Pairing Tea and Chocolate: A Simple Menu
by Naomi Rosen
Tea and Chocolate are two of my favorite food groups. Not a day goes by that I don't partake of at least one, and usually both, before noon. It's not the caffeine high that I love, although, that is an excellent byproduct. And it's not the health benefits either. While awesome and all, I am assuming the quantities I eat it in kind of nullify any health benefits. The reason I love them so much is because they just work. That simple. About a year ago I decided I wanted to put together a tea and chocolate pairing. I considered my chocolate and tea habit to be "research" from there on out and after talking to Susan and Patty at Sweet Ruby Jane Confections here in Las Vegas, I knew it was time for the big show. Since I know that not everyone can call Las Vegas home, below is our tasting menu and some guidelines so that you can host your own tasting party! Firstly, the menu:
- Sweet Sin + Snowy White Chocolate
- All That Jazzmine + Mac’s Dark Chocolate Lemon Meltaway
- Sencha + Amy’s Milk Chocolate and Almonds
- Genmaicha + Chelsea’s Milk Chocolate Caramel
- Blue Beauty Oolong + Mac’s Dark Chocolate Orange Meltaway
- Earl Grey + Barry’s Coconut Cream
- Glenburn Darjeeling Second Flush + Creamy Milk Chocolate
- Suprabhat + Mac’s Milk Chocolate Maple Meltaway
- You will notice there are no white teas listed. I tried a number of chocolates with white teas and I am of the opinion that the chocolate dominated every tea I tried. You are welcome to shoot me suggestions if there is a tea I should try. I am always willing to
eat chocolate and drink tea, admit when I am wrong.
- You might also notice that the only "flavored" tea in the group was the Sweet Sin (which in fact is a rooibos). We paired it with a simple white chocolate. We could easily have paired flavored teas with flavored chocolates, but where's the fun in that. I am assuming a raspberry tea and a raspberry chocolate are going to taste just lovely together. Our goal here was to have the tea and chocolate play off of one another and choosing orthodox teas was a simple way to appreciate the flavors.
- Have fun with it and be adventurous. Not everything has to "go together". Choose a few tea/chocolate combinations that are amazing because they are unexpected. For example, the nutty, roasted flavors in the Blue Beauty Oolong went amazingly well with the Mac's Dark Chocolate Orange Meltaway.
- I chose the teas first and then we complimented with the chocolates. You could likely choose the chocolates first as well, but I know way more about tea flavor profiles. Go with your strongest asset.
- If you think it would make a nice cup of tea, chances are they will taste great together. Example: We paired our Glenburn Second Flush Darjeeling with a Creamy Milk Chocolate. I would normally add milk and sugar to my cup of Darjeeling. Milk chocolate is milk and sugar, so naturally they are going to pair well together.