Food Pairing and Facts About Tea

Tea is a delicate beverage, that is why good food pairing is important. You do not want to overpower your tea with other flavors.

One thing is certain, tea lovers never want to have anything to eat without tea! Tea brings people together. Tea is a delicate beverage and you do not want to overpower your tea with other flavors. Tthere are so many types of tea that you have a lot of choices.

Because of the health benefits of tea, many are taking note and are choosing tea as their beverage of choice with their meals. Tea, like wine, can be paired with food to make your dining experience more enjoyable. Tea is a delicate beverage and you do not want to overpower your tea with other flavors. One of the benefits of tea is that there are so many types of tea that you have a lot of choices.

Tasting tea is a very subjective and personal experience. Because everyone may have a different sense of what they feel they may taste, I thought I would give you a short lesson on the different teas and basic tastes you may experience. This information should make your food pairing experience easy and fun.

Teas come from many different regions and each has a different look, taste, and smell to it. There are many varieties and mixtures of teas. This is just the basics

Let’s start with :

White tea

This is the most delicate of the teas. Picked in the spring, it is made of the youngest buds. It has a sweet delicate and buttery flavor, smooth and creamy texture.

Green tea

Green tea depending on the region may taste vegetal, like grass, or cooked spinach, others taste like the ocean.

Oolong tea

Oolong tea is known as the “connoisseurs tea” because of it’s complexity of flavors.It has earthy or woodsy tones and can have undertones of  floral or fruity or even smoky notes .

Black tea

Known as the “Burgundy of Teas” black tea is encouraged to be a full bodied beverage that can range in flavor from a light astringent flavor to one with rich full bodied smoky tones . Darjeeling, however, known as the “champagne of black teas” is a light and delicate tea.

Pu-erh tea

Known as the “blue cheese of tea” the fermentation process brings out complex layers of of sweetness and earthiness.

Herbal Infusions

For those that are concerned about their caffeine intake or just want to enjoy the health benefits of tea made from herbs this is a great way to include tea to enhance a meal.

Rooibos tea

Refreshing, light and sweet with a slightly nutty flavor.

Let’s get started

pairing food with teaThe first thing to do is to have fun. This is a taste adventure, so remember. Take your time and try different teas with each food. I think that you will find some surprises along the way. When doing a food pairing, consider the types of teas and the foods on your menu.

Take time to taste your teas and consider the undertones of the tea. Will the food complement or compete with the food you are eating? Do you want to complement the food or the tea? Do you want the tea and food to work in harmony with the meal?

I will share with you what I have found what works best with some teas. I hope that you will share your tea and food pairings with us here.

Because of its sweet buttery flavor, I like to serve white teas with poached eggs in the morning, with simple steamed veggies, or simple desserts such as a bowl of vanilla ice cream, cream pie, crème brule, flan or pound cake. White tea does nicely with breakfast rolls, muffins, scones and biscuits. Any fresh fruit.

green tea goes with barbequeGreen tea pairs well with robust heavy foods such as barbeque, smoked fish, and bacon. It also pairs well with anything that contains garlic and onions. Of course, all green teas with seafood and rice dishes. Any fresh fruit.

The lightly oxided oolongs still have a sweetness that will enhance a lobster, shrimp,crab or scallop dish. Lighter oolongs are great paired with banana desserts, dark chocolate desserts, or fruit crepes or just fresh fruit.

An oolong tea that is more oxided has a toastier flavor will stand up to any grilled food. Oolong is great served with pecan pie, walnut tarts or any mocha flavored dessert. A late harvested autumnal oolong is great with fresh fruit.

food pairing with teaBlack Tea Pairs well with a wide range of foods because it is full bodied and has a strong finish. Black tea ranges from the very light and delicate Darjeeling to the bold and robust Assam. Black tea may be paired with anything from meat, to curries to pastries. Chai black tea is great to pair with a hearty breakfast to serve instead of coffee. Chai will stand up to any spicy food or hearty meal.

Pu-erh tea tea pairs well with oily foods. It goes well with duck, chicken, butter fish, quiche and cheese platters. Spaghetti aioli, pesto chicken, spicy foods and omelets also pair well with this tea.

Herbal Infusions, these non caffeinated teas pair well and are a wonderful compliment to any meal.

Here are a few that come to mind:

Mint tea will not only cleanse the palate but pairs well with any food with strong bold flavors.

Strawberry tea is great served with strawberry desserts.

Chamomile tea would pair well with Cesar salad.

Peppermint tea pairs well with a tuna melt sandwich on rye bread.

Have A Great Story About Tea Pairings?

What is your favorite tea to drink with a particular type of food? Is there a tea you simply must drink with a favorite meal or dessert? We and our readers love to try new things, let's give each other ideas and thoughts.

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