Last week, we explored the keys and nuances to tea pairing – how the right kind of teas can perfectly complement and enhance your meals for a sensory bomb explosion. This week we take it a step further and guide you on how to perfectly pair up black tea and oolong tea!
Oolong tea has beautifully complex notes, which make it perfect for pairing with a diverse range of foods. If you are at a buffet, and have a wide variety of foods to taste and sample, oolong tea would be your best bet.
Oolongs are divided into two main categories – light and dark. Lighter and greener oolongs are fragrant, slightly sweet and floral-aromatic, so they tend to go well with lobster, scallop and other sweet-rich foods. For something a little more adventurous, pair with light salty/savory snacks! The sweet and salty contrast will be such a delight. Examples are Roleaf’s Jade Tie Kuan Yin Luxury, Dong Ding Oolong.
Darker oolong teas (which are more prominent in flavor) will compliment stronger foods like grilled dishes and smoked meats. Notable examples are such as duck meat, smoked salmon and ham. Dark oolongs can also be paired with sweet maple desserts. Roleaf offerings include Ai Jiao Oolong, Shui Hsien Fine Cut and Traditional Roasted Tie Kuan Yin Luxury.
Black tea has an extremely full bodied and robust flavor due to its high tannin content, thus it should be paired with full flavored dishes to prevent overriding.
There are three distinct categories of black tea – fruity, smoky and earthy.
Fruity black teas, like Roleaf’s Elegant Earl Grey & Lotus Blossom Tea are amazing when paired with sweet desserts. It’s richness perfectly complements sweet, rich and creamy desserts. Smoky black teas (Lapsang Souchong Black Tea) which can taste pretty intense, should go with dark meats, blackened grilled meats, and dark chocolate. Earthy black teas (Chava Chai & Keemun Black Tea) will similarly enhance the flavor of earthy foods such as hearty stews, gravies and vegetables.