Matching tea and food isn’t difficult; and in the end, as with wine, it’s what you like.
|TOMISLAV PODREKA is the co-founder of SerendipiTea, one of the largest independent importers of fine and specialty teas in the U.S. For more information, visit SerendipiTea.com.
Updated January 2009
Tea & Food Pairings
Page 2: Pairing Tea With Breakfast, Cheese & Chicken
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Sometimes a “laundry list” can best illustrate the art of pairing tea with food. Here is a suggested pairing table. If what you are looking for is not listed, find something similar, but let your palate be your guide.
Breakfast & Brunch
In the West, black teas are most popular for breakfast, both for their higher levels of caffeine, their compatability with milk due to higher tannins, and their easy pairing with Western breakfast foods.
- General: Assam, Breakfast Blends (e.g. English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast), Pu-erh, Yunnan.
- Higher Tannin: Ceylon, Irish Breakfast, Kenya pair best with milk.
- Heartier Greens: Chinese greens such as Green Pu-Erh or Gunpowder.
- Stronger Brunch Foods: Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong.
Cheese & Tea Pairings
It may seem unusual, but like wines, there are many teas with myriad flavors that pair well with individual cheses.
- Asiago: Keemun, Pai Mu Dan
- Brie: Dragonwell, Ha Giang, Darjeeling, Tung Ting Oolong
- Camembert: Dragonwell, Chun Mee, Gunpowder, Ha Giang, First-Flush Darjeeling, Sikkim
- Cheddar: Tung Ting Oolong, Darjeeling
- Cream Cheese: Ceylon,
- Edam: Ceylon, Autumnal Darjeeling, Buddha’s Finger Oolong
- Gorgonzola: Chun Mee, Ha Giang, Ceylon, Pouchong
- Muenster: Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong
- Provolone: Ceylon, Nilgiri
Chicken & Tea Pairings
Chicken dishes like Chinese green teas, Darjeeling from India, green jasmine teas and Oolongs. See other poultry pairings in the “Miscellaneous” section below.
- Curry: Darjeeling, Pouchong, Dragonwell, Jasmine Green
- Fried: Assam, Ceylon, Nilgiri, Kenya
- Lemon: Tung Ting Oolong, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Gunpowder
- Roast: Ceylon, Gunpowder, Assam
Continue To Page 3: Pairing Tea With Chocolate, Dessert & Fresh Fruit
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