The practice of pairing food with tea is not an exact science, but rather an art, sense of discovery, and expression. Let your palette be your guide, and be creative. Everyone has a different sense of flavor. Discovering what tastes fit your palette is an adventure in flavor and choice. Like wine, tea has an extensive range of tastes, flavors, and nuances. Every brew, steep, or infusion is different, and sometimes hard to replicate. Here are some suggestions:
- Green teas typically go well with foods that are usually paired with white wines like seafood, salads, chicken, and rice dishes. Green teas are also known to be good with fried foods because the tea “cuts” through the oil and helps with digestion.
- Black teas typically go well with foods that are usually paired with red wines like meat, spicy dishes, and ethnic cuisines like Mexican, Italian, or Indian. Black teas pair well with chocolate and chocolate flavored desserts.
- Oolong teas pair well with Chinese, Thai, and grilled foods, but black teas can offer more complexity.
- Herbal and flower teas are good before and after meals. Try adding two small cubes of crystallized ginger into your steeping. After you finish your tea, the ginger is your reward.
- Breakfast foods usually go well with black teas. If you only drink green tea, try the heartier Chinese greens like Gunpowder or Pu-erh.
- Lunch foods vary, but many people prefer drinking Japanese green teas and oolongs, and smoky blacks. If you are having chicken or vegetarian foods, try a green jasmine tea, flavored roasted oolong, or Darjeeling. With meat or spicy dishes, you can’t go wrong with a flavored or smoky black tea, oolong, or a Moroccan mint green tea
- Afternoon teas can be almost anything, but most people prefer Darjeeling tea.
- Ice Creams usually go well with Tahitian Vanilla, Jasmine, or Passion fruit
- Chocolate goes well with Darjeeling and Earl Grey, but white chocolate goes well with fruity green teas
- Desserts like baked goods, coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls, or custards go well with hearty black teas, but fruity desserts go well with green, herb and infused teas.
The only right tea and food pairing is what you like. Share your experiences with us.