How to Pair Tea with Food: Tips and Recipes

 How to Pair Tea with Food: Tips and Recipes


Tea has always been one of the most popular and beloved beverages worldwide. It can be consumed on its own, as a relaxing and comforting drink, and be paired with food to enhance the dining experience. But few people know how to pair tea with food correctly. In this article, we will share some useful tips and suggest some delicious recipes for tea pairing.

Types Of Tea From Around The World

  1. Know The Tea Categories:

To start, it’s important to know how tea is categorized – black, green, white, and oolong. Each category has its unique flavor profile and aroma that can be paired with different types of food to create a harmonious blend of taste. Black teas are the most robust, full-bodied, and bold in taste. They pair well with rich and spicy dishes, such as curries, barbeques, and grilled meat. Green teas are lighter in taste, with a fresh and grassy flavor. They pair well with sushi, salads, and light fish dishes. White teas are subtle and delicate, with floral and fruity notes. They pair well with mild cheeses, fruits, and desserts. Oolong teas are complex and fragrant in flavor, with hints of floral and honey. They pair well with dim sum, stir-fries, and roasted duck dishes.

  1. Balance Flavors:

When pairing tea with food, it’s essential to balance the flavors of both. The tea should neither overpower nor be overwhelmed by the flavors of the dish. For example, if you are serving a spicy Thai curry, a strong black tea with a brisk flavor like Darjeeling, Ceylon, or Keemun would be a good match. The tea’s astringency will help balance the dish’s heat and cut through the spiciness. However, if you are serving a light fish dish, a delicate and floral white tea like Silver Needle or Bai Hao Yinzhen would be more appropriate. The lightness and subtle flavors of the white tea will complement the delicate flavor of the fish.

  1. Consider Aroma:

The aroma of the tea also plays a crucial role in pairing. Aromatic teas like Jasmine, Earl Grey, and Rose tea can be particularly challenging to pair. It’s essential to consider the subtle aroma of the tea and whether it complements or clashes with the aroma of the dish. For example, the floral aroma of Jasmine tea complements the aroma of meat dishes like roasted lamb or beef. Still, it can clash with the aroma of fish dishes, which require a more subtle and delicate tea like Dragonwell or Sencha green tea.

  1. Experiment with Flavors:

Experimenting with flavors is the key to finding the perfect tea pairing for any dish. Some unexpected tea pairings can result in a unique and delicious flavor blend. For example, pairing a bold and spicy black tea with dark chocolate can create a fantastic and unexpected combination of flavors. Similarly, pairing a light and fruity white tea with a tangy cheese like goat cheese can bring out the cheese’s flavor while complementing its texture.

Here we suggest three recipes for tea pairings in different categories:

  1. Spicy Chicken Curry with Assam Black Tea:


– 500g boneless chicken pieces

– 1 Onion, chopped

– 2 Garlic cloves, minced

– 2 Tomatoes, chopped

– 1 Tbsp ginger paste

– 1 Tbsp coriander powder

– ½ Tbsp cumin powder

– 1 Tsp red chili powder

– 1 Tsp turmeric powder

– 1 Cinnamon stick

– 2 Cardamom pods

– 2 Cloves

– Salt to taste

– Oil


  1. Heat oil in a pan, add onions, garlic, and ginger paste. Saute for 2 minutes until onions turn translucent.
  2. Add chicken and cook until slightly browned.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and salt to taste.
  4. Add 1 cup of water, cover the pan, and let it cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  5. Serve with steamed rice and a warm cup of Assam black tea.
  6. Grilled Fish with Dragonwell Green Tea:


– 500g fish fillet

– 1 Tbsp soy sauce

– 1 Tbsp rice vinegar

– 1 Tbsp honey

– 2 Garlic cloves, minced

– 1 Tsp ginger paste

– Salt to taste

– Oil

– Lemon wedges


  1. Preheat the grill to high.
  2. In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger paste, salt, and oil.
  3. Brush the mixture onto the fish fillet, making sure to coat both sides.
  4. Place the fish on the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve with steamed rice and a warm cup of Dragonwell green tea.
  6. Fruits and Cheese Platter with Silver Needle White Tea:


– Assorted seasonal fruits (grapes, apples, pears, berries)

– Assorted cheeses (mild cheddar, goat cheese, brie)

– Crackers

– 1 Tbsp honey

– 1 Tsp lemon juice

– Mint leaves

– Silver Needle white tea

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  1. Arrange the fruits and cheese on a platter.
  2. In a small bowl, mix honey, lemon juice, and a few chopped mint leaves.
  3. Drizzle the honey mixture over the fruits and cheese.
  4. Serve with crackers and a warm cup of Silver Needle white tea.

Pairing tea with food is an enjoyable and challenging experience that requires a good understanding of tea categories, flavor balance, aroma, and experimentation. We hope that the tips and recipes shared in this article will inspire you to explore the world of tea pairing and create unique and delicious flavor combinations. So, brew a pot of your favorite tea, gather your favorite foods, and start exploring!