Lady Grey, like its counterpart Earl Grey, is a black tea flavoured with citrus. Whereas Earl Grey adds nothing other than bergamot, Lady Grey adds orange, lemon, and various other citrus flavours, although it doesn't usually contain bergamot.

The resultant brew tastes kind of like English breakfast tea mixed with dissolved orange Tic-Tacs, if I may be so bold, though I find its flavour to be unique. It is appropriately named, as it seems to be a softer, more flowery version of Earl Grey, though it is unclear if it was named for Earl Grey's wife (if he indeed even had one), or whether she was soft and flowery.

Like all black teas, Lady Grey is quite caffeinated, and as far as I know only Twinings makes a decaffeinated brew. Also, like most black teas, this one isn't black; it has a deep, dark mahogany colour, which stays clear until milk or cream is added.

Despite Lady Grey's wide availability (it's available in most grocery stores), it doesn't seem to be very popular.

Ideally, any love interest, however fleeting, of Captain Jean-Luc Picard would enjoy this brew.

My friend Abi and I were rather confused about Lady Grey. Being enormous fans of Earl Grey, we wondered: was Lady Grey his wife? Did she decide to infuse his bergamot-scented brew with citrus fruits? In an attempt at solving the mystery, we called the Twinings hotline.

Abi spoke to Pete from Twinings and, after a long conversation about the Earl, asked him about Lady Grey. It transpired that Lady Grey was neither wife nor daughter - in actuality, she did not exist! Lady Grey tea, he told us, is simply an Earl Grey with added fruity flavour - a feminised, more ladylike Earl. Abi thanked him and put down the telephone.

After some discussion, we reached the (perhaps rather spurious!) conclusion that Lady Grey is (or was) the Earl in drag. (A feminised Earl!) Perhaps we should have guessed that Lady Grey was not a real person, given that the Twinings packaging features a picture of some fruit, rather than a portrait similar to that found on boxes of Earl Grey.

Although Lady Grey tea is not named after a specific Lady Grey, we do know of other Lady Greys. The most famous of these was Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days before being ousted (and eventually beheaded) by Mary. Whilst visiting Gloucester a few months ago, I stood upon the very spot where, on 10 July 1553, Jane was crowned. In an interesting twist, there is a rather ancient tearoom on the site, named Grey's Coffee House.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.