Pairing tea and chocolate can be a challenge as both have strong flavours that do not always work well together. But once a harmonious pairing has been found, the results can be very rewarding.
My personal recommendation for a harmonious chocolate and tea pairing is to select aromatic teas that are low in tannin. However, your own flavour preferences factor into all tastings, so take time to experiment to find combinations that work for you. As a guide, aim to select chocolate and tea that have either similar aromas or characteristics that contrast, but work together.
Mint tea and mint chocolates are an obvious pairing and, when enjoyed together, provide a wonderfully refreshing tasting experience.
Similarly, floral flavours such as jasmine green tea or fragrant oolongs complement dark chocolate’s natural floral qualities, such as vanilla and orange blossom honey.
The powerful tasting notes in Darjeeling work well with the bittersweet flavour of fruit infused chocolate such as orange and cherry.
Herb teas like star anise tea are the best match for praline chocolates, especially those made with walnuts and hazelnuts.
The tea preparation method plays an important role in bringing out the best in both your tea and chocolate choices. I prefer hot (but not boiling) water – around 80°C is perfect. Bear in mind that the infusion time affects the tannin level, which in turn affects the pairing with chocolate. My final recommendation is to omit milk and sugar for the most pleasurable tea and chocolate pairing experience. Happy tasting!
Choose some luxury chocolates to pair with tea and find your own preferences!