Best of Both Worlds: A Beginners Guide to Tea and Chocolate Pairings
Posted: May 19 2019
By: Addy Rose
Whether you’re looking for a fun way to end a dinner party or add a bit of extra fun to a book club gathering, knowing how to pair tea and chocolate is a great way to delight the foodie in you. It can be a way to relax after a long day or new way to engage and entertain guests. Here’s an easy guide to finding the best flavor combinations.
Below you will find suggestions for ideal pairings. Some will have similar or contrasting flavors that will ultimately enhance the flavor characteristics of both tea and chocolate. You should be able to enjoy the flavors together without one overpowering the other.
For the pairings below - Try the tea first. Reflect on the individual flavor characteristics of the tea. Anything you notice right away? Is there a lingering taste? Have a sip of water before trying the chocolate to cleanse your palate. Since chocolate is high in fat, it is easier to cleanse after tasting the tea. Break off a small piece of the chocolate and take a moment to notice its aroma and general visual appearance. Try to guess some of the flavors just using your olfactory sense before putting it in your mouth. A tasting should use all five senses. Take a bite and reflect on what you are tasting. Let it melt in your mouth. Use the water to cleanse once more before pairing the two. Take a sip of the tea before the chocolate. Chocolate begins to melt at 96.8 °F. The tea will warm your mouth before trying the chocolate. Note the similarities in the flavors or perhaps complementary characteristics. Take another sip after you’ve had the chocolate. How do the flavors in the chocolate influence the taste of the tea? How does the pairing impact the overall tasting experience? Now that you have a general sense of how to best taste chocolate and tea, we wanted to share with you some of the flavor pairings we found to be successful.
White chocolate isn’t for everyone, but it helps balance the flavors of earthy greens and also pairs nicely with tisanes. For Matcha fans, white chocolate will pair well with the astringent and vegetal notes prominent in this much loved green tea. When combined you will get a creamy and earthy flavor profile. Chamomile and Jasmine tea are more mild flavor pairing options, but the floral components are delightful with smooth white chocolate for a calming sensation.
Many of us enjoy the creaminess of good milk chocolate. It’s a versatile chocolate when it comes to pairing with tea. Chai is a popular pairing since the spices of the tea are enhanced when combined with the milk and sugar. The muscatel flavor of Darjeeling or citrus notes of Earl Grey, two other teas often enjoyed with a dash of cream, are excellent partners for milk chocolate.
In our opinion, the rich indulgent flavors of dark chocolate are best when paired with flavored teas. Strong breakfast teas and fruit teas hold up well to the bitterness of dark chocolate to create a decadent multilayered tasting experience. Oolong teas are a great option. Oolongs can vary in flavor, many offering a toasted nuttiness profile to enhance the chocolate.
Now you are on your way to hosting an excellent event or giving a memorable gift! If you want to skip a step and just enjoy a sweet treat - be sure to try tea infused chocolate for sensational flavor. Gourmet Boutique has a wide array of tea and chocolate selections (and tea infused chocolate). We hope this guide can help create a wonderful tasting experience.
Quality matters with both tea and chocolate. Region and climate greatly impact the flavor profile of both products. Each step carefully crafted to reach the end result. If you want a little more guidance on specific brands or products to start off your pairing exploration - please see our notes below. Let us know what pairings you try in the comments!
Palais Des Thes Paris for Her (green tea with rose and raspberry)
Octavia Honey Oolong Tea