Pairings | Tea

A beginners' guide to tea

A beginners' guide to tea

How many of us wine-lovers who wouldn't dream of serving a sub-standard wine to our friends are perfectly happy to give them - or serve ourselves - a cup of tea made with a teabag? Like wine, tea is a daunting subject. Many of us, and I include myself among their number, are woefully ignorant about different types of tea, how best and when to serve it and how to partner it with food.

How to make a great cup of tea

How to make a great cup of tea

Perhaps one of the most daunting tasks a tea novice or even long-time tea devotee faces is how to serve tea, along with negotiating the array of tea paraphernalia, and when to drink different teas, says Signe Johansen.

Which tea to drink for the Chinese New Year?

Which tea to drink for the Chinese New Year?

Chinese tea on the face of it would seem the perfect drink to welcome in the Chinese New Year but it’s slightly more complicated than that as Lu Zhou and Timothy d’Offay of Postcard Teas explain.

What to drink with Middle Eastern food?

What to drink with Middle Eastern food?

With middle-eastern food still very much on-trend Dubai-based blogger Sally Prosser of mycustardpie.com tells us which drinks she thinks makes the best pairings

Can you pair tea with a 4 course meal?

Can you pair tea with a 4 course meal?

Wine consultant and former chef Nayan Gowda reports on a tea dinner hosted by Lalani & Co but comes away more impressed by the tea than the pairings.

Beyond tea and biscuits

Beyond tea and biscuits

Most people wouldn’t think in terms of combining tea and food beyond the classic pairings of Indian teas with a traditional afternoon scone or sponge, or jasmine tea with Chinese food but there are many other possibilities to explore, says Signe Johansen.

A St Patrick's Day supper

A St Patrick's Day supper

It’s a tribute to the sheer joie-de-vivre of the Irish that we regard St Patrick’s Day with much more enthusiasm than St George’s, St Andrew’s or St David’s Days (the patron saints for England, Scotland and Wales for those of you who aren’t into your saints). So your friends are going to be more than pleased to be invited to celebrate it with you.

Pairing tea and chocolate

Pairing tea and chocolate

Signe Johansen selflessly reports back from two tea and chocolate matching events during London's recent National Chocolate Week.

Tea sommeliers - the next big thing?

Tea sommeliers - the next big thing?

There’s a fascinating article in the current edition of Elle à Table about a cheese and tea tasting conducted by Maitre Tseng of La Maison des Trois Thés in Paris with French artisanal cheeses from Alléosse.

Yorkshire curd tart with builders’ tea ice-cream and Shire Highland Black Tea from Malawi

Yorkshire curd tart with builders’ tea ice-cream and Shire Highland Black Tea from Malawi

There are some dishes you just know you’re going to order when you spot them on a menu and the builders’ tea ice-cream that came with a Yorkshire curd tart at newly opened Lorne in London's Pimlico last week had my name all over it.

Tea & Tapas: does it work?

Tea & Tapas: does it work?

As a massive sherry fan I confess that I find it hard to envisage any other drink with tapas but when you’re invited to experience an off-the-wall pairing you go - or at least I do.

Matcha cheesecake and shiso icecream with Smith Teamaker Astoriamaro ‘Digesteaf’

Matcha cheesecake and shiso icecream with Smith Teamaker Astoriamaro ‘Digesteaf’

It might seem perverse to pick a tea pairing as my match of the week after four days in wine country and one of the leading beer cities of the US but this combination was so unexpected and so brilliant I had to single it out.

What to drink with cake

What to drink with cake

A recent email from a reader asked me to suggest a wine to go with “a triple coconut cake with a tangy pineapple icing served with fresh fruit salsa that has kiwi, strawberry, madarine oranges, blueberries and fresh pineapple in it”. Quite a challenge (I suggested demi-sec Champagne or a peach-flavoured liqueur topped up with fizz) but it got me thinking that there are many possible matches for cake beyond a cup of tea or coffee, particularly if you're serving it as a dessert.

Who’s pairing what? From bacon and beer to Earl Grey and lemon cake . . .

Who’s pairing what? From bacon and beer to Earl Grey and lemon cake . . .

A new series for the Wine Pros section on what’s been happening in the world of food and drink pairing over the past few weeks:

Guineafowl and Oolong tea

Guineafowl and Oolong tea

Chinese meals apart it’s not often I get to match tea with savoury dishes but importer Lalani’s tea pairing lunch at Gauthier, Soho this week showed just how exciting the combination can be

8 great wine and other matches for Stollen

8 great wine and other matches for Stollen

Although stollen is a little bit lighter than the classic British Christmas baking some of the pairings I suggested with mince pies (like sweet sherry and tawny port) will work too . . .

8 great drinks to match with mince pies

8 great drinks to match with mince pies

Mince pies are not that different to Christmas pudding and Christmas cake so you could drink much the same sort of wine with them. But tradition obviously plays a part in terms of what most people expect and they do pair particularly well with fortified wines like port, sherry and madeira

Pear and chai cake and green jasmine tea

Pear and chai cake and green jasmine tea

I’ve been rediscovering tea pairing with food lately and this was a standout match at my local self-styled modern tearoom Lahloo Pantry in Bristol. It was a simple pound cake topped with spicy pears* cooked in chai syrup with the company's own green jasmine tea.

Lemon and poppy seed cake with Tippy Yunan tea with ginger root

Lemon and poppy seed cake with Tippy Yunan tea with ginger root

There’s an improbably good tea shop and café near where I live which is as good as any I’ve been to. I say improbable not because it’s in Bristol but because it’s in a far-from-smart shopping parade in one of the less cultish areas of the city. It also has a brilliantly clever name - ATTIC - which stands for All The Tea In China.

Claire Clark's Austrian Coffee Cake

Claire Clark's Austrian Coffee Cake

The cover recipe from pastry chef Claire Clark's gorgeous new book 80 Cakes from around the World, photographed by the equally talented Jean Cazals.

Doughnuts and hot chocolate sauce

Doughnuts and hot chocolate sauce

If you like churros you're going to LOVE this recipe for doughnuts with chocolate sauce from chef Nieves Barragan's new book Sabor*: Flavours from a Spanish Kitchen.

Matching wine with Chinese food - time for a rethink?

Matching wine with Chinese food - time for a rethink?

A recent trip to Beijing and Shanghai opened my eyes anew to the possibilities involved in drinking wine with Chinese food. Many of the conclusions we have painstakingly arrived at in the west turn out to be less obvious when tried out in situ.

Chocolate and roasted Oolong tea

Chocolate and roasted Oolong tea

The most interesting meal I had last week was undoubtedly at Viajante, an innovative new restaurant in what used to be Bethnal Green town hall. You can see my full review on decanter.com but I just wanted to write a bit more about the pairings.

Honey & Co's chocolate and pistachio cookies

Honey & Co's chocolate and pistachio cookies

I tasted these gorgeously squidgy chocolate cookies last year at the Bath launch of Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s baking book which is a must-buy for anyone who loves baking. Or frankly, even if you don’t - you will by the time you've read it.

 Leerdammer and black coffee

Leerdammer and black coffee

Cheese is so inextricably linked in my mind with beer and wine I sometimes forget there are other delicious pairings out there but coffee? Well, actually yes.

Spanish wine matches for Moro recipes

Spanish wine matches for Moro recipes

For the last couple of weeks The Telegraph has been running recipes from two of my favourite chefs, Sam and Sam Clark of Moro, the iconic Moorish recipe in Exmouth Market in London that I discover, to my amazement, is now 11 years old. Sam (the husband) is very into his wines, particularly sherry, so I'm suggesting Spanish wines for the pairings.

Eight great drink pairings for sushi

Eight great drink pairings for sushi

You might think sushi would be tricky to match with wine but surprisingly that’s not the case. And there are other drinks that work too . . .

Sushi and Genmaicha (Japanese green tea with roasted rice)

Sushi and Genmaicha (Japanese green tea with roasted rice)

To the incomprehension of my husband who can’t see the point in raw fish, I adore sushi and try to eat it at least once a week - usually with one of my daughters who are both big sushi fans.

Simnel cake and Orange Pekoe tea

Simnel cake and Orange Pekoe tea

Simnel cake, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is the traditional British Easter cake (although at one time it was baked to celebrate Mother’s Day).

Chicken with pomegranate molasses and orange iced tea

Chicken with pomegranate molasses and orange iced tea

One of the areas of food and drink pairing I’m always trying to crack is soft drinks - so it’s good to find an inspired match that really hits the spot - not too sweet as most soft drinks are for me.

Lotus root stir-fry and chrysanthemum tea

Lotus root stir-fry and chrysanthemum tea

It seems invidious to pick out just one wine pairing from my visit to the Okanagan valley last week (of which more in due course) so I’m going for the first drink I had on my arrival: chrysanthemum tea at a brilliant Chinese restaurant called Chef Tony in Richmond, the town just next door to Vancouver.

Wines - and other drinks - to match recipes from the Ottolenghi Cookbook

Wines - and other drinks - to match recipes from the Ottolenghi Cookbook

The book I’ve been looking forward to most so far this year has just started being serialised in the Guardian today. It’s by Yotam Ottolenghi who founded two exceptional London restaurants and is simply called Ottolenghi: the Cookbook. l love Ottolenghi's food - it’s so generous and big-flavoured, piled high on bright, colourful platters - you can't fail to be tempted by it. It also lends itself perfectly to entertaining for large numbers at home.

Pedro Ximenez and ice cream

Pedro Ximenez and ice cream

The highlight of last week was undoubtedly the Emilio Hidalgo sherry lunch I attended at the Spanish tapas bar Dehesa. But which of the outstanding pairings to pick?

What food to pair with coffee

What food to pair with coffee

For many people coffee is a regular companion to food whether it’s breakfast or that great German institution of kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) - only the amount of caffeine they might consume holding them back.

Cinnamon beignets with peach jam, Nutella and a black Americano coffee

Cinnamon beignets with peach jam, Nutella and a black Americano coffee

Those of you who follow my Twitter feed will be aware I’ve been away at the Vegas Uncork’d festival so it might seem a touch perverse to pick out a non-wine pairing as my match of the week - and one from a meal outside the festival programme.

Orlando Murrin's seed cake

Orlando Murrin's seed cake

If you're thinking of baking something for teatime today try this traditional English caraway seed cake from cookery writer Orlando Murrin.

What wine to pair with a custard tart

What wine to pair with a custard tart

My assertion that custard tarts are the new cupcakes provoked such a heated exchange that I thought I’d stoke the fire by suggesting what you drink with ‘em.

Espresso and Hazelnut Cake and Fairtrade Coffee

Espresso and Hazelnut Cake and Fairtrade Coffee

As you've probably noticed we're currently in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight. Encouragingly sales of Fairtrade produce and products were up 12% last year making sales in the UK worth £1.32bn in 2011, compared to £1.17bn in 2010, according to this recent piece in the Guardian.

Turkish coffee cake and espresso

Turkish coffee cake and espresso

I was casting around for a dessert to make for friends on Saturday when I remembered this fantastic coffee cake from chef Margot Henderson’s book You’re all Invited. I suppose it’s more of a mid-morning or tea-time treat but I sometimes prefer cake to a full-blown pudding at the end of a rich meal.

Velvet Haiku, a delicious sake cocktail from Sake no Hana

Velvet Haiku, a delicious sake cocktail from Sake no Hana

This is, without a doubt, the most refreshing cocktail I've tasted so far this summer - an incredibly thirstquenching mix of sake, jasmine tea, cucumber and prosecco - perfect for this hot, steamy weather we've been having.

6 of the best matches for fish and chips

6 of the best matches for fish and chips

Now that fish and chips can found in every posh fish restaurant, wine has become as popular a pairing as a nice cup of builders' tea (good though that is). But which one?

Fairtrade chocolate brownies with Fairtrade black coffee

Fairtrade chocolate brownies with Fairtrade black coffee

This week is the beginning of Fairtrade fortnight, the British Fairtrade Foundation’s annual push to encourage us all to buy more ethically traded products. There are now over 2000 Fairtrade certified products* available in the UK, ranging from peppercorns, cinnamon and vanilla pods, to avocados, rum and wine.

Coffee and cardamom buns

Coffee and cardamom buns

For a long time I’ve resisted the idea of a Nespresso machine but then a friend said she had a spare to get rid of and I’ve succumbed. Why did I wait so long? No sooner does the thought enter your mind that you might like a coffee than you can gratify it. Literally in seconds.

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