‘I’m on my way to Howick and these steeds better crack on!
My interview with Earl Charles Grey 2nd is due to start in rather sooner than I hoped! Earl Grey is a remarkable man, so much so, my employers from the Tea-time Chronicles have sent me to find out how he got to have a drink of such superior delicacy named after himself? Rumours abound from the ‘good deeds’ he conducted in China, to the lucky fortune of having laid the tea leaves beside the bergamot oranges (and consequently their oils) during transit across the South China Seas back to Britain, or perhaps, it was the necessary and purposeful blending of the tea leaves with the citric qualities in order to remove other minerals from below-standard tea leaves.
Nearly there, let’s find out…’
‘Before we get to the Tales of Tea-lore, let me tell you a little about my history, shall I? I was named after my father and spent my youth in education at Eton, Trinity College and Cambridge. Not too shabby, if I say so myself, Humble Scribe. Lady Grey will be back soon, herself, and we are currently working on a blend dedicated to her – my idea is to try something like, hmmmm blue cornflower blossoms. So I’m a little pressed for time, Scribe. Let’s keep going, yes? Now, where was I?
Oh, yes, I am pretty proud of my achievements in politics. Sure, wasn’t it I who signed off on the Reform Act of 1832, leading to reform of the House of Commons and also overseeing the abolition of slavery across the British Empire in 1833. No mean achievement, young man! People see me as arrogant! I don’t think so, I’m but refined, and perhaps elegant to a fault. Tidiness and neatness around my mansion keeps me balanced! I have heard my friends declare that I am ‘away with the fairies’, an olde Irish phrase. Not true, I declare – I am but aloof, philosophical and perhaps a little introspective. This is my PERSONALITY!
‘Having the delights of this wonderment of tea named after me, is my biggest and greatest honour, though. I cannot tell you how, exactly I came to discover this wonderment. I wish it to remain a myth for the ages. Perhaps, prying investigators, like you, may somehow learn the answers! I wish to leave this puzzle for you, unsolved as of yet! I am generous, aren’t I?
‘Leaving the mystery aside, Scribe, my delight is that I know my tea will bring refinement, elegance and a little pomposity to people’s lives for generations to come… and this makes me most proud! And there is more! My doctor tells me that my tea, Earl Grey to you! has magical, medicinal powers. Indeed, it does! Not only will it cleanse a filthy palette, making one approachable again, but it will also put some pep back in your step and best of all it’ll keep you regular… like clockwork!
‘And upon the chimes of my father’s clock, I must see you out, young man. Lady Grey is nearly here, and we must get sampling some more blends… keep investigating, you will find the answers! Mischievous, aren’t I?