Over the Teacups

Giving Voice to the Tea Industry

Tea and Food Pairings

Posted on | January 21, 2014 | Comments

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Tea and Food Pairings

I’ve never really given much thought to tea and food pairings. Ti Kuan Yin, Matcha and a Ceylon/Assam blend seem to be the tea caddies that I refill most often. When in a wild mood, I’ll make a pot of Sencha Kyoto, Kenya CTC or Assam FTGFOP. And never, ever a cup of Earl Grey.

My rule of thumb has always been that lighter foods require a tea that doesn’t overwhelm nor create a food fight. If the food is spicy, smokey or otherwise hearty, Lapsang Souchong is incredible.

In summer, matcha lattes are amazing while in the winter, hot matcha with a slice of lemon is wonderful.

Over the last two years, I’ve discovered there is a science to tea and food pairing. Better yet, cooking with tea and tea infusions adds a whole new dimension to recipes.  My favorite tea recipes are Earl Grey Shortbread, Smoky Marbelized eggs, and tea syrups for marmalade recipes. Not much excitement there. And then I discovered Culinary Tea!

Adagio Teas - Tea and Food Pairings

Adagio Teas has a website page with tea and food pairings information. The Tching blog provides an introduction to tea and food pairing. Murchie’s has a good page, too.  There are many references to tea and food pairings on the Internet.

Tea In A Food Service Environment

Exploring and experimenting with tea recipes has been interesting but it is a pleasure to know there is an in-depth, full day class available from the Specialty Tea Institute.  If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you know how much I’ve enjoyed the recipes and tea ideas presented by Cynthia Gold in her book, Culinary Tea.

Cynthia Gold, Chef and Tea SommelierAt her class in San Francisco on February 6th, she will discuss the science of tea, tea and food pairings, methods of infusing, teapot variations and service within a food service environment. Students will taste tea and sample tea and food pairings.

Chefs, mixologists, culinary students and tea enthusiasts will go beyond tea basics and understand the benefits of having a creative tea menu that appeals to discriminating palates. Guests will return time after time to enjoy a specialty tea menu.

Class Registration is available online at the Specialty Tea Institute’s website.



About the Author

Jennifer Petersen is a tea enthusiast, Certified Tea Professional, teaches various aspects about tea as a business, and a marketing consultant to the beverage industry. Always fascinated by other people who love tea, she is a life-long student and admirer of those who choose tea as a lifestyle.