I must admit to having pondered the idea of making a Smoky Earl Grey for quite a while. A niece, Alice, was requesting some teas for her tea loving Father and when she said he loved Lapsang and Earl Grey, I thought, ‘What the heck’, time to start blending. The Chinese have been making scented and flavoured teas for many centuries, although the Citrus plant from Bergamo didn’t make it from Italy to China until the 1800’s. The wife of Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl of Grey, whilst entertaining political guests popularised a gift he had received from China. In 1884, Charlton & Co, of 20 Jermyn Street, obtained the permission to exclusively market this ‘new’ tea, and the rest as they say is history. Lapsang Souchong was the tea to be drunk in the 1870's. It was raced back to Britain and America on the famous Clippers 'Cutty Sark' and the 'Flying Cloud’. It has always been popular with the English. Why it has taken so long for the two to be blended is indeed a surprise, but worth the wait, Hope you enjoy the tea Alice’s Dad.