Savouring Tea with Food

One would normally associate pairing good food with fine wines... but with tea? Actually, the concept of tea-food pairing works similarly to wine-food pairing. Like wines, quality teas can have a wide range of flavour, smell, acidity, body and texture muchly depending on where and how they were produced. Hence, if a good pairing between tea and food is made, the characteristics of a tea can interact with the flavours of food to greatly enhance and accentuate the taste of the food, thus increasing the enjoyment.


There is no exact science to which teas go well with which kinds of food but a good general guideline would be to pair teas with food which either have similar characteristics or have complementary characteristics. For example, unoxidised green tea with its smooth grassy taste would go well with seafood as it washes down any fishy aftertaste. Another example would to have an Oolong tea with its more toasty flavour to go with grilled chicken. The whole fun of tea-food pairing is to treat it as an adventure to explore and experiment with how different attributes of the various teas and food interacts and serve to heighten each dining experience you have.


Here's some general guidelines to kickstart you in your experiments


* Green teas eg. Dragonwell - lighter flavoured food such as seafood dishes

* Oolong teas eg. Tie Guan Yin - grilled dishes, white meats such as chicken

* Red teas eg. Assam, English breakfast - full flavoured food such as red meat

* Black teas eg. Pu-erh- Dishes with higher oil and fat content such as curries, cream based pastas, sweet desserts


Have fun pairing!

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About The Author, Ryan Kiew