Earl grey tea - Is it Herbal Tea?

by britt
(niagara, ontario, canada)

Tea Question

Is Earl Grey Tea considered a herbal tea?


Early Grey is usually a black tea, infused with bergamot (oil of bergamot) which gives it its unique and wonderful aroma and flavor. It is not considered a herbal tea.

There are now green tea varieties of Earl Grey Tea and I have come across white ones as well.

As far as herbal tea goes - there is a tea that is made from Monarda also known as Bee Balm that has a very similar taste and is indeed 100% herbal when you use just the bergamot. It is also known as Oswego Tea and was very common with North American First Nations people.

It is a delicious herbal tea and we have the recipe for it in our herb data base. You can grow bee balm in most home gardens and it is a fabulous plant in the garden. You want to get the red flowering variety - and there are some fancies now that are pink, white etc, but traditionally, Oswego Tea or Bee Balm Tea is made from the red flowering variety.

It is one of my favorite herbal teas and is well worth the effort. You can also buy bee balm or monarda from our tea herbs section if you are unable to grow your own.

I hope this helps,


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