December 23, 2010
We all have explored the art of pairing wines, whiskeys and spirits with food but what about the beverage that is deep rooted in our culture – Tea? The milky tea as most of us have in India is actually just a small part of the tea world. There are several variations of tea made by blending several spices and herbs, embracing the most exotic of flavours. It is interesting to learn how we can pair different varieties of tea with food. This pairing is certainly minus the side effects of alcohol. So read and experience the rejuvenation.


Where alcohol and coffee overpower the taste of the food, tea aromatically rounds off the original flavour of the food. Comparatively tea fills the flavour gaps in a better manner without killing the appetite, letting you eat just the needed amount and not craving for more as in the case of alcohol.
Tea has always been used either to bridge the flavour gap between two courses of a meal or to round off a meal. Just like wine, tea has many variations that can be paired with different kinds of food to add to the flavour and taste. Pairing tea with food is a fascinating journey that will unfold different notes of enticing aromas.
Though tea has no tipsy effects, the basic rules of its pairing is similar to wine, considering simple characteristics like taste, texture, acidity and body. To simplify it further the golden rule is to pair lighter teas with lighter foods and stronger teas with stronger foods.
Below are some of the basic foods that can be paired with different teas.

White tea is made using buds or young leaves which are sun dried. It is an anti- oxidant, anti- inflammatory, helps in preventing the ageing signs on the skin and carries lot more health benefits.
This variation is known for its highly subtle flavour and should be paired with equally mild flavours like rice.


Black tea is a variety, which is more oxidized than other teas and is quite popular in India. It is stronger in taste and contains more caffeine. Unlike green tea, it can retain its flavour for several years.
It goes well with foods that are paired with red wine.  Since black tea boasts of strong flavour and aroma, it only makes it good to go with equally robust flavours of foods such as red meat and spicy dishes. They are also great with chocolates and desserts.


This variety of tea is produced from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis and is named after the village Pu’er, Yunnan in China. It has a broad earthly taste and unlike other teas, it comes in a compressed form. It is often compared with wine, as it also tastes better with age. This tea is known for its digestive benefits.

It can be paired with meats and spicy food. It can also be had after a large course meal.


A traditional Chinese tea, it can easily be sourced from Darjeeling. What gives it a distinct taste is its light fermentation and freshness. Oolongs generally range between green and black variations.

It can be paired with foods that go with its green and black counterparts. For instance, greener oolongs go well with scallops, lobster and other sweet containing foods, while darker oolongs make a great pair with stronger flavoured foods such as duck and grilled meat.

This variety of tea is made from Camellia Sinensis leaves which have undergone minimal oxidation. Known as the National drink of China, it is known for its high health benefits.
All the foods that go well with white wines will go with this one. The vegetative flavour and aroma of most green teas make them good to be paired with subtly flavoured foods like seafood, rice and chicken. What is interesting is that these can go with fried foods as well as they have a tendency to cut through fat.

Now that you know the vital rules of tea and food pairing, do try sipping this detoxifying drink instead of wine and coffee and experience a journey of your own as the natural interplay between tea and food is so elaborate that you will only discover the best equation as you try.
Source Link (where the article was originally published): http://www.foodandnightlife.com/a/view/a-tea-

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