Friday, May 3, 2019

Tea and Food Pairing - MATBA Seminar

The Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association recently held their annual spring seminar at One Steep at a Thyme in Jamesburg, NJ. Tea business entrepreneurs gather quarterly at regional businesses for association meetings. Cynthia Gold, a tea sommelier, author, trained chef, and a recognized authority on tea and food pairing was our featured speaker.
At this meeting, Cynthia Gold presented a Tea and Food Pairing program. What a fun array of foods to be sampled with a wide assortment of teas. Cynthia began the presentation with an explanation of taste and the experience associated with it. Food and beverages should compliment or balance each other in order to enhance the overall experience. 
Members compared and contrasted flavor combinations. We started with a Lung Ching Dragonwell. A classic green tea from Hanzhou, China. Cynthia encouraged us to note the subtle nut flavors of the tea and then sample it with a Comte cheese which has its own natural nuttiness to it. We were encouraged to sample nibbles of the other foods to see how the flavor components reacted. 

The array of teas we sampled included the Lung Ching Dragonwell, a lighty oxidized Oolong, Darjeeling, Ti Quan Yin, Keemun, and a smoky Lapsang Souchong. Notice that in a tea tasting, you begin with the lighter teas, and end with the heavier more intense teas. The dry tea leaf and wet steeped leaf were passed around to see the leaves before and after steeping, to sniff and notice the fragrance of each.

In food and tea pairing, balance salt or spicy with sweetness. Pair to highlight flavors and bring out subtle undertones. But most importantly, have fun! 


Marilyn Miller said...

This would have been a fun tasting too! I have taken pairing with cheese and pairing with chocolate, but this is so much more.

Angela McRae said...

I would have enjoyed this opportunity to educate my palate! Haven't thought about having lighter teas before moving on to the more intense ones, but it makes sense. Some afternoons, I have a white or green tea but am always wanting something black later in the day. Wondering now if that is a natural progression …