From "Jikoni" in London to "Noma" in Copenhagen and “Momofuko" in New York, world-class restaurants are daring to join the revolution: the word on everybody's lips and a sign of the times is tea pairing. Tea is pegged to replace wine as accompaniment to high-end culinary creations. It's served at breakfast, lunch and even dinner. A fresh and spicy Earl Grey with duck breast or a velvety soft white tea with dessert – tea pairing is all about the combining different flavours so perfectly that you turn a meal into the ultimate symbiosis of taste. What may sound like an imperfect match of the worst kind brings top chefs and connoisseurs to their knees. Dedicate yourself to the art of tea pairing and you’ll find yourself on a journey of discovery, succumbing to a game of colours, scents and nuances in taste. It turns out that the best combinations of tea and food are those that have one or more dominant flavours in common. For example, light green teas have proven to pair well with a mild fish or sushi, while black teas like STRONG ASSAM are better suited to hearty meals. And if you prefer the subtle nuances of white tea, you should try it with fish or poultry. Almond and cream desserts can also be an exciting choice for pairing with tea: a good match is LEGEND OF PAI MU TAN with its velvety floral notes.
Another unexpected duo is tea and chocolate. How about a sweet and malty black tea, such as DARK CHOC by Avoury, as a hot counterpart to an exquisite piece of dark chocolate? Here's a tip for those who are ready to venture even further: sometimes opposites attract. Try a delicate, flowery black tea with a tart vegetable salad. If you do it right, you will achieve the symbiosis you want and the contrast will cause a particularly tense unfolding of the fruity note of the tea. Connoisseurs swear by unusual pairings, such as tea and cheese.
And you don't consume them one after the other, but together in your cup – for example in the form of a cheese cap reminiscent of frothed milk on a fragrant oolong. The Taiwanese tea trend on Instagram is evidence of how well this pairing works. Under the hashtag #cheesetea, you will find 70,000 artful creations to whet your appetite. Food influencers are also celebrating tea and cheese as the ultimate dream team. They recommend Chinese green tea with Brie, or Ceylon with Roquefort. When the warm tea melts the cheese, it can give rise to a sensual interplay of aromas that is immediately followed by the feeling of "I can’t believe I’ve been missing this!"
And while we're on the topic: there's even more to tea than this. Ceylon and other black teas, for example, add a boost of taste to your food – use them to enhance your soups and salads, or to add a special flavour to meat and fish. Also recommended is the classic pumpkin soup with a note of rooibos tea. Add TRIPLE MINT to chicken curry for a very subtle hint of East Asian mint on your spoon. To satisfy a sweet tooth, turn HONEY ROOIBOS into a sorbet. Or browse the Internet: you will find a myriad of tips and recipe suggestions online, from Earl Grey cake to cherry tea brownies and chai cookies. This diversity shoes that tea is a drink of many talents and a source of inspiration – and definitely the perfect match for those who are not afraid to try something new.