There’s a certain mystique about Earl Grey. It’s distinctive flavor and colorful, mystery shrouded origins make a good story, and it’s probably the best known of all English teas, and possibly the best known tea, period.
Repeated references to the blend in popular culture (most commonly, music, movies, television, and books), have only reinforced the image, and made the drink even more widely known than ever. You don’t have to look far to find references to the blend, for example:
Probably the best known character in American television to drink the tea regularly is none other than Captain Jean Luc Picard, of the USS Enterprise (Star Trek, the Next Generation), but it doesn’t stop there. In an episode of Star Trek spinoff, “Deep Space Nine” there’s a reference to “That Earl Grey fellow,” and teaching him a thing or two about tea leaves, so Earl Grey in the Star Trek universe is well represented indeed!
The good Captain is not alone, however. Artimis Fowl (from the novels bearing his name) has quite a fondness for the stuff, as does Sir Leigh Teabing, from the book “The DaVinci Code.” Then of course there’s John Locke from the TV show “Lost” who asks antagonist Benjamin Linus for a cup of the stuff, and the character of Hyacinth Bucket from the British sitcom “Keeping up Appearances,” drinks the blend in a number of episodes.
And let’s not leave out animation! In the anime series Black Butler, the main character Ciel Phantomhive drinks Earl Grey on numerous occasions, and the drink is actually incorporated into the story line in a number of ways.
Music too, sees a number of references, ranging from Weird Al Yankovic’s “White and Nerdy” song, to Dada’s track on their self titled 1997 album called “The Ballad of Earl Grey and Chamomile.” You’ll also find a chapter called “Earl Grey” in Garrison Keillor’s “The Book of Guys,” and if you’re into playing video games, and find yourself sitting in front of a game called the “Steamboat Chronicles,” then your default Mech in the game will be the Earl Grey II, and all this just scratches the surface. How many other drinks can you name that are so well represented?