The Earl Green

Earl Grey's capacity to evoke ethereal notions is probably why it exploded on the scene as a tea time favourite in the UK all the way back in the 1820s

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Earl Grey was my mother's favourite tea all throughout my childhood. When I was a teenager, I imitated her by ordering it for myself as soon as I began exploring coffee shops. It was on one such occasion when I discovered that something called "bergamot" imparted Earl Grey Tea with its signature flavour. Anyone who drinks Earl Grey figures this out this sooner or later, but for my epicurious adolescent self it came as quite a discovery that the ingredients in Earl Grey were not rare herbs or special varietals of tea plant; but simply black tea flavoured with bergamot essential oil. It came as another revelation (many years later) to learn that bergamot was a kind of citrus fruit, an orange to be exact.

Unlike Jean-Luc Picard, my mother's favourite way to drink Earl Grey was always with a splash of cream and maybe a bit of honey. Earl Grey in this fashion is like warm, sweet milk, perfumed with an exotic summer afternoon. Earl Grey's capacity to evoke ethereal notions is probably why it exploded on the scene as a tea time favourite in the UK all the way back in the 1820s. In honour of the love affair we've all been having with Earl Grey and the bergamot orange for nearly 200 years, I would like share my latest green smoothie breakfast solution, which brings the thrill of Earl Grey back to mornings without the caffeine.

I call it, The Earl Green.


  • 1 1/2 cups Honey Almond Milk (see recipe below or use your favorite sweetened milk)
  • 1/2 cup young coconut meat
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fennel, chopped
  • 1-2 handfuls of greens (romaine, spring mix, spinach, kale, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp spirulina
  • 5 drops liquid stevia (to taste)
  • 3-5 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 1 cup ice

Blend everything together until smooth and creamy, and enjoy! This recipe makes about 3 cups and is a good serving for one person. Drinking your greens in the morning is a great way to start the day, and the more greens you eat, the more you start to crave them. Green smoothies are something of a catch-all solution to many common health ailments, and if you'd like to read more about their restorative powers I totally recommend Victoria Boutenko's book Green For Life.

For those of you who haven't kicked caffeine or the Earl Grey habit yet (don't worry, you're not alone) here's an upgraded way to enjoy your hot beverages. Once you've soaked the nuts, this sprouted nut milk takes less than 10 minutes to put together and is totally free of the preservatives and natural/artificial flavours commonly found in cartoned nut milks you buy off the supermarket shelf. As an added bonus, it comes alive and kickin' with enzymatic activity and precious healthy fats. Woo hoo!

Honey Almond Milk

  • 1/4 cup raw pine nuts, ideally soaked for about 2 hours to sprout.
  • 3 Tbsp raw almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp raw, unfiltered honey (swap in some stevia if you're avoiding sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pinches sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

Combine the above ingredients and blend with 1 cup of water for a few minutes until totally smooth. This ensures your milk is ultra creamy and you don't have any little bits of nuts floating in it. Then blend the milk with another 3 cups of water to expand and froth it up. It's almost like foamed milk at this point and super awesome for lattes. Store in a clean quart jar in your fridge -- it will keep for about a week.

~ Suzie Bohannon