Tea is hygroscopic, which simply means it readily absorbs any flavours and aromas introduced to it or placed close to it.
If you store opened tea or teabags close to strong flavoured items such as coffee or onions, you will have coffee or onion flavoured tea within a day or two.
This is why storage of tea in dry, airtight containers (preferably not clear glass) is important. Moisture, air and light are the enemies of tea and cause the tea to ‘break down’ and lose its particular flavour, aroma and character.
Earl Grey tea is generally black tea flavoured with essence of Bergamot. A milder version is Madame Bergamot which adds cornflowers and lemon.
There are thousands of flavoured teas, black, green or white, some flavoured with actual fruit, flowers, berries or herbs with or without the addition of flavoured oils or other flavouring.
But be warned. Because flavouring can mask the actual tea quality some flavoured teas use poor quality tea. It is recognised that the highest quality flavoured teas come from Hamburg in Germany.
Flavoured teas are best enjoyed and appreciated without milk.
Some examples from Elmstock’s range of flavoured teas: