Posted by Arbor Teas on September 30, 2009
It’s not uncommon for folks who are passionate about tea to have other culinary interests, and quite often foodies such as ourselves delight in finding new and interesting ways to merge their various food passions. Well, our latest passion is chocolate, and we figured it might be worth sharing some thoughts on the subject of tea and chocolate pairing.
Successful combinations of tea and chocolate can be achieved in a variety of ways. You can look for tea/chocolate pairings that share similar flavor characteristics, thereby enhancing one another. Conversely, you can also find very satisfying combinations where the flavors of the tea and chocolate contrast – these are sometimes the biggest hits. Lastly, look for tea/chocolate pairings where the characteristics of each aren’t necessarily the same, but are compatible or complimentary in some fashion. Along these lines, we offer a few ideas for you to try, but by no means is this list exhaustive – let your palate, your creativity and your sense of adventure be your guide!
--> Jasmine Green Tea or really floral oolongs (like our Ti Kuan Yin Oolong) + dark chocolate with nice floral notes;
--> Dragonwell Green Tea or others with similar nuttiness + almond bark or dark chocolate with nutty qualities;
--> Earl Grey Black Tea + dark chocolate with pronounced citrusy notes.
--> Earthy pu-erh teas + bright, floral dark chocolates;
--> Spicy teas, such as Masala Chai Black Tea + milk or white chocolate (think chai latte or chai mocha!);
--> Rich green teas like Sencha Green Tea or even Matcha Green Tea + milk or white chocolate.
--> Teas with a roasted or “toasty” quality, such as Houjicha Green Tea or Wu Yi Oolong + sweet milk chocolate or chocolate caramels;
--> Full-bodied, coppery Assam black teas (or others that would ordinarily take mile well) + milk or white chocolate;
--> Lapsang Souchong or similar smoked teas + really dark, bitter chocolate;--> Oolongs with sweet honey tones (like our Jade Oolong) + citrusy dark chocolate or chocolate infused with citrus.
Lastly, a note on flavored tea and flavored/filled chocolate. There is absolutely nothing saying that you can’t extend this pairing approach to include flavored teas or filled/flavored chocolates. That said, it’s important to keep it simple. Too many added flavors (either in the tea or the chocolate) can make for pairings that are too busy or too complicated – and often not as enjoyable. Pick your focus, and build around that.
And just why are we so interested in chocolate these days? Because we’re getting ready to launch our latest addition – an assortment of tea-infused truffles made with Fair Trade/organic chocolate and, you guessed it, organic tea from Arbor Teas! Stay tuned for more details… we hope to have these beautiful little treats ready for the world later this fall.