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Tea Pairing: How to Match Tea with Food

Tea Pairing: How to Match Tea with Food


Hello lovelies, today we’re delving into the delightful world of tea pairing. Just as one might pair a robust red wine with a hearty steak or a crisp white with a delicate fish, the art of matching tea with food can elevate your culinary experience to sublime heights. Let's embark on this flavourful journey together, exploring how to create perfect pairings that will tantalise your taste buds and add an elegant touch to any meal.

The Basics of Tea Pairing

First, let’s cover the basics. Tea, like wine, boasts a variety of flavours, aromas, and strengths. When pairing tea with food, consider these elements to create harmony and balance. The goal is to enhance both the tea and the dish, making each sip and bite a more profound experience.

Green Tea: Light and Refreshing

Green tea is often light, grassy, and slightly astringent. It pairs wonderfully with foods that are equally light and fresh. Think of green tea as a crisp white wine—delicate and refreshing.

Pair With:

  • Sushi and Seafood: The subtle flavours of sushi and seafood are beautifully complemented by the delicate notes of green tea. The tea’s slight bitterness can cut through the richness of the fish, creating a balanced palate. I vividly remember enjoying a cup of Sencha with a platter of fresh sashimi in New York—it was a match made in heaven.
  • Salads: Fresh greens with a citrus vinaigrette or a simple cucumber salad can pair wonderfully with a cup of Sencha or Matcha, enhancing the fresh, clean flavours.

Try out our Organic Australian Sencha and our award winning Matcha - if you need help brewing, read our Green Tea Brewing Guide.

Black Tea: Bold and Robust

Black tea is known for its robust, full-bodied flavour. It can stand up to heartier dishes and even enhance the flavour of spicy foods.

Pair With:

  • Breakfast Foods: Think of the classic pairing of English Breakfast tea with a traditional breakfast. The bold flavours of the tea can handle the richness of eggs, bacon, and toast. There’s something utterly comforting about sipping a strong Assam while enjoying a leisurely brunch on a lazy Sunday morning.
  • Spicy Dishes: Black teas like Assam or Darjeeling can complement spicy Indian or Thai dishes. The strong tea flavours mellow the heat, creating a pleasant contrast.

Try out Breakfast tea from Assam.

Oolong Tea: Versatile and Complex

Oolong tea falls somewhere between green and black tea, offering a complex flavour profile that can range from floral and fruity to rich and toasty.

Pair With:

  • Dim Sum: The varied flavours of dim sum, from savoury dumplings to sweet buns, find a perfect partner in the versatile oolong tea. I still remember a delightful afternoon at a China Town tea house where the smoky notes of a dark oolong perfectly enhanced the diverse flavours of the meal.
  • Grilled Meats: The toasty, sometimes smoky notes of darker oolongs can pair well with grilled meats, enhancing the charred, savoury flavours.

Want to try one of our special Oolongs? Contact us.

Herbal Teas: Aromatic and Diverse

Though not true teas, herbal infusions offer a vast array of flavours and aromas that can complement a variety of dishes.

Pair With:

  • Herb-Infused Dishes: Herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint can enhance dishes that use similar herbs. A rosemary chicken, for instance, might pair nicely with a mint or chamomile infusion.
  • Spicy Foods: Herbal teas with bold flavors, such as ginger or hibiscus, can complement spicy dishes, offering a refreshing contrast.

Try our Yin Yang gull of hibiscus and ginger or our Hawaiian Mint that packs plenty of peppermint and spearmint.

Creating a Memorable Tea Experience

Creating a memorable tea pairing experience involves more than just matching flavours. Consider the setting, the presentation, and the mood. Serve your tea in beautiful teapots and cups, and take the time to brew each tea properly, respecting its unique characteristics.

Remember, the best pairings are those that bring you joy. Don’t be afraid to experiment and discover what combinations delight your palate the most. Whether you’re hosting an elegant afternoon tea or a casual get-together, these pairings will surely impress and satisfy.

So, the next time you sit down to enjoy a meal, brew yourself a pot of tea and see how the flavours unfold. Happy pairing lovelies! 

I hope you find these tips helpful and inspiring. If you try any of these pairings or create your own, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Until next time, enjoy your culinary adventures with tea!


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