Food and tea pairings are one of the newest trends in the food industry, so much so that a new role has come about: the tea sommelier.
Similar to a wine sommelier, a tea sommelier is someone who knows their way around a leaf- they specialize in choosing the perfect food to bring out the best flavours in every type of tea.
Here are some of the best food and tea pairings, according to the tea sommeliers of the world.
Enjoy the Health Benefits of Green Tea With These Nourishing Pairings
The health benefits of green tea are outstanding, so it’s natural that you would want to keep it healthy when pairing foods with this delicious beverage.
Drinking green tea with mild-flavoured foods is the best way to bring out the tea’s natural flavor. Think salads, chicken, rice, and mild fruits such as melon. For an even more immersing experience, pair green tea with goat cheese to enhance the cheese’s natural, creamy flavour.
Light Pairings That Make Your Oolong Tea Shine
Oolong teas often contain flowery notes, which makes it the perfect companion for light pastries.
Fruits such as pears and plums go great with those floral notes.
If you pair something too strong with oolong tea, you could end up drowning out the light flavor. So, when you’re looking for a meal to compliment your cup, pick poultry or fish. Seafood is a great match for this tea, especially rich foods such as lobster and scallops.
Lighter pastries also help you bring out the taste of this tea, as long as they are more on the buttery side than the sweet side. For example, try some ladyfingers or shortbread.
Pair The Strength of Black Tea With a Food Strong Enough to Match
Since black tea has a stronger and more prominent flavor, it can be paired with stronger foods, such as red meat and spicy dishes. Additionally, it can also complement heavier dishes, such as pan fried dumplings, and potatoes.
For dessert, choosing chocolate, baked goods, and cookies are a great choice. However, be easy on the sugar. Some foods that are too sweet can contrast with black tea. Choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate for the best flavour profile.
Giving Earl Grey Tea a Citrusy Compliment
Earl grey tea pairs well with citrusy food because it has hints of citrus and fruit in it.
Drinking tea with breakfast? Choose eggs benedict. The hollandaise sauce is made with a touch of lemon juice, which emphasizes the tea. At lunch or dinner, choose a strong fish dish that will really accent those citrusy notes.
For desserts, try lemon squares and light madeleines – these baked goods perfectly compliment the tea’s signature notes. Creme brulee is another great pairing to cap off your meal. Essentially, stick with any lemon baked good and you’ll be enjoying every sip.
A Savoury Taste With a Bold Chai Tea
This spicy, bold tea makes the perfect match for some savoury foods. However, the key to getting the most out of this flavor palette is staying away from salt, which can overpower the spices that already give the tea its signature flavor.
Since some of the strongest spice flavours in chai tea are cinnamon and cardamom, this tea makes a perfect companion to red meat dishes, from beef jerky to steak.
Buttery, creamy foods also pair well. Try brie cheese, breads, pastries, and scones. Apple pastries are especially perfect because that apple and cinnamon combination is so hard to beat.
In a snacky mood? Pop some popcorn! However, it’s best to keep it unbuttered and try sprinkling some cinnamon or nutmeg instead. This will bring out some of the spices that are naturally found in chai tea. Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, also make great complimentary flavours.
Pair Your Tea With Science
qii is made with a scientific formula designed to balance out your mouth’s pH levels and give you something amazing to smile about- a healthy mouth. Now that’s a pairing you can enjoy at any time and with any food.
Garblik, D. & Kalani, L. (Dec. 2017). Best food to pair with chai tea.The Huffington Post.Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-garblik-and-lalit-kalani/best-food-to-pair-with-ch_b_8718 096.html.
Macoveiciuc, A. (Jan. 2014). Beginner’s guide to pairing tea with food.RiverTea.Retrieved fromhttp://www.rivertea.com/blog/beginners-guide-pairing-tea-food/.
Oh, How Civilized. (Oct. 2017). Tea pairing 101: Oolong tea. Retrieved from https://www.ohhowcivilized.com/tea-pairing-101-oolong-tea/.
Yang, I. (July 2015). Tea sommeliers are the hot new thing in food pairing.National Public Radio.Retrieved fromhttps://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/07/21/422863066/tea-sommeliers-are-the-hot-new-thing-in-food-pairing
The history of tea is a long and complex story, spanning centuries and civilizations over time. You may gain a new appreciation for this drink when you learn what it’s been through!