Journals of a South Seas Explorer

The London Herald-Gazette
June 24, 1996

(reported by Bob)

A Canadian tea merchant on holidays in Great Britain has discovered the long-lost journals of the noted British explorer, Admiral Nathan Grey.

Ted Jones, proprietor of The Tea Trader, a tea-shop in Calagary, Alberta, Canada, was in London last month and was browsing in booksellers' shops in the Soho district, when an old volume caught his eye in a musty back-room of the Wickersham Antiqua shop.

"I knew right away that I had found something of interest," Mr. Jones commented later. "It turned out that I had in my hands the sea journal of 18th century British explorer Admiral Nathan Grey."

In an even more astounding coincidence, Mr. Jones pointed out, "Admiral Grey was the cousin of Earl Grey, after whom a well-known tea is named. This 'Earl Grey' tea turned out to be Admiral Grey's favourite."

Mr. Jones explained that Earl Grey teas are generally China or Ceylon blacks given distinctive flavour by spraying with oil of bergamot, a citrus-like fruit found in Italy.

"Earl Grey tea was something Admiral Grey was never without," Mr. Jones continued. "His journals show clearly that he took a supply along with him on each of his exploratory voyages in the South Pacific. But, I find the following passage from Admiral Grey's journal to be most fascinating of all." Mr. Jones read,

On August 13 we mayde landfall at a smalle and lushely greene islande. It was most beautifulle, and native fruites were to be founde in the greatest bountie. Our ship's cooke gathered these fruites and we founde them moste deliciouse. Cooke also cutte smalle sections of these moste exotic fruites and brewed them with my tay. It was an exceeding delectible brewe.

"As a tea-merchant," Mr. Jones continued, "I found this to be an intriguing idea and so I tried it out myself, following further details given in the journal. I had to agree with the old Admiral. Earl Grey tea flavored with tropical fruits was delicious. I then adjusted the blend, using other ingredients, and ended up with a new tea that is refreshing and delicious."

Mr. Jones indicated that, while he would donate the journal to the British Historical Society, he would produce the new tea blend commercially and sell it exclusively through his Tea-Trader shop. Not surprisingly, Mr. Jones has named his new creation, "Admiral Grey Tea."

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