Although Earl Grey is normally associated with England and good strong Ceylon and Chinese teas, this unique variety is closely tied to South Africa, in particular the town of Howick. The reason for this is two fold. For one, the Rooibos that forms the base of this blend is grown near the town. The second is that the town is named after Earl Grey himself. In fact, History tells us that Henry George Grey, the 3rd Earl of Grey was also known as British Colonial Secretary Viscount Howick. Howick lent his name to the new town as it was being formed near the Mgeni River in KwaZulu Natal back in the 1800’s. The town developed as European settlers moved to the country and began to populate the more remote corners of the territory. Howick accommodated the needs of the droves of settlers and wagon-drivers that crossed the river as they went looking for farmland. The weary travelers would stop for refreshment, supplies and a well needed break from the trail. It seems fitting that this tea share its name with a man whose name – or one of them at least - became synonymous with repose and refreshment. One of the world’s most interesting Earl Grey blends.
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