We are all perfectly entitled to over indulge during the Christmas and New Year period. After all, why should someone else get all the mince pies and wine? Now, Christmas is well behind us and we have a brand new year ahead. This is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean. We have good news; January need not be dry, at least not in the traditional sense.
There has been so many studies into the health benefits of tea. Most studies have focused on the better-known green and black teas, however white and oolong also have their benefits. Tea can be extremely hydrating for the body. Scientists have found that tea can even boost exercise endurance. The antioxidants particularly in green tea increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel. So with this in mind we see no reason why tea can’t be a big part of your 2017.
95% of British tea drinkers are hooked on tea bags and black tea, according to specialists. We want to help encourage different flavours and varieties, the demand for which is growing rapidly. Loose leaf tea in particular is on the rise and is even making its way onto wine lists at some of London’s top restaurants. It is predicted that 2017 will be a year when you see tea take its place alongside wine with tea replacing wine-pairings on restaurant tasting menus. Tea tasting is a skill. … But like a good wine or chocolate, tea is the product of its environment. How the tea is grown and how it is processed make each tea unique. Here at the Tea House we think there is no better way to detox this January than to discover the art of tea infusions and food pairings by replacing those alcohol cravings with tea.
The Perfect Pairs
We want to show you how much fun can be had when pairing food with tea, whether you are still looking to indulge in tasty treats or have embarked upon a diet. We have selected just a few of our favourite pairings that got our taste buds tingling for delicious non-alcoholic alternatives.
With their robust flavours, black teas pair well with hearty, rich foods such as roast meats like beef, lamb and venison or heavy pasta dishes like lasagne. Assam teas pair perfectly with a continental breakfast, eggs, mushrooms and gingerbread. Assam’s rich and mature flavours also compliment Mexican food, salmon, strong cheeses and red meat.
Lapsang Souchong Tea
With its distinctive smoky aroma and flavour, Lapsang Souchong is the perfect tea to demonstrate the possibilities of tea and food pairings. Smoked salmon and Lapsang complement each other perfectly with their smoky flavours. You might consider smoked salmon with dill cream cheese on pumpernickel or something more classical could be smoked salmon and cream cheese on wholemeal bread. Lapsang is known to pair well with cured trout with some Greek yoghurt.
Who would have thought cheese would be complemented by anything better than red wine? In fact the savoury and vegetal notes in Green tea match cheese perfectly, especially if you choose a tea with Japanese ancestry. Japanese Kabusecha is a great match with goat’s cheese in particular. The vegetal green teas have a fresh, grassy flavour and go nicely with any seafood.
An Oolong tea is the perfect pairing for spicy foods such as curries as they temper the spice and can bring out the flavour. This works particularly well if the food has gingery flavours. Light oolong teas go best with scallops, sweet rich seafood and lobster. Darker oolongs have a more prominent flavour, so they work better with stronger foods, like grilled ones. Duck meat, salmon, trout and bass dishes are good choices for this beverage, and smoked meat or meat-based appetizer plates can also bring out the flavour of dark oolongs.
Pu-erh teas have a strong, earthy and distinctive flavour, and they make great choices alongside a chicken or stir-fry recipe, as they can neutralize the oily and greasy tastes.
If you get a little carried away experimenting with these delicious tea and food pairs Pu-erh Tea is worthy of a special mention for its digestive benefits. Pu-Erh tea can offer a welcome settling effect after large meals.
Sweet tooth or a chocoholic?
For those who have a sweet tooth no matter what time of year it is, we have the cherry on top! Some yummy tea and cake pairings. Imagine finding the perfect teas to match your Afternoon Tea treat!
Earl Grey with sweet citrus cakes
The distinct citrusy flavour of Earl Grey is strong enough to cleanse the palate and cut through the sharpness of citrusy cakes. It really brings out the sweetness.
Assam with Cream tea and cream cakes
The strong and malty flavour of Assam black tea compliments creamy foods and provides a balance to the sweetness.
Lapsang Souchong with sticky toffee pudding
Any heavy, rich, or oak-fired black teas pair with a sticky toffee pudding or a banana cake to make a tantalising combination of flavours to die for.
Oolong teas are an absolute treat with both milk and white chocolate. Dark chocolate pairs best with a Pu-Erh or an Earl Grey.
These few examples of tea-food pairings are just the beginning. There are endless possibilities and this proves that tea truly is the drink that just keeps on giving. In 2017 we can be very excited about the tea trends which will hopefully have a positive impact.