Do you remember the first tea you fell in love with? It was Earl Grey for me. And while my tea palate has evolved over the years, I'll always be on team Earl Grey. So when the talented teamaker at Whispering Pines Tea created a unique take on Earl Grey, I had to get in on the first batch.
Earl Gold, Whispering Pines' Earl Grey style tea, has Golden Snail Yunnan black tea as its base instead of the more typical blend of Ceylon and Assam black teas. This gives it a deeper and richer tea flavor with notes of malt and cocoa.
Bergamot, the Italian citrus fruit that is the defining flavor of Earl Grey, is beautifully present in the taste, but even more so in the aroma of this tea. Whispering Pines' Earl Gold is scented with bergamot oil and aged for 30 days. The bergamot and the malty chocolate notes mingle well and result in a taste that is quite distinct from any Earl Grey I've tasted.
Earl Grey is traditionally taken with milk and sometimes sugar and Earl Gold is rich and flavorful enough for this treatment. It was delicious latte-style, with a touch of honey and foamed half and half. It is also refined and interesting enough to drink on its own. I enjoyed it both ways and couldn't decide which I liked better, but I definitely appreciated the versatility.
Earl Gold is phenomenal with food. It is particularly good with lightly sweet and nutty baked goods. I loved it with hazelnut jam thumbprints (adapted from this recipe from The Kitchn) and fig torte (adapted from Food52 and pictured above).
While Earl Gold is different enough that it may not replace your go-to Earl Grey, it's also unique and delicious enough that it deserves a spot on your shelf next to it.