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.