Christmas is on its way and you may want to find a new exciting beverage for your guests. Just as there is a cocktail of different alcohols, beverages such as tea and chocolate can be paired to create a heavenly aroma and taste. If you are a chocoholic, tea and chocolate are the perfect combination. Long gone are the days where only wealthy families could enjoy cocoa and tea. This guide seeks to give you deeper depth on the perfect way to pair tea and chocolate.
If you don’t know anything about pairing tea and chocolate but curious to try it, how about this simple culinary adventure;
1. Milk chocolate
Looking for a milder and less intense taste, milk chocolate is your number one choice. It has 10 to 40% cocoa. Milk chocolate can be combined with different ingredients to give a smooth taste;
- Masala chai
This is almost everyone’s favorite that’s high in caffeine with an Indian origin. It is a combination of ginger, clove, black pepper, cardamom and cinnamon. Add sugar and milk to give your tongue a delightful taste.
- Chai concentrate
It has the same ingredients as the masala chai but with an addition of malt.
- Sweet houjicha powder
Hand blended in the USA, it’s made of sugar and Japanese green tea powder.
2. Dark chocolate
If you are more into bitter beverages then the dark chocolate is the perfect fit. It has 50 to 89% cocoa that gives it its bitter taste. Be careful not to choose a really mild tea as the intense bitter taste can overwhelm it. To get the earthly flavor of the dark chocolate, use strong flavored teas like;
- Maiden’s ecstasy
Made of organic pu-erh, it is of medium caffeine and originates from the great Yunnan China. Its dark, creamy and luxurious flavor makes it a great mood setter on a chilly evening. It was used as a traditional wedding gift in the southwest of China. Only a dark chocolate can stand up to the earthly flavor of a pu-erh.
- Green ecstasy
Oh, sweet green ecstasy! blended sencha with matcha. Its very simple to drink, energizing luxurious and completely addictive when paired with the strong dark chocolate. To protect the leaves from scalding use low temperature water.
3. Cacao chocolate
It has a citrus taste that is hard to overpower. I suggest pairing it with any of the following for a refreshing taste;
- Earl grey
High in caffeine but with a perfect pair for tea and chocolate.
It has notes of umami, morning dew grass and the ocean. If you love class and luxury get on of the most expensive teas on the market. Its exclusive, difficult and time consuming to make but yields one of the best teas. Combine with cacao chocolate you get a mouth drooling beverage.
- Mainichi matcha
Not only is the mainichi matcha a great delicacy but has immense health benefits. It is very energizing and can be taken every day. Paired with cacao chocolate its enjoyable whether hot or cold. Its caffeine is medium-high which makes it great for both tea and chocolate lovers.
- Golden phoenix
Made of oolong tea and high in caffeine. It has notes of caramelized peaches, dandelion greens, black cherry and maple syrup. It is a premium tea that has a fruit flavor and sweet honey aroma.
4. White chocolate
If you love some pure rich fat get yourself the white chocolate, it’s one of the best delicacies. It has the lavish cocoa butter and some milk and sugar. It lacks the sharpness that comes with cocoa nibs giving it a smooth taste. It blends well with tea that has an intense bite like;
- Jasmine pearl
It is a green tea from Fujian China that’s easy to prepare and when paired with the white chocolate you get a delicious combination.
It has a unique taste fresh pineapples and umami mouthfeel. Made of organic green tea and is low in caffeine if you are looking for something low in caffeine.
- Shibumi matcha
The shibumi matcha is filled with notes of green hay, steamed rice and Japanese sweet potatoes. It is one of the most delicious options for a smooth mouthfeel.
- Sweet matcha
If you want the perfect liquid desert, this sweet matcha with a creamy tea blend is the best. You can take it hot or iced depending on your preferred choice.
5. Caramel filled chocolate
Caramel goes perfectly with herbal teas like;
- Moorish mint
It is made by brewing green tea with sugar and spearmint leaves. To add some warmth and briskness it has notes of cardamom and ginger. It is low in caffeine.
- Spearmint sage
It is one of the most classic mint teas that has notes of sage, menthol and honey drop. If you are on a caffeine diet and looking for the best tea and chocolate blend, this caffeine free beverage is what you should consider. Its menthol flavor also adds an alluring taste.
- Cacao mint
A sweet pairing is milk and chocolate as it gives a herbal blend. Its sweet, intense and earthly. The lavender gives it a balanced flavor and aroma.
- Peppermint superior
A soothing, classic herbal tea that will leave you craving for more. It has notes of menthol and peppermint.
6. Dark truffle chocolate
The dark truffle chocolate can easily be combined with any of these teas to get a heavenly taste;
- Earl grey
If you are a caffeine addict, a combination of the truffle chocolate and the earl grey from the juggles of Yunnan is what you should get. It has notes of citrus, caramel, bergamot and pipe tobacco.
- Toasty houjicha
This is a green tea that’s commonly mistaken for the black tea. Its great for a malty experience that’s gotten from roasted grains, leaves and brown sugar.
- Wuyi dark roast
It’s an everyday oolong that’s classy and a perfect combination with the dark truffle chocolate.
How to know which tea pairs with which chocolate
- Before pairing any tea or chocolate it is necessary to do a simple experiment, take a sip of your favorite tea and a bite of your preferred chocolate. Let the two caress your tongue and you will feel how good or bad the two will taste inside your mouth.
- Its important to also consider the content of the cocoa in the chocolate, if its high bite the chocolate before the tea, this way the tea will help in softening the cocoa ensuring the flavors and tones are well heightened.
Tips on pairing tea and chocolate
- You can select any chocolate you prefer but for best results consider chocolates that have a pure cacao taste. Go for something with minimal and quality ingredients.
- It is advisable not to drink tea with sugar or milk as the chocolates will have a lot of sweetness.
- Do not be afraid to go for chocolates or tea you don’t like. Remember every combination gives a unique taste. You never know which you might fancy.
- Always store your tea and chocolate in a cool place and away from foods with strong flavors. This ensures they do not absorb any ambience.
- Always remember that when pairing the two its about they are contrasting, complementing or enhancing the flavors;
Contrasting: Find tea and chocolate that have completely different flavors. This allows the flavors to accentuate. An example is spicy black tea and plain creamy milk.
Complementing: The tea or chocolate may not have the same characteristics but have compatible flavors. A good example is the oolong tea with citrus chocolate.
Enhancing: Similarity also creates a perfect combination. Look for tea or chocolate with similar characteristics. For example, tea with nutty notes and a chocolate with nut ingredients.
- If you want to know how it tastes, take a nibble of the chocolate and allow it to melt, then take a sip of tea and see if it changes the taste of the chocolate and how. If you still feel the taste of the both of them then it’s a great pairing. If one is stronger than the other it may not be ideal but it’s still enjoyable.
- Reverse and take the tea first, see if the flavors change. Keep doing this with different chocolates and tea to see which is a perfect match for you. Do not take more than 3 to 5 pairings as there is a possibility of difficulty in differentiating the tastes.
- Everyone has a different taste and what may be delicious for you maybe sour for another. When it comes to matching aromas and flavors there is no major rule. It’s all about playing around with different palates to get your desired pair.
Although brewing tea and chocolate is a delicious experiment, you can still infuse chocolate and tea bars and still experience the same. There has been a debate on whether tea and chocolate make a good combination, from the guide its clear learning how to pair the two can open up a whole new level of possibilities, enjoyment and excitement of an exceptional tea. You just have to understand the aroma, flavor, texture intensity and what compliments what.