their travels.

* * * * * So that's what Earl Grey is supposed to taste like... by Lee Butler on 25th October 2015

Having been an Earl Grey drinker for years (or what I then considered to be Earl Grey), I was becoming increasingly underwhelmed by the varieties available in supermarkets and almost gave up drinking it. Then I bought a teapot, strainer and a pack of Whittard loose leaf Earl Grey. I use just one teaspoon for a two cup pot. The infusion is crystal clear, no bitterness and a bergamot explosion. This is what Earl Grey should be - truly amazing.

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Ever since our founder Walter Whittard weighed out tea leaves behind his high mahogany counter, we’ve been experimenting with our own inventive blends. The Chinese were the first to try blending tea leaves with fruits and flowers and it takes time, skill and imagination to master the art. It’s all about creating the perfect balance of flavours: we blind taste at least 20 different variations before settling on the perfect recipe. Just as some musicians have perfect pitch, an expert tea blender needs to have some pretty perceptive tastebuds…

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As Prime Minister between 1830 and 1834, the very same Earl Grey presided over the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. We've numbered this tea 33, to mark the date.

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