Ultimate Guide to Lady Grey Tea

Ultimate Guide to Lady Grey Tea

Earl Grey is one of the most classical tea blends in the world. The lighter, more citrusy Lady Grey is relatively new, but no less important in the world of Earl Grey tea. Learn what is Lady Grey tea, how to brew it and what are the alternatives.

What is Lady Grey tea?

Lady Grey is a blend of black teas scented with bergamot oil and mixed with orange and citrus peel. This blend was created by a British tea company Twinings about 30 years ago. Although it was intended for Scandinavians countries, it soon gained recognition around the world. Unlike the original Earl Grey, Lady Grey should always taste the same–because it always comes from the same company.

Today, there are many alternatives with similar, but never the same name, that blend different ingredients to give a refined and subtle, but refreshing cup. If you are used to the original Lady Grey flavor, pay attention to the ingredients list when choosing an alternative tea, especially if you expect citrusy notes. Not all alternatives will have them, and will often include flowers instead.

Teas similar to Lady Grey are not a copy, but an alternative that doesn’t share the same ingredients–they only share the subtleness and sophistication of the original tea. The one thing they always have in common, is the lighter bergamot note than the one in Earl Grey. Traditionally, Earl Grey was made from stronger Chinese teas only. Nowadays, other strong teas suitable for drinking with milk are used too, such as Assam or Ceylon tea. Lady Grey is made with black tea from China and Africa, but alternatives are likely to include teas from other countries too. All of them will give a full bodied brew.

What are the health benefits of Lady Grey tea?

Lady Grey doesn’t only have a delicious flavor, it also has a dozen of potential health benefits. Being a black tea scented with an essential oil, it may even offer more benefits than pure tea. Research showed that drinking black tea may help fight free radicals,[1] decrease blood sugar, regulate blood pressure, protect hearth and help fight the cancer.[2] On the other hand, bergamot has been used in aromatherapy for enhancing mood as a powerful essential oil that may have both “psychological and physiological effects[3]” on stress and stress-related conditions. Research showed that inhaling the scent of bergamot oil may help improve positive feelings[4] and reduce anxiety.[5] Next time you enjoy a cup of bergamot scented tea, don’t forget to take a moment before brewing, and inhale the scent of the leaves too.

Although Earl Grey and other types of black tea with bergamot oil are generally safe, drinking too much may cause some side effects[6]. It can be high in caffeine, so avoid drinking too much if you are sensitive to caffeine or before sleep.

Lady Grey alternatives

Lady Grey alternatives don’t necessarily contain orange and lemon peel, but they are subtler than strong and aromatic Earl Grey. Blue mallow flowers, rose and lavender are common ingredients in these gentle, but full bodied blends. Every alternative will have different ingredients, and may have a very different flavor from the original Lady Grey. Think of them not as a replacement, but as a completely different tea, that explores the possibilities of creating unique blends with only a hint of bergamot oil. For example, Blue Lady Grey has no orange and lemon peel at all, but contains cornflowers and lavender to create a gentle blend that won’t be too strong even the first time drinkers.

Blue Lady Grey tea with lavender flowers

Blue Lady Grey tea with lavender flowers

Lady Grey vs Earl Grey

  • Earl Grey was created about 200 years ago, while Lady Grey is a relatively new tea
  • Both of these teas have been created in England
  • Lady Grey will always have the same flavor, with the exception of alternatives, while the flavor of Earl Grey will depend on the producer
  • Both of them belong to one family – Earl Grey was named after the British Prime Minister Charles Grey, and Lady Grey tea got its name after his wife
  • The original Earl Grey has only 2 ingredients–black tea and bergamot oil, while Lady Grey and Lady Grey alternatives always have at least 3 or more
  • Lady Grey will always have unique characteristics of Earl Grey, but will never taste as strong as Earl Grey
  • Both blends go well with milk and sugar and contain caffeine. Learn about caffeine content in Earl Grey tea here.

How to brew Lady Grey tea

Brew Lady Grey tea in the same way you would brew Earl Grey. Boil fresh spring water in a clean kettle and let it cool to around 208 °F. Always use fresh spring water to maximize the flavor and extract all delicate notes from loose leaf tea. Water type is very important if you want to get a cup of fresh, uplifting tea, rather than a flat tasting or murky brew. Add a teaspoon of leaves into a preheated teapot and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and pour into a cup. Add milk and sugar if needed.

If you prefer to drink your tea cold, this blend is great for making iced tea and cold brewing. For cold brewing, add one spoon of tea leaves into a glass pitcher or teapot. Add lukewarm or cold water and steep for at least 6 hours in the fridge. For the best flavor, leave it overnight. Drink within 24 hours. For a regular iced tea, use about two teaspoons of leaves per cup of water. Steep for 10 minutes with boiling water. Strain the leaves and pour the tea into a shaker filled with ice. Add sweetener and shake for a couple of seconds.

Where to buy Lady Grey

You can buy Lady Grey and Lady Grey alternatives online and in supermarkets, as loose leaf tea and in tea bags. Loose leaf tea is likely to be subtler than tea bags, but may offer a more refined flavor. It will usually contain less caffeine than tea in teabags.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Every person is different and may react to different herbs and teas differently. Never use teas or herbs to treat serious medical conditions on your own. Always seek professional medical advice before choosing home remedies.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15850895

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6512146/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25824404

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434918/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6392855/

[6] https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(02)08436-2/fulltext