Thursday, 22 July 2010

Tea and Food: what to drink with chocolate

Last week I made some rather fabulous dark chocolate brownies, which I ended up eating accompanied by several different kinds of tea over the course of the week. Some pairings were more successful than others, and this set me to thinking that a series of posts about tea and food might not be a bad idea. If you have a particular kind of food you'd like me to focus on, just place a request in the comments and I'll do my best to accommodate it (barring seafood, of which I am not a fan).

So here's this week's instalment: teas to pair with CHOCOLATE - cake, brownies, or just all on it's lonesome own. Aw.

 Just crying out for some tea to keep it company!

My first recommendation: jasmine tea. I find that jasmine goes beautifully with moderately dark chocolatey things; the sweet floral taste offsets the slightly bitter chocolate very well. Even though I often prefer to drink my really good teas on their own, without any disruption to their flavour caused by combining them with food, I think it is actually worthwhile cracking out the good jasmine tea to have with your chocolate, simply because the jasmine flavour will be stronger. Keep the lower-rent jasmine for having with your Chinese takeaway and have a really top-notch one (I have still got some of the 2009 Moli Jin Zhen Wang from Amazing Green Tea which is just divine).

Second recommendation: a strong Japanese green - sencha or matcha, or why not both (like the Macchairi Kabuse Ryokucha I blogged about here). The bitter-sweetness of the tea and chocolate play off each other and the greenness of the tea cuts through the richness of the chocolate as well. I thought jasmine and chocolate was my favourite until I tried this. It's really an incredible combination.

If you are looking for a black tea I would go for something robust and a bit astringent like an Assam, or fruity like a second or Autumn flush Darjeeling; the taste of a first flush Darjeeling gets overwhelmed by the chocolate. I also felt that my beloved Yunnan Golden Tips didn't shine as I would have liked when I drank it alongside the brownie (which you can see in the corner of the picture in that post!). Earl Grey is a good option though and one I often choose when I am out somewhere like Koko Black; the floral/citrus taste of the bergamot is refreshing and also cuts through the richness.


  1. yum!! thanx for the tips...Im totally up for a jasmine tea choc hit now!!

  2. I like chocolate and tea, too. I do not care much about which one makes it more tastefully, but I will definitely will remember this when I will combine this both the next time and see whether I taste a difference.


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