Monday, July 20, 2009

Tea Life: Tea with Food

An interesting thing has come to light during these first interviews I’ve gotten back. It seems that among my admittedly small sampling (4 so far), tea drinkers either don’t drink tea with their meals, or think very little about it. It’s interesting to me because I’m one of those who doesn’t normally drink tea with my meals, but when I do, I give much thought to what tea to serve with different types of food.

I tend to drink black tea throughout the day at work, for the caffeine & flavor. I always have a banana and a granola bar for breakfast (at my desk), so in the morning I tend to drink either flavored blacks that won’t “clash” with the banana, or malty blacks like Yunnan or Assam teas to pair with my granola bar. In the afternoon is when I indulge in more exotic flavored blacks or the occasional dark oolong. I tend not to drink anything with lunch, as I’m a “sipper”, and there’s just no time to “sip” when I need to eat and get back to work, but occasionally I’ll whip up a bowl of Matcha, especially in the winter. But it depends on what I’m eating, since the flavor of Matcha is so distinct.

I tend to drink water with dinner, though I’m sure my husband would appreciate iced tea more often. I only think about iced tea with certain foods though – hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks…otherwise I tend to forget it’s even an option. Normally it’s black iced tea as well, since that’s what hubby prefers, though I have several Japanese green teas I’d like to try iced, if I can remember to do it! I’m going to try an experiment this week, making tea (iced or hot, weather dependent) for dinner every night to pair with what we’re eating.

Late at night is when I tend to break out the green and white teas, along with herbal rooibos. Most of the time I sip them on their own, but occasionally I want a cookie or something alongside.

When I’m entertaining, since neither hubby or I drink coffee, we offer our guests tea instead. For a party I always have three options – a black or oolong, a green or white, and an herbal (rooibos, usually). I spend a lot of time deciding which teas to pair with the menu, so that the flavors will all compliment each other. Even when it’s just a dinner for family I still make sure the tea offerings pair with whatever I’m serving.

So what about you? Do you drink tea with your meals? Why or why not?


  1. Jamie, interesting. Being aware of tea pairing is obviously something I am going to have to pay more attention to in future.

    Have you read the very intriguing pairing of strawberries with various teas on the Polish Wine Guide? You should head over there and let Nermal know you're reading. Very thoughtful take on food pairing, and Nermal is a true connoisseur that I am looking forward to learning much from.

  2. Thanks for that link, Steven. I'll definitely check it out, sounds right up my alley.

  3. I rarely drink tea with my meals. Once in a great while I'll have coffee with a meal, but in general coffee and tea are drinks I have in between meals or after meals as a way to relax.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts, A Buckeye Girl Reads - and thanks for the award on your site! I'm getting to it, I promise. :-)

  5. I drink tea with two meals: breakfast and afternoon tea.

    Oolong, green, or black with breakfast (cereal, fruit + yogurt).

    Black with a sweet/ pastry at afternoon tea.

  6. Well, I live in Texas, so I drink iced tea with pretty much everything. Since I drink most of my hot tea at work, I rarely have hot tea with a meal. The exception would be Asian food. I love the way jasmine pairs with Chinese and Thai food. I would imagine a nice, clean green tea would be delicious with Japanese as well.

    I also like a deep, grapey Darjeeling on the rare occasions I have a cheese/fruit plate for a snack.

    I crave shortbread when I'm drinking a strong black tea in the afternoon. Occasionally I indulge and it's delicious. :)

  7. Georgia & JenB, I want to have afternoon tea with you two. Mmmm...shortbread! :-)


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