Betty Koster is a Cheese Connoisseur who has some opinions about how to taste and pair Tea with Food. Here are some of her thoughts on this topic…
Some Additional Thoughts
Tea is an incredibly diverse beverage. It has been, “historically” used as a medicine, a food, and more recently as a satiating and stimulating beverage. Today we are starting to explore some of these lost uses via Food and Tea Pairings, Mixology, and TCM concepts such as the Five Elements Theory.
One of the biggest issues I struggle with when pairing tea with food, or using it as an ingredient, or spice, etc., is finding pairings that allow the tea to be the hero. There is no point in pairing Earl Grey Tea, for example, with a rich Beouf Bourguignon if the character of the tea is lost. Nor is there any point in brewing such a tea so strong that only its astringency is expressed, as a means to cut through the fattiness of the dish and say, “Oh! that’s the tea!”
This becomes even more of a whorey old chestnut, for me when it comes to the use of Tea in the brewing of Beer. Suffice to say, there is no point in using a post-production scented tea as a brewing ingredient unless the tea is prominently expressed – the tea! Not the added flavouring or scent. As such there are similar considerations when using tea as a spice or ingredient in making new dishes. If it is only the scent that is being expressed? Then use the scent, don’t waste the tea.
With this in mind and Betty’s advice above, one should consider carefully the advice about the 1-3 General Rule. Considering that many people also consider tea to be a Medicine and should be used, in combination, with the Five Elements precepts, then there is a vast history and plane of expression that can be explored, with out repeating the trial and error mistakes of the past.