Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tea Week: A Perfect Marriage

There are many traditional foods that are served with tea.  The most obvious includes tea sandwiches, scones, and sweets that accompany teas in traditional afternoon tea services.  Another meal that would not be the same without tea is dim sum, a traditional Chinese tea lunch.  Both of these experiences would be seriously lacking without some tea to go along with the food.

Tea can also be used in cooking, in both savory and sweet applications.  Teas can be used in spice rubs for meats, in court bouillons for poaching, to smoke meats, in sauces, in frozen desserts like ice creams and sorbets, in chocolate truffles, cookies, and more.  Tea is a versatile ingredient that I look forward to exploring more in my own kitchen.

Wine is not the only beverage that can be paired with a meal.  Beer is becoming more popular for pairing, but what I'm really enthusiastic about is trying to pair tea with foods more often.  It is, of course, a matter of taste to determine what one enjoys drinking with a given meal, but there are some suggestions and guidelines that can really help to get started.  The Nibble offers a really great, in-depth list of pairings for teas with food that I'm happy to share here.

Breakfast and Brunch
  • 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.

  • 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, Darjeeling, Cameroon
  • Edam: Ceylon, Autumnal Darjeeling, Buddha’s Finger Oolong
  • Gorgonzola: Chun Mee, Ha Giang, Ceylon, Pouchong
  • Muenster: Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong
  • Provolone: Ceylon, Nilgir

  • Curry: Darjeeling, Pouchong, Dragonwell, Jasmine Green
  • Fried: Assam, Ceylon, Nilgiri, Kenya
  • Lemon: Tung Ting Oolong, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Gunpowder
  • Roast: Ceylon, Gunpowder, Assam

  • Dark Chocolate: Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Gyokuro, Oolong or Pu-erh
  • Milk or White Chocolate: Darjeeling, Dragonwell, Oolong, Sencha or Yunnan

  • Baklava: Darjeeling, Pouchong, Oolong (any), Ceylon Black and Green
  • Carrot Cake: Sencha, Dragonwell, Vietnamese Green, Ceylon Green and Black, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Assam
  • Cheesecake: Sencha, Dragonwell, Vietnamese Green, Ceylon Green and Black, Darjeeling, Keemun
  • Citrus: Earl Grey
  • Crème Brûlée/Crème Caramel: Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Ti Kuan Yin, Tung Ting Oolong, Dragonwell, Assam, Ceylon Green and Black
  • Crêpes: Darjeeling, Oolong (any)
  • Dessert With Apples: Darjeeling, Dragonwell, Ti Kuan Yin
  • Dessert With Apricots: Oolong (any), Darjeeling
  • Dessert With Bananas: Ti Kuan Yin, Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong, Ceylon
  • Dessert With Black Currants: Dragonwell, Darjeeling, Oolong (any)
  • Dessert With Coffee Or Mocha Flavors: Yunnan, Assam, Pu-erh, Formosa, Oriental Beauty, Buddha’s Finger Oolong
  • Dessert With Raspberries: Darjeeling, Vietnamese Green, Ceylon Green and Black
  • Desserts With Strawberries: Darjeeling, Dragonwell, Ti Kuan Yin
  • Fruit Compote or Tart: Ceylon, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Yunnan, Dragonwell, Ti Kuan Yin
  • Pecan Pie: Oolong (any), Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon
  • Pumpkin Pie: Dragonwell, Ceylon Green and Black, Darjeeling
  • Vanilla: Keemun, Ceylon, Darjeeling, Nilgiri

Fish and Seafood
  • Fried: Dragonwell, Chun Mee, Gunpowder
  • Grilled: Dragonwell, Chun Mee, Gunpowder, First-Flush Darjeeling
  • Smoked: Oolong (any), Darjeeling, Ceylon, Dragonwell

  • Baked: Ceylon, Assam, Kenya
  • Smoked: Oolong (any), Darjeeling, Dragonwell

Herb and Spice
  • Basil: Oolong, Darjeeling, Dragonwell, Gunpowder, Qui Ding Cha
  • Capers: Qui Dind Cha, Vietnamese Green, Gunpowder, Ceylon UVA
  • Chiles: Assam, Yunnan, Keemun, Formosa White Tip Oolong
  • Cinnamon: Yunnan, Assam, Autumnal Darjeeling, Formosa White Tip Oolong, Pu-erh
  • Garlic: Sencha, Gunpowder, Gen Mai Cha, Dooars
  • Ginger: Tung Ting Oolong, Jasmine Pouchong, Darjeeling
  • Mint: Darjeeling, Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong, Gunpowder
  • Mustard: Gunpowder, Chun Mee, Nepalese and African Varieties
  • Nutmeg: Assam, Darjeeling, Yunnan, Ceylon
  • Vanilla: Keemun, Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong, Vietnamese Black, Kenyan

  • Chanterelles: Assam, Nilgiri, Ceylon, Pu-erh
  • Common Mushrooms: Assam, Ceylon, Nilgiri, Dooars
  • Morels: Assam, Tung Ting Oolong, Autumnal or Second-Flush Darjeeling, Pu-erh

Miscellaneous Foods
  • Anchovy: Ha Giang, Ceylon Green, First-Flush Darjeeling, Gunpowder, Chun Mee, Pouchong
  • Antipasto: Dragonwell, Pouchong, Ceylon, Dooars, Nilgiri
  • Avocado: Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong, Darjeeling, Sencha
  • Bacon: Assam, Gunpowder, Ceylon
  • Baked Beans: Ceylon, Assam, Kenya, Yunnan
  • BBQ Fish: Gunpowder, Hojicha, Chun Mee
  • BBQ Meat: Ceylon, Yunnan, Gunpowder
  • Beef (Ground Beef, Stews, Roasts, Briskets): Ceylon, Yunnan, Formosa Oolong, Kenya, Nilgiri, Gunpowder
  • Blinis with Salmon: Tung Ting Oolong, Darjeeling
  • Buffalo Wings: Ceylon, Darjeeling
  • Carpaccio: Tung Ting Oolong, Darjeeling, Ceylon
  • Clam Chowder: Dragonwell, Chun Mee, Ceylon Green
  • Corn: Sencha, Hojicha, Chun Mee
  • Corn Bread: Ceylon, Assam Kenya, Yunnan
  • Couscous: Ceylon, Assam, Nilgiri, Yunnan, Gunpowder
  • Curry: Darjeeling, Jasmine Black or Green
  • Eggplant: Ceylon, Darjeeling
  • Eggs: Darjeeling, Oolong (any), Keemun, Assam, Ceylon, Kenya
  • Hamburgers: Ceylon, Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri, Kenya
  • Lamb: Ceylon, Darjeeling, Yunnan
  • Lasagna: Assam, Ceylon, Nilgiri
  • Macaroni & Cheese: Sencha, Ceylon
  • Meat Loaf: Yunnan, Keemun, Nilgiri, Kenya
  • Mexican: Assam, Ceylon
  • Pizza: Ceylon, Yunnan, Keemun
  • Polenta: Darjeeling
  • Pork: Darjeeling, Ceylon, Oolong (any), Hojicha, Lapsang Souchong, Dragonwell, Gunpowder, Chun Mee
  • Potato Salad: Oolong, Pouchong, Darjeeling, Dooars, Nilgiri, Ceylon
  • Prawns: Dragonwell, Ti Kuan Yin, Dragonwell, Ha Giang, Ceylon Green
  • Quiche: Darjeeling, Ceylon, Sencha, Dragonwell, Chun Mee
  • Red Meat (Steak and “Bloody” Red Meats): Ceylon, Chinese Black Keemun, Flavored Black Tea, Lapsang Souchong, Oolong, Moroccan Mint Tea
  • Salami: Ceylon, Nilgiri
  • Salsa: Vietnamese Green, Ceylon Green
  • Spicy Foods: Ceylon, Chinese Black Keemun, Flavored Black Tea, Lapsang Souchong, Oolong, Moroccan Mint Tea
  • Turkey: Oolong (any), Darjeeling, Ceylon, Yunnan
  • Vegetables (raw): Ceylon, Nilgiri, Chun Mee, Sencha


Holly said...

Wow!! Thats alot of tea info;) My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law do teas often very traditional ones tho:) Your platter looks lovely!


Yes, I'll take one of each please...hold the tea!

Victoria K. said...

Thank you! The platter pictured at the top is from one of my favorite spots in Providence, The Duck and Bunny :) There's nothing bad about some yummy tea sandwiches, with or without tea, haha.

The Duo Dishes said...

Great feature to share. People don't really think about tea in this fashion.

Victoria K. said...

Thanks! I definitely think it's something worth looking into :)

Anonymous said...

I'm loving your posts on tea, very informative!

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