Was There Really an Earl Grey?

Kara Kovalchik

As a matter of fact, there have been several.

This particular Earldom was created in 1806 for General Charles Grey, who was the 1st Baron Grey. After Charles died, the title was passed on to his son Charles, making him the 2nd Earl Grey. The title has been passed down over the years and they’re up to Earl Number Seven right now, but it was Number Two for whom the famous tea was named.

The second Earl Grey was a noted politician who served as Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. According to legend, he received a diplomatic gift from China of some black tea flavored with bergamot oil. The Earl so loved the flavor that he asked tea merchants in England to recreate it, and when they hit upon the perfect blend they named the concoction after him.