Not only is Earl Grey the flavour of 2018, it is also a naturally ideal partner to chocolate; be it white, milk or dark.
Earl Grey is famous for its strong and aromatic citrus flavour which comes from bergamot citrus oil blended with (usually) black tea leaves for a robust and refreshing cup.
These distinct citrus flavours are what make earl grey so perfect for chocolate pairing: the citrus flavours cut through the cocoa with bright aromas that complement the natural sweetness in chocolate and augment the creaminess of the milkier chocolate types.
Earl grey really comes to its own when used in chocolate baking because it adds extra aspect without being overpowering, and the chocolate tends to bring through more of the floral character of earl grey that is usually extremely subtle when the primary flavour is strong, punchy bergamot.
So, this pairing serves to enhance the character of both chocolate and tea with influence on texture, mouth-feel and aromatics – essentially a combination to die for!
One of the key characteristics of Keemun most strongly desired by tea buyers is a distinct cocoa note to black Keemun leaves – and our Keemun Mao Feng is a classic example.
This makes it ideal to enjoy along with chocolates of all types, but achieves different affects depending on the milk/cocoa ratio in the chocolate.
For strong, dark chocolates with high cocoa solid content, Keemun draws out the cocoa tones strongly, bringing out the full aspect of natural cocoa when unsweetened: dark, complex and surprisingly spicy which can be similar to cinnamon or even pepper!
For milkier types of chocolate, Keemun adds a savoury character that serves to enhance the creaminess of the milk without adjusting the sweetness of the chocolate as a whole and really brings through those stronger cocoa notes, elevating an average milk chocolate to something that feels much more luxurious. This has been used to great effect in our Palace Easter Blend.
This pairing is for the true chocoholic – highlighting all of the characteristics of chocolate so precious to the aficionado!
For something a bit different, our new Organic Yunnan is ideally suited to be enjoyed with chocolate. Complex and malty, Organic Yunnan works especially well with milk chocolate as the maltiness is much more enhanced when taken in combination.
But Organic Yunnan really shines when its other subtle characteristics are explored. Our Organic Yunnan has a slight pepper-spice note which serves to bring out an almost fruity aspect to the chocolate – especially those with higher cocoa solid contents.
The other surprising note that can result from this pairing is enhancement of the floral, almost rosy finish of the Yunnan. Rose is a classic combination with chocolate as it fragrances and sweetens chocolate dishes without using additional sugars or added flavourings. When Yunnan and chocolate are taken together, you might be surprised to discover that rosy note becomes more pronounced.
This tea pairing is an adventure and all about complexity. In a tea with so many underlying flavours to discover, chocolate really helps to bring these to the forefront for increased enjoyment of both.
White teas are known for their subtlety and delicacy, and this can work very well with some types of chocolate – in particular white chocolate.
Of course it is usually seen as practically criminal to put milk in white tea, but conversely white tea can benefit from some creaminess as long as the delicate white tea flavours aren’t drowned out. But whereas milk cannot be used to induce this creaminess, pairing with chocolate can do an excellent job of it!
On the other hand, white chocolate is often soft enough on the palate to fully taste white teas, along with their natural honey-sweetness and freshness for a heady, indulgent combination. With the addition of our whole, pink rosebuds to white tea, both tea and chocolate can take on a much wider spectrum of flavours which is pleasantly surprising.
White peony and rose also lends itself well to chocolates with berry fruit inclusions (such as raspberry and strawberry) as the rose makes these sweet treats wonderfully aromatic and characterful, whilst adding a creamy, but not overwhelming, fruit sweetness that can pull through the more herbaceous characteristics of white tea.
Whilst white tea with rose and chocolate are an amazing combination for various reasons related to their individual sweeter, more delicate flavours; both really shine when they are of the highest (and most reassuringly expensive) quality. White teas are considered the finest tea leaves in the world so to enjoy them with handmade, artisan white and light chocolates is a luxurious and indulgent experience.