HISTORY OF PERSIAN EARL GREY
Tea is a pillar of Persian cuisine and is enjoyed throughout the day. It's a major part of Persian culture and is often both the first and last thing offered at a meal.
Tea was probably introduced to Persia in the First Century BCE through the Silk Road though it was not a major commodity. It was largely ignored until the early 1900s. The British Empire, who controlled most of the tea trade at the time, was very strict on non-Europeans trading tea. Kashef Al Saltaneh, an Iranian Diplomat was visiting India and through his fluent use of french was able to acquire a few tea plants to bring home to Iran. After a few years of trial and error, he soon began to market his new crop.
Tea quickly took hold and became a major part of Iranian culture. As with most Persian cuisine, tea was best enjoyed at it's most pungent and flavorful.
Bergamot scented tea was created sometime in the early 1800s in England and was made popular by Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl of Grey. Hence the name.
Bergamot scented tea was introduced in Iran in the early to mid 20th century and soon became a very popular tea. It's no secret that Earl Grey tea is not Persian. Anyone who claims it is, is well, wrong. There is no "Persian Earl" no "Iranian Earl of Grey." The Persians didn't invent an Earl Grey, but like so many other parts of Persian cuisine, they did make a Persian style Earl Grey tea.
Bergamot scented tea has become one of the most popular types of tea consumed in Iran, although the ingredients are similar, Iranians tend to blend a more pungent and strong tea. Persian style earl grey is a strong black tea with heavy bergamot scenting.
In 1976, Alvin Azadkhanian, an Iranian immigrant began mixing different types of bergamot oil with different teas to find a perfect blend. After many attempts, he created what he called Persian Choice™ Earl Grey. Our secret family recipe withstands the test of time and remains one of the best tasting Earl Grey teas in the world. Both strong & pungent with an intoxicating bouquet and a bold aroma, Persian Choice™ will brew an outstanding cup.
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