Tea and Cheese Tasting: 5 Reasons Why You Should Try It
Did you ever think to pair cheese and tea? Chances are .. You didn’t! It’s a good thing that the masterminds at the French Cheese Board / Cheeses of Europe did! I got the chance to attend a tea and cheese tasting last week and I was blown away by the experience.
While we tend to think of wine and cheese pairings It turns out tea pairs nicely with cheese and actually, wine and tea have things in common. Like wine, tea is complex. Teas are rich and unique in their flavors which will depend, much like wine, in the way it is produced and the type of tea leaves used, just like the grapes in wine.
Tea and cheese also have commonalities. For example, a cheese’s flavor will depend a lot on the season; a particular cheese from a certain region will change depending on the season, because the weather (rain, heat, etc) changes the “terroir” (land) so that affects the grass that cows eat and that affects the milk they produce, whihc ultimately affects the cheese.
Like cheese, which are strictly labeled by AOC (appelation d’origine controlee) to indicate where the cheese was produced, (ex: AOC Auvergne) teas also use a designation to protect the integrity of the production and mark the origins of the teas, protected designation of origin.
Last week we had the chance to pair six cheeses with six different teas. I was blown away by the complexity of the flavors of the different teas. Truthfully I’m not a tea drinker but this tea (from Bellocq) was top quality, just like French cheeses.
The tea/cheese pairings we tried:
2004-aged White Peony (Origin: Fuding, Fujian Province, CHina 2004) with Raclette, Savoie
Kikuya, Bellocq blended tea with Brillat Savari, Burgundy
Shui Xian Oolong (Origin: Wu Yi Shan, Fujian Provence, China, 2014) with Comté, PDO, Jura Mountains
Gypsy Caravan, Bellocq Blended tea (organic Indian and Chinese black teas, rose and organic chili) with Camembert, Normandy
Darjeeling Second Flush (Origin: Sourenee Estate, Darjeeling, India) with Bleu d’Auvergne, PDO, Auvergne
Golden Puerh (Origin: Yunnan Province, China) with Epoisses, PDO, Burgundy
Here are some 5 reasons you should try a tea/cheese pairing:
1. If you do not drink alcohol, tea is a great way to have a cheese soirée at home without alcohol.
2. Tea has many health benefits and is known to be a stress reliever.
3. Tea and cheese can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
4. With many varieties of teas and cheeses on the market, the possibilities are endless!
5. Because why not? Be adventurous!
Have you ever tried tea and cheese? What other pairings have you tried?