THE RIGHT TEA TO PAIR WITH YOUR CHOCOLATE EASTER EGGS…

With Easter around the corner and the Easter eggs stacking up ready to eat, I thought a post on the right tea to drink with your chocolate might go down well.

Successful combinations of tea and chocolate can be achieved in a variety of ways. You can look for tea/chocolate pairings that share similar flavor characteristics, thereby enhancing one another. Conversely, you can also find very satisfying combinations where the flavors of the tea and chocolate contrast – these are sometimes the biggest hits. Lastly, look for tea/chocolate pairings where the characteristics of each aren’t necessarily the same, but are compatible or complementary in some fashion.

Chocolate and tea make for a perfect match in our book, and not just because we love the two. They share health benefits and flavor qualities including caffeine, flavonoids and tannins.

Flavor Enhancers

Flavor Contrasts

Complementary Flavors

Lastly, a note on flavored tea and flavored/filled chocolate. There is absolutely nothing saying that you can’t extend this pairing approach to include flavored teas or filled/flavored chocolates. That said, it’s important to keep it simple. Too many added flavors (either in the tea or the chocolate) can make for pairings that are too busy or too complicated – and often not as enjoyable. Pick your focus, keep it simple and let a couple flavors take the spotlight.

According to Linda Villano from SerendipiTea. “When approaching the Tea & Chocolate pairing, the possibilities are endless so first narrow down the number of teas you will be pairing within each category and identify them on paper. Keep things simple and well organized. Focus on specific groupings using your basic tea tasting rules, for example work with White Tea first, then move along the color spectrum from light to dark, ending with Pu-erh.  Taste the tea independently of the chocolate carefully minding the general characteristics, aroma, flavor notes, and mouth-feel of each tea you plan to pair. Do the same with each of the chocolates independently of the tea.  Take your time, munch on a bit of plain cracker between each tasting to clear your palate, and take copious notes. But most importantly, enjoy the process.”

Source: SerendipiTea, Arburteas,

TOP FIVE CHOCOLATE TEAS WITHOUT THE CALORIES…

If you are true chocaholic like me then when they invented chocolate tea you went to heaven and back. The trouble is there are now lots of chocolate teas to choose from so of course I had to sample them. Getting your chocolate fix without the calories has to be a winner for any chocolate lover. Here are my top five chocolate teas.

1.Teapigs Chocolate Flake Tea Made With Whole Leaves (1 Pack of 15 Tea Bags) These are an award winning blend of chocolate flake tea which is a black tea with a hint of dark chocolate. Absolutely perfect for a treat with a dash of milk. They are made up in a biodegradable bag (hooray) and their packaging has been certified plastic-free by A Plastic Planet and at only £4.15 for 15 tea bags it will soon tickle your fancies.

2.Yogi Teas – Ayurvedic Organic Fairtrade Choco Tea Bags 17bags – these are delicious. They contain pure South American cocoa shells and ginger and cinnamon. To get the best taste allow the tea to steep for 7 minutes in boiling water. The only trouble with these are that I want another cup the minute I have finished my first one. Another great price at £3.02 for a bag of 17.

3.Suki Tea have a Chocolate Tea Bundle to die for. They say this bundle provides all the chocolate indulgence without the calories so I was straight in there. It has Mint Choc Chai, a black tea base with all the spiced flavour you would expect in a chair, with rich, dark cocol beans and fresh peppermint leaf. Enjoy it with steamed mill and you will be heaven.

Raspberry Ruffle, Black Tea with Coconut, Chocolate & Raspberry, yes please! The rich dark chocolate accentuated with the nostalgic combination of sweet coconut and a dash of zingy raspberry makes this amazing tea. 

Dark Cocoa Tea, Black tea and cocoa kernels blend for a rich chocolatey cuppa. The whole bundle for £14.80 for serious chocolate lovers.

4.Whittard’s have a Dark Chocolate Loose Tea Pouch, which is a blended loose leaf black tea from India and Indonesia with a (very) generous helping of cocoa nibs, creating a tea that’s full-bodied, aromatic and seriously chocolatey. It is truly indulgent and another one that you will probably drink two cups of. And, yet another they say is a sugar-free chocolate fix. What more could we ask for us chocaholics. The cost is a reasonable £6.00 for 100g.

5.Twinings Nutty Chocolate Flavour Assam Loose Tea – if you love a bit of nuts with your chocolate then you will enjoy this one from Twinings which is a Hazelnut and chocolate flavour black tea. Inspired by tea & chocolate, a match made in heaven.  Rich Assam loose leaf tea is a perfect partner to the flavour of delicious chocolate & hazelnuts. A 125g pouch is £9 another great price to get your chocolate fix without the calories.

BUY THE RIGHT TEA TO PAIR WITH CHRISTMAS FOOD…

To enjoy your cuppa at Christmas, make sure you have the right flavour to pair with your Christmas food.

When drinking Lapsang have it with turkey or smoked salmon sandwiches or walnut cake or Stilton cheese, to enhance the flavour of the tea and/or food. Try Twinings Lapsang Souchong, smoked pine flavour.

Of course, Christmas isn’t Christmas without chocolate but with different strengths of chocolate, this does mean there is a choice of pairings. With dark chocolate, try Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Gyokuro, or Oolong. Try this Whittards Loose Leaf Darjeeling Black Tea. A distinctly delicate loose leaf black tea, picked by hand in the Himalayan foothills. Fresh and fruity, with a muscatel sweetness.

With milk or white chocolate try Darjeeling, Dragonwell, or Oolong. This Gingersnap Oolong from Whittards will go perfectly with white chocolate. A speciality of China’s Fujian and Guangdong provinces and Taiwan, oolong tea is semi-oxidised for an astonishing spectrum of flavours, ranging from “green” floral high-grown varieties to distinctive dark oolongs with nutty, chocolatey tones. A Whittard twist on a traditional chai, we’ve opted for a delicate, creamy loose leaf oolong base and layered it with sugar and spice, and all things gingery nice.

When drinking Earl Grey try The Tea Makers Earl Grey have it with fine pate or ham and mustard sandwich’s or Crème Brulee or Leicester cheese, to enhance the flavour of the tea and/or food. This stunning version of classic Supreme Earl Grey has been conveniently packed into our biodegradable tea bags. This tea offers a blend of exquisite Ceylon teas scented with flavours of bergamot oil and blue cornflowers. 

Fortnum and Mason have some amazing goodies paired with specific teas like their Christmas Green Tea created especially for Christmas, their gently warming blend of green tea, star anise, liquorice, coconut and a hint of vanilla is a festive treat that can be enjoyed by a crackling fire at any time of day.

If you don’t want to buy lots of different flavoured tea blends then you could always go for this Twinings Christmas Loose Tea Caddy A Black Tea with Spice Flavour.

A wonderful tea for the Christmas season. A Christmas Tea spiced malty black tea that has been expertly blended with warming, spicy, Christmas flavours off safflowers and orange peel. Enjoy with or without milk for a delicious festive treat.

The caddy depicts a wintery scene in the heart of London where Twinings was founded in 1706. When Thomas Twining opened his Golden Lyon shop at 216 Strand, it was the first of its kind and London’s love affair with tea started to blossom. The Twinings flagship store recently celebrated its 300 year anniversary and now offers Tea Experience masterclasses.

With so many black friday offers I decided to not add prices to the teas as they are on offer at the moment but may not be when you try the link. Enjoy…

WHITTARD’S WONDERFUL TEAS…

Whittard’s have some delicious teas including this Wonderland Tea Selection @ £12 – This curious gift set packed with three traditional English teas its good enough to make even the Queen of Hearts happy.

Inside youll find subtly citrussy Earl Grey with its distinctive bergamot aroma, and our beautifully floral English Rose tea. Then theres our classic English Breakfast: with its malty richness and full-bodied intensity, its no surprise that its our number one bestseller. Theres 30 individually wrapped teabags in total, so youve got a whole month of elegantly excellent tea to enjoy. It contains 10 individually wrapped English Breakfast teabags, 10 individually wrapped Earl Grey teabags, and 10 individually wrapped English Rose teabags.

There Summer Selection includes Peaches and Cream – blended mellow peach pieces with sweet apple and a hint of rosehip for a delicate, dessert-worthy treat – and it beats making a mess of your trusty picnic rug with those tinned peaches and pots of cream…£8 for the mini caddy.

Or how about Ginger Beer a spicy-sweet medley of ginger and candied ginger, layer it with refreshing spearmint and luscious lemongrass and you have a cup with serious character. Meet their taste bud tingling infusion: Ginger Beer. Or Rhubarb Punch – Sip a cup of summer with their rowdy Rhubarb Punch: it’s their way of celebrating the brightest flavours of an English country garden. They have balanced their rhubarb with elderberries, whole apple pieces and bright hibiscus, adding mellow strawberry and blackberry leaves for body. Brew it hot for a punchy fruity infusion to wake up your taste buds; or try it loaded with ice on sunny days.

TEA PAIRINGS FOR BLACK TEA…

Black Tea Pairing Ideas

The more robust flavours and aromas of most black teas, as well as the most pronounced tannins, are well suited to pairing with full-flavoured foods such as meat, spicy dishes and rich foods such as roast meats like beef, lamb and venison or heavy pasta dishes like lasagna.

Suggestions:

  • Darjeeling + egg dishes; creamy desserts
  • Keemun + meats; fish; Chinese foods; spicy Mexican, Italian, or Indian dishes
  • Yunnan + highly seasoned foods
  • Lapsang Souchong + chicken, smoked salmon, lemony desserts
  • Assam + hearty foods; breakfast foods; chocolate, custard or lemon desserts