Did you know? When the word “tea” is used to describe a mealtime, it refers to the mid to late afternoon meal that is traditional in England and other countries with British roots. At this meal, tea is served along with finger foods such as sandwiches and scones.
Tea and food pairing has come a long way since the 5 o’clock ‘tea time’. Today’s chef’s and Certified TAC TEA SOMMELIER® Professionals serve tea with appetizers, mains and desserts just to name a few. Here is a terrific chart to get you started on some exciting tea and food pairing ideas.
COOKING & PAIRING RECOMMENDATIONS
Cocktail: Use a strong black tea as a base for a classic cocktail like a Manhattan. Meat: Black tea pairs well with beef, or can be used in a marinate or rub for beef. Dessert: Pair black tea with sweet honey based desserts, or use in custard based dishes. Cheese: Black tea pairs well with a strong blue cheese. Chocolate: Pair your black tea with a creamy milk chocolate.
First planted in the early 1800s, the incomparable quality of Darjeeling Teas is the result of its locational climate, soil conditions, altitude and meticulous processing. About 10 million kilograms are grown every year, spread over 17,500 hectares of land. The tea has its own special aroma, that rare fragrance that fills the senses. Darjeeling Tea cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world. Just as Champagne is indigenous to the Champagne district of France, so is Darjeeling Tea to Darjeeling. The Darjeeling tea when brewed gives a colour of pale lemon to rich amber. The brew is said to have remarkable varying degrees of visual brightness, depth and body. The flavour emanating from the brew is a fragrance with a complex and pleasing taste and aftertaste with attributes of aroma, bouquet and point. The organoleptic characteristics of the Darjeeling tea brew are commonly referred to as mellow, smooth, round, delicate, mature, sweet, lively, dry and brisk.
Nestling just below Darjeeling, with elevations ranging from 90 to 1750 metres above sea level. Although tea cultivation in Dooars was primarily engineered by the British planters through their agency enterprises, there was significant contribution of Indian entrepreneurs who set up considerable number of new plantations with the issuance of grants of lands in a phased manner. The Dooars-Terai tea is characterized by a bright, smooth and full-bodied liquor that’s a wee bit lighter than Assam tea.
The climate, the characteristic terrain and soil conditions, and the coolness of the snow clad mountains in Himachal’s famous Kangra region; all play a role in crafting a delightfully distinct cup of quality tea. Particularly the first flush with an aroma and flavour that has an unmistakable tinge of fruitiness. Being one of India’s smallest tea regions makes Kangra green and black tea all the more exclusive. While the black tea has a sweet lingering after taste, the green tea has a delicate woody aroma.
These teas are grown at elevations ranging from 1000 to 2500 metres above sea level. The Nilgiri Hills aka the ‘Blue Mountains’ come under the influence of both south-west and north-east monsoons; a reason why the tea leaves grown here are plucked around the year. A deliciously fragrant and exquisitely aromatic tea, with high tones of delicate floral notes and a golden yellow liquor. Crisply brisk and bright. Lingering notes of dusk flowers with an undercurrent of briskness. Creamy mouth feel.