Friday, 17 September 2010

Tea and Food: What to drink with breakfast

I don't really have a single tea that I could say is my 'breakfast' tea. I tend to drink something different each day depending on what I'm having for breakfast. The other morning my husband decided that we needed French toast with maple syrup and bacon - not perhaps the wisest decision on a weekday morning when (as it turned out) he had a relatively early meeting to get to work for, but that's as may be - which set me hunting through my pantry for an appropriate tea to go with such a hearty, savoury yet also sweet, breakfast.

It's common for Western-style breakfasts to be accompanied by powerful, wakey-uppy type teas, typically blends involving Assam and other brisk black teas that take milk and sugar well. See for example this brief Wikipedia article on English Breakfast tea, and for my thoughts on some common breakfast blends, have a peek here and here. If I'm going for one of these kinds of teas, Irish Breakfast would be my pick. However, I actually opted for some genmaicha to have alongside our impromptu fancy breakfast.

Genmaicha is a Japanese tea blend containing green tea and roasted rice kernels; perhaps a slightly perverse choice for morning drinking as the lower proportion of tea leaves means that it is significantly lower in caffeine content. It's not something that I drink on a very regular basis; it's an intensely savoury tea that tastes predominantly of the roasted rice with little green tea flavour (at least this is the case with the brand that I have, which is made by Ujinotsuyu). It is an excellent partner with many kinds of savoury food though, and went quite well with the smoky, sweet flavours of the maple syrup and bacon.

Other teas that you might like to consider with a substantial savoury breakfast include Lapsang Souchong (or add a little pinch to your regular plain black tea) or a darker-roasted wulong (oolong) like Da Hong Pao. Chinese gunpowder green could be good too, and plain or vanilla-flavoured rooibos would also be a great herbal option. I'd definitely steer clear of anything very flowery or too light.

4 comments:

  1. Mmmm Verity, you are making me hungry and thirsty with your fun article about matching teas to food! I love Irish breakfast tea and my mum went through a genmaicha-drinking phase a while back. Hmmm...maybe I should give genmaicha another try...

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  2. It's interesting that you also have some similar feelings to me about "breakfast" teas. A while back I wrote my own post about breakfast teas in which I observed a similar trend on my own...

    Are you a morning person? This was the only explanation I could come up with, I tend to wake up bright and early and not need much caffeine to get going. The afternoon is the time of day when I find I have the most trouble concentrating and want the most caffeine.

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  3. Surely nice article. I have read it carefully and benefited from it so much. Thanks. I also like tea, but I like Oolong Tea better. I suggest you to write more about oolong tea and that will surely attract more visitors.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Surely nice article. I have read it carefully and benefited from it so much. Thanks. I also like tea, but I like Oolong Tea better. I suggest you to write more about oolong tea and that will surely attract more visitors.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment... I appreciate it!

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