Tea Pairings – How to Pair Tea with Nibbles
When planning your Afternoon Tea menu, it’s important to think about your tea pairings. After planning out what your nibbles, what tea will you serve?
With so many delicate flavors and aromas, serving the right tea can bring out all the wonderful flavors of the food.
So how do you know what tea to serve with your menu? Here’s a quick guide to which tea pairings work best.
The bold, full-bodied flavors of black tea with its heavy tannins make it the perfect companion for flavorful foods. Spicy and highly seasoned dishes along with pastas and meats are a good compliment. They also go well with heavy sauces like Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise. Just be sure you don’t mix too many flavors. For instance, don’t serve a black tea full of fruity flavors with a pasta dish. Darjeeling and Lapsing are usually nice pairings.
Pu-erh teas have wonderful digestive benefits so they are great with heavy, rich dishes and foods that are oily. They also help to settle your stomach if you’ve enjoyed too much food, like a holiday or celebratory dinner. Be sure to keep it on hand to serve with dessert after your Thanksgiving dinner.
Green tea is lighter and more delicate than a hearty black tea. This makes it a great pairing for chicken dishes, salads, fruits, and desserts. If you’re serving a lighter fare for your afternoon tea, green tea will blend well with your menu.
Oolong is a universal tea. It falls in between a black tea and a green tea so it goes well with heavier dishes as well as lighter ones. Lighter oolongs go well with seafood, chicken, and salads as well as rich desserts while richer oolongs compliment heavier foods like beef and cheesy dishes.
White tea has very delicate flavoring so it pairs well with mild foods like rice and pasta dishes served in a light sauce.
Now that we’ve got that figured out, it’s time to talk about the pairing of two of my favorite things . . . tea and chocolate! The most important pairings as far as I’m concerned!
Which teas should you drink with chocolate?
When thinking about which teas to drink with which chocolates, try to keep your flavorings complimentary for the best results. For instance, a fruity tea with a complimentary fruity chocolate.
If you choose a bold flavorful chocolate, try to choose a tea that has a more simplistic flavoring so it doesn’t overshadow the sweet flavors in the chocolate. The opposite is true as well. If you choose a tea full of fruity or floral flavors, select a modest chocolate to serve with it. One without too many extra flavorings.
Fruity dark chocolates pair well with Earl Grey while nutty chocolates are the best compliment by a more floral tea like Jasmine.
When it comes to tea pairing, keep the basic flavors of your tea and foods in mind to select flavorings that will compliment and not overpower each other. And if you’re not sure how to properly steep your tea, be sure to check out my tea steeping guide with free printable!