The problem with Earl

Every now and then I forget that I live in a total loony bin. Then something happens to remind me.

Sunday morning I just wanted a mug of tea. I like some fun teas, some herbal and green teas, but my hands-down fall-back favorite comfort tea is Earl Grey.

I keep my tea envelopes in these little drawers under a decorative shelf that hangs on the kitchen wall. Sunday morning I reached up to pull out an Earl Grey (in the right-hand drawer) and set it on the counter. I was checking to see if my water was hot enough when something about the silver envelope caught my eye.

Other moms might find it odd that someone had placed stickers that say POISON in big black letters on each individual Earl Grey envelope. It just served to remind me I live in a loony bin.

None of the herbal or green teas had stickers, just the Earl.

"Why are there poison stickers on all the Earl Grey tea?" I asked.

I’m not sure why I always feel the need to ask. You would think I would learn not to. I do know that this time I was motivated by genuine curiosity.

My 17-year-old son Matt glanced at the envelope containing the tea bag, then back at me.

"Earl Grey is bad and I didn’t want you to die," he answered, then wandered away.

Well, at least he had my best interests at heart.

4 thoughts on “The problem with Earl

  1. Justine,

    I don’t know how or why your son learned about problems with Earl Grey, but you need to drink about 4 liters a day to get leg cramps.

    “Earl Grey tea gets its distinctive flavor from the citrus fruit bergamot. The oil contains a natural compound called bergapten that can interfere with the flow of potassium into and out of cells. This is presumed to be the reason that too much Earl Grey tea can cause muscle cramps in susceptible people (The Lancet, April 27, 2002). We’re glad you were able to conquer your muscle cramps by giving up the tea.”

  2. Bob – I’m reasonably sure my son marked all the Earl Grey as poison because he doesn’t like the taste. He prefers green tea.

    Interesting information, though. I usually only drink a mug of tea a day, but I’m sure thinking now about what is in the teas I drink.

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