Actor Patrick Stewart, who plays Capt. Jean-Luc Picard on "Star Trek The Next Generation," has received a rare Earl Grey tea set as a reward for his character's longstanding affinity to the beverage.

As Capt. Picard, Stewart has been drinking the British brew for seven years on the popular television program.Stewart received the 22-karat gold embellished tea set, sent by his countryman the 6th Earl Grey, a member of the House of Lords, as he walked into Manhattan's Richard Rodgers Theater. He is currently performing a one-man version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" at the theater.

The tea set, one of 500 in existence, was designed by The Countess Grey and is valued at $495, according to the British Emporium of Boca Raton, Fla.

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The first Earl Grey, a former British prime minister, popularized the tea in London some 100 years ago.

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