Chris Greaves sent me this link, along with a hint that things could get dicey in English tea rooms:
Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey, gave the world many things, notable among them the Reform Act of 1832, but most of us remember him as the man they named a kind of tea after. Earl Grey is a brilliant tea; even its name conjures up both class and softness (most teas taste like they should be called Baron Harsh), and its taste — bergamot, by and large — is unique yet not too disturbing for the British palate.
I love it, and was once even mocked by John Cleese for ordering it at a writers’ meeting. (“Earl Grey?! Ooo! Ai’m going to have some AIRL GRAY!!” he yelled in a Monty Python shriek. He had himself ordered some sort of Californian fruit tea, so was not, I felt, in much of a position to criticise.)
Twinings’ bizarre plan to change the flavour of Earl Grey seems a misguided one. It has added more lemon and more bergamot to make it even more “wonderful”. Leaving aside the fact that only in the world of tea-producing have the words “more bergamot” and “wonderful” ever been combined, you do feel that they have, how can I put it, gone barmy. Earl Grey is Earl Grey. Variants like the apparently popular “Lady Grey” — it’s got orange in it — and this new Earl Grey Bergamot City, or whatever it’s called, are not really needed. (The Earl Grey-flavoured Kit-Kat was, if Wikipedia is to be believed, fortunately confined to the Japanese market.)