By Deviyani Srivastava
Ever wondered what kind of food goes best with that cup of tea? If yes, then this article is just for you.
The art of pairing food with tea is strikingly similar to that of pairing food with wine. Whatever you choose to eat, should enhance the experience of drinking tea. This way, it becomes a sensory experience which helps you recognise the various aromas and flavours where the right food will balance and even accentuate the flavour of the tea and vice versa.
Like wine, teas also possess a distinctive smell that keep us hooked to their flavours. Research suggests by analysing the unique aromatic properties of various teas, that certain foods are more compatible than others.
Many factors can directly affect our experience of teas. Firstly the brew methods will cause certain aromas to intensify, depending upon the temperature differences and steeping time which directly affects the oxidation of tea leaves. To be a true tea connoisseur be sure to know your tea sources for proper brew times and temperatures to get the proper extraction of all the right flavours.
The purity of water also affects and alters the flavour of the tea. Some regions water actually enhance the flavour but that is not always the case. The water should be clean, soft and smell free.
Like coffee, tea is often enjoyed with a wide variety of sweetners available. This usually directly impacts the taste. Some even add milk or lemon for reducing the bitter note of the tea. Texture is another element that that should be taken into account as some teas have a more astringent taste while others may leave you with a slight buttery impression.
We’ve listed out three basic ways for you to start enjoying those these:
Black Tea pairings
In India, a majority of people consume black tea. When brewed, it has a red infusion, unlike green tea. Black tea leaves have been cured which means they have been fully oxidised, which gives it the resulting slight astringent taste and woody, roasted flavour.
Black Tea pairing ideas: Try experimenting with ingredients such as strawberry, raspberry, banana, pear, zucchini, cooked eggplant, sweet potato and pumpkin.
Green Tea pairings
Green teas are characterised by their greenish or golden colour, which results due to the form of processing method used like steaming, baking or dry-roasting the leaves to preserve their light colour and avoid any oxidation.
Green Tea pairings ideas: Green teas pair especially well with other effervescent ingredients like lemongrass, ginger, saffron, apple, pineapple, apricot, tomato, artichoke, cashews, anchovies, bacon and rum.
Flower and Herbal Tea pairings
Flowering teas ar consist each of a bundle of dried tea eaves wrapped around one or more dried flowers. These are made by binding tea leaves and flowers together into a bulb and are then set to dry.When steeped, the bundle expands and unfurls in a process that emulates a blooming flower. Herbal teas either a combination or herbs or a single herb that has been steeped to produce a fragrant tea.
Flower and Herbal Tea pairing ideas: These teas work well with fruity desserts and with white chocolate. Heavy, spicy food also pair well against both, as flowers and herbs balance out the acidity and the experience very interesting.