Tea Goes Great with...
Tea and Food Pairings
Still an evolving art, pairing teas with particular types of food (and vice versa) can add new dimensions to a dining experience. As with wine - which has long been the subject of pairing with different food products and cuisines - the variety of flavors and aromas found across the world of tea offer countless culinary opportunities! As you consider the pairing of tea and food, keep in mind that the most important consideration is your own personal taste. Below, we offer a number of suggestions, but by no means is this the "final word" on tea and food pairing.
Because of the extremely subtle flavor of white teas, we recommend pairing them with only the mildest of flavors.
Bai Mu Dan - basmati rice
In general, the subtle, vegetative flavor and aroma of most green tea is well suited to mild or subtly-flavored foods, such as seafood, rice, salads, melon or chicken.
Dragonwell - seafood or fish, salads, chicken
Gunpowder - Asian or Middle Eastern Foods
Many argue that the subtle complexity of flavor and aroma attributed to oolong tea demand drinking it on its own. However, because oolongs can range in character between green and black teas, many can be paired with food along the same lines as their green or black counterparts. For instance, greener oolongs tend to go well with scallops, lobster and other sweet rich foods, while darker oolongs compliment somewhat stronger-flavored foods such as duck and grilled meats.
Jade Oolong - chicken, seafood, or fruits
Ti Kuan Yin - desserts and fruits
The more robust flavors and aromas of most black teas, as well as the most pronounced tannins, are well suited to pairing with full-flavored foods such as meat and spicy dishes.
Darjeeling - egg dishes; creamy desserts
Keemun - meats; fish; Chinese foods; spicy Mexican, Italian, or Indian dishes
Yunnan - highly seasoned foods
Lapsang Souchong - chicken, smoked salmon, lemony desserts
Assam - hearty foods; breakfast foods; chocolate, custard or lemon desserts
Worthy of special note, pu-erh teas are known for their digestive benefits. Not only do these teas pair well with meats and oily foods, they can offer a welcome settling effect after large, multi-course meals!
Pu-erh - after a large meal (such as Thanksgiving Day); red meats, stir-fries, oily foods
Chocolate pairs with tea excellently! 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.
Successful combinations of tea and chocolate can be achieved in a variety of ways. To read more on tea and chocolate pairing visit our Tea and Chocolate section!