Pairing tea with food is a smart way to deliver your guests a holistic hot tea experience and a great strategy to grow your business.
Tea is a gourmet beverage that provides an extensive range of aromas and tastes. In the same way that some wines pair with cheese, red meat or poultry, tea flavors can delicately pair with food without overpowering it. The qualities you’ll want to consider when making tea pairings are body, flavor, acidity and texture.
Black teas are rich and full-bodied teas with pronounced tannins that hold up well with richly flavored foods. They pair well with foods that are normally associated with red wines, like meat, curries and desserts.
The distinct, citrus flavors of Earl Grey perfectly accompany crème brûlée, fruit tarts or milk chocolate.
English Breakfast is likely what most guests think of when considering hot tea. Use English Breakfast for dishes where coffee might be the go-to beverage: toast, sausage and other morning offerings.
The spicy flavor of chai tea pairs well with sweet treats like scones, brownies, cakes, cookies and milk chocolate.
When paired correctly, green teas can bring out the subtleties both of the food and the tea itself. Green tea has a light flavor, so it’s best matched with foods that would normally be served with white wines such as seafood, chicken, salads, fruits or white chocolate.
An herbal tea is any beverage made from the infusion of herbs, spices or other plant material in hot water, and they’re usually caffeine free. Fruit-forward herbal teas are going to pair well with citrusy and tart desserts and entrees, while the earthy tones of some teas will go better with more mild dishes such as soups and stews. Consider a mint or spearmint tea to go with chocolate desserts for a true pairing delight.
As you move forward in developing your menus, be sure to keep hot teas in mind to help elevate the guest experience—and add incremental sales. Check out the Lipton® Tea Mix In Tool for fresh ideas on how to put tea to work on your menu.