Much like wine pairing, mastering the art of pairing tea with food can truly enhance your meal. Knowing how to season the right dishes can turn a regular dinner into an amazing culinary experience. You don’t need to be a tea connoisseur to tell the difference. Your taste buds will let you know. The reason behind tea pairing is to enhance both the taste of the dish and chosen tea. The trick lies in figuring out the best combination that compliments and accentuates the flavours of the dish and the aroma of the tea.
Tea is incredibly versatile and can be paired with a vast variety of foods, from classic meat dishes to sweet chocolate desserts. It helps to focus on the main ingredients of the dish and then choosing the right tea based on that. Another tip to add some insight into tea pairing is looking at the cuisine from the traditional tea producing regions. For instance, Japanese green teas pair amazingly with most fish and seafood dishes as well as rice based recipes, like sushi. Here is brief list of tantalizing tea pairings to help you on your teal tale.
The one with the most robust flavour and pronounced tannins, black tea is best paired with full flavored foods like spicy dishes and meat. Pastries also taste amazing when served with a cup of black tea.
Green tea is well known for its subtle vegetative flavor so it’s best to pair it with mildly flavoured foods like seafood, fish or chicken. If you love fruits, melons are an ideal choice. Rice tastes better when served with a cup of green tea alongside and salads are a good fit as well. Green tea has three main flavour profiles which are vegetal, smoky and fruity. Each of these accentuate the taste of certain foods in a more enjoyable way.
White tea has a silky, subtle flavor so pairing it with strong foods may cause you to miss it’s natural sweetness. This lovely, delicate tea it best paired with lightly flavoured foods like a fresh vegetable salad. If you try pairing white tea with sweet fruit dishes or even meat, there is chance you will feel like you’re drinking plain water. Therefore, the best option would be a light dish like a cucumber salad or a lightly seasoned seafood or fish recipe. Drinking it alone between meals is also an excellent choice. Accentuate the delightfully subtle notes of white tea with some delicately flavored wildflower honey.
Oolong tea has a more multifaceted aroma that ranges between green and black teas. Therefore, it can be paired with a more vast range of foods, from light fish dishes to grilled meats. Typically, oolongs are divided into two main categories which are light and dark teas. So, when pairing this versatile beverage with dishes, it’s wise to keep the following in mind: