Which Foods and Teas Go Great Together?

overhead shot of food and tea

If you want to master the art of pairing tea with food and to find out which foods and teas go great togethe, then this is the post for you!

Putting together the right food with the perfect tea is just as important as knowing how to pick the best wine for your dinner hour.

Picking the right tea can turn your whole afternoon into a unique culinary experience!

Seriously, you don’t have to be an expert to tell the difference. Your taste buds will let you know if you have made the right choice or not.

For Starters — Don’t Get Overwhelmed!

If you are just starting out and experimenting with high quality loose leaf tea, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit overwhelmed by all the different versions and aromas out there.

Don’t worry! We are going to walk through some different pairings to help you to be able to choose the perfect food and the perfect tea for your culinary experience.

Which Foods and Teas Go Great Together?

White Tea

White tea is one of the mildest flavours of all the loose leaf teas. In fact, it has a very subtle, silky flavor.

Because of that, you do not want to pair it with strong foods. By doing this, you’ll miss the natural sweetness of this tea. The food will overwhelm any flavour you may taste.

Delicate teas like the white tea should be paired only with lightly flavored foods, such as plain vegetable salads with no dressing.

Examples to pair with white tea are things like a cucumber salad or a lightly flavored seafood or fish recipe. These are the best choices for white tea.

Green Tea

Green tea has a vegetable flavor with subtle undertones, so it goes better with mild flavored foods, like seafood, fish or chicken.

You can also choose salads to pair with this type of tea. Skip the berries if you want fruit and go with a melon instead.

If you are having a meal where rice is the main dish, choose a cup of green tea to go with it.

However, keep in mind that green tea has three main flavor profiles – vegetal, smoky and fruity, and each of these accentuates the taste of certain foods in a more pleasant way.

Smoky green teas are much stronger and pair well with meats like pan-fried turkey or chicken. The reason for this is because it cuts through the greasy mouth-feel of fried meat. 

Fruity green teas are best served with chicken, sandwiches, fruit salads and unsweetened pastries. This is also the best tea to use when making a refreshing glass of iced tea.

Oolong Tea

Oolong teas are the types of tea that have a more complex aroma. Because of their wide range of flavours, it can be paired with a wider range of foods, from lighter fish dishes to grilled meats.

Oolong teas have two main categories – light and dark teas, so when pairing with your foods, keep these thoughts in the back of your mind —

  • Light oolong teas go best with seafood dishes like rich seafood, lobster or scallops. Because it is a fragrant, aromatic and very flora tea, then you should combine with foods that can bring out the floral notes.
  • Dark oolong teas have a more robust flavour, so they work better with stronger foods, like grilled ones. Meats like salmon, bass, duck, or any smoked meat platter will pair perfectly with dark oolong teas. As for sweets, pastries, and pancakes made with maple syrup, those are usually good pairs for this type of tea as well.

Black Tea

Black tea has the strongest flavor, which means it can be paired with full-flavored foods like spicy dishes and heartier meat dishes.

Pastries also pair well with black teas.

Fruity black teas go great with sweet desserts. They cleanse the residual mouth-feel and enhance the sweetness of foods.

Smoky black teas are very strong and should be combined with foods like dark meat, blackened meat or even sweet chocolate. Skip the heavily sweetened desserts since these aren’t the best pair for this type of tea.

Earthy black teas are also good accompaniments for blackened meat, jerk chicken, mashed potatoes and other vegetable gravy recipes. This tea is also not good for sweet foods, so avoid choosing such teas for creamy desserts.

Pu-Erh Tea

Pu-erh teas have a very distinctive flavour, making them very strong nd earthy.

Because of that strong flavour, it makes a great accompiament to go alongside a chicken or stir-fry recipe.

The strong flavour can neutralize the oily and greasy tastes. Thanks to their digestive benefits, these beverages are often preferred after large meals.

Now That You Know Which Foods and Teas Go Great Together

Whichever tea you choose, finding the best foods that complement these teas takes more than knowing the history behind the teas.

Get ready to start experimenting with your favourite teas and recipes until you find the perfect combination that will turn your afternoon dinner into an amazing and delicious meal.


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