Switch up your menu for the New Year by incorporating tea pairings into your current specials. If you have customers that are in need of a daily dose of caffeine but don’t want to reach for that sugary can of soda, try offering them a nice warm cup of tea. It will keep them warm during this chilly winter, as well as give them a caffeine boost, and cut out quite a few calories. January is all about getting healthy for most of your customers.
Tea & Food
Tea has evolved for thousands of years along with regional cuisine to be the drink that goes well with meals. Tea is a very versatile natural drink that pairs perfectly with food.
It can be used mid-course, or as a palate cleanser. Tea refreshes and readies the palate for the next course in your meal. More importantly however, it can also be paired with a specific dish to help complete the flavor journey of that dish.
Pairing tea with food is an adventure of flavors, and provides an extensive range of tastes similar to that of wine, but without the associated alcohol buzz. A tea’s flavor can delicately pair with food without overpowering it.
Black teas are bold, rich, and full bodied in flavor, with pronounced tannins that complement richly flavored foods. Black teas pair well with foods that are normally paired with red wines, such as; meat, curries, and strong cheeses. They pair especially well with chocolate and desserts with chocolate.
Green teas have a grassy, fresh flavor profile. Seafood, chicken, salads, and fruit that would normally be paired with a white wine go perfectly with green teas.
Oolong teas fall in-between black and green teas. Darker oolong teas have a pronounced toastiness and are very full flavored. Like black teas, oolongs that are medium to dark oxidized are a perfect pairing for Chinese, Thai, and grilled foods. Light oolongs (Wu-long or green Oolongs) go well with foods that are normally paired with white wine.
White tea, the purest and most delicate form of tea, has a mild, subtle flavor and a mellow sweetness. Pair white teas with light fish, fruits, salads, and desserts. Avoid pairing with spicy food.
Remember to check out our original 2014 Food Trends Article