Many of you already know that chocolate can be a great addition to your diet, being a great source of fiber and acting as a powerful antioxidant. Yet what most do not realize is that chocolate can be also paired with tea, enhancing or complimenting each others flavour. Much like the relationship between wine and cheese, tea and chocolate work great together.
In order to establish the perfect match, one needs to get familiar with the dominant flavour characteristics or profiles of both, tea and chocolate. For tea it may be floral, spicy or smoky in nature and for chocolate could be citrus, nutty or malty. Keep in mind that the characteristics of both don’t have to be the same, just as long as they are complimentary in some way. In the end of the day, it is all in what you like and what your taste buds find perfect. In some way, this pairing can be seen as a romantic relationship, where one either compliments the other well or they bring out the best in each other. Since both ingredients are plant based, they share a lot of common chemical compounds which help prevent heart disease and fight against cancer causing cells.
An easy way to find the perfect match is to think of already existing pairings that you like, be it salty-sweet or nutty-smoky. This will help to determine what combination will match your palette. Once you figure out what type of chocolate you prefer, be it white, dark or milk, a choice of tea may be quite simple. Here are a few combinations that may work for you:
- Lapsang Souchong & Spicy Chocolate
- Matcha & Milk/White Chocolate
- Pu-erh & Any light, floral chocolate
Remember to choose a dominant flavour you wish to focus on, from there you can work with texture, other ingredients and tastes. Once simple pairing is done, I strongly recommend pairing blended teas that have various ingredients that may work beautifully with the chocolate of your choice. Next time you have a sweet tooth, don’t ignore it, treat yourself to some tea and chocolate!