Twinings Glossary

Earl Grey (1764-1845)

Charles, 2nd Earl Grey was Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. He was a great reformer, but best-known for the blend of tea that still bears his name. The blend was a gift from a grateful Chinese mandarin. When his original supply ran out, Earl Grey asked his tea merchants, Twinings, to recreate it for him.


An unfavorable characteristic generally caused by storing tea under damp conditions.

East India Company

A private company that had a monopoly over British trade with the East. The Company was granted its exclusive charter in 1600 by Elizabeth I, and was dissolved in 1858. The East India Company had a profound effect on the history of tea, initially through its control of the Anglo-Chinese tea trade, latterly by introducing tea-production to India.

English Breakfast

Traditionally a blend of China Keemums. Today, the blend has evolved to include Ceylon and India teas to produce a full-bodied brew.


A term used to describe a plantation or garden where tea is grown.