Over the years, wine and cheese has been like that ‘made for each other’ couple. In fact, not too long back, the idea of pairing up cheese and tea would have met with some disapproval and a number of raised eyebrows. As the world has evolved, so have palates. People are now a lot more eager to try out things which they may not have tried previously.
Cheese and tea are easily among the most loved commodities on the planet. Each has their own popularity and loyalists will swear by that brie or that brisk cup of Assam. When the two much loved things were paired together, most people would have thought that this match is definitely not made in heaven. But, as it turns out, these pairings were not so cheesy- if you know what I mean. Here, we will have a look at which teas and cheeses combine best.
1. Darjeeling tea and Bleu d’Auvergne
Darjeeling teas are famous all over the world for the flavours and aromas they produce. Bleu d’Auvergne as the name suggests is a blue cheese made from cow’s milk in the south central region of France. The fact that this cheese is more buttery and less salty compared to other blue cheese makes it a good match with a slightly astringent Darjeeling with floral notes. Second flush teas are the best choice with this cheese. It would be able to stand up to the pungency of the cheese since they undergo a longer oxidation process and produce much more full bodied liquor.
2. Green tea and Brie
Heavyweights in their own right and two of the most popular versions from within their own nomenclature also happen to blend smoothly with our palates when paired together. In general, most types of creamy cheese are known to be a hit with green tea but it is this pale coloured cheese with a slight greyish tinge that seems to get the best from this match. Brie manages to bring out all the tropical flavours of green tea and as a result, you are left with a delectable taste on your taste buds.
3. English Breakfast and Red Leicester
Red Leicester is processed in the same way as cheddar but with a few notable differences. One of the major differences is that this cheese is crumblier than cheddar. The creamy and nutty notes of Red Leicester go well with malty notes of English Breakfast- which is generally full bodied and full of flavours with a strong dosage of caffeine compared to most other teas. This allows for the flavours of the tea to complement a lot of the flavours of cooked and others foods.
4. Black tea and Camembert
Black teas are known around the world for the flavours that they possess as well as the briskness in the liquors. Camembert, on the other hand, is a soft and moist cheese that is surface ripened and made from cow’s milk and the mention of which often brings up comparisons with things like cream, butter and truffle. No wonder it goes so well with the most consumed tea on the planet.
5. Chai and Port Salut
Port Salut is a semi soft pasteurised cheese made from cow’s milk. Chai, as we all know, is made with a mixture of a number of things like ginger, cardamom, pepper and a number of other ingredients. Hence, it comes as quite a surprise that these two get along like peas from the same pod. Now who would have thought that about a spicy chai and a creamy and mild cheese!!!!
6. Earl Grey with Bavarian Smoked or with Manchego
This tea is one of the all time favourites in the British Isles and happens to pair up well with not just one type of cheese. It goes well with both Bavarian Smoked cheese and gets along just as comfortably with Manchego cheese as well. While the smokey flavour of the former complements the citrus notes of Earl Grey, the nuttiness and tang in the Manchego also blends in comfortably with the floral attributes of the Earl Grey. It is up to you to decide which out of these two is more palatable for your tastes.
7. White tea and Raclette
It is a well known fact that white teas are amongst the least processed teas on the planet. This is the reason why these minimally processed teas get along well with the milky notes and semi soft texture of Raclette. The best choice out of the white teas to pair with Raclette is white peony since the sweet, subtle and fruity notes of this tea brings out the grassy favours of the Raclette and this gives you a winning combination.
As can be seen, the combination of tea and cheese is quite an interesting one. No one would have thought that the individual attributes of one would go along hand-in-hand with the other in such a seamless manner. The thing to remember is that the cheese should be had first in order to best enjoy these whacked out combinations.