Gourmet Pairings: Tea & Chocolate
The rich and delicate pairings between the creaminess of chocolate and the aromas of teas are enough to seduce anyone. Here's a few pairing ideas from our team.
How to taste chocolate with tea? The "sandwich" technique is used; first take a sip of tea, then bite a piece of chocolate, then follow with another mouthful of tea. This technique allows the chocolate to melt rapidly and evenly, in order to appreciate the respective flavours of the tea and the chocolate. For more intense chocolates, several sips of tea at the end of the tasting are recommended. It is also possible to melt the chocolate with the hot tea, which gives equally delicious results.
In the case of a fruity black chocolate with a medium cocoa percentage (Manjari 64% of Valrhona, Socconusco 66% of Chocolate Privilège) we choose a round, fruity, slightly malted tea, similar to the chocolate. Chinese black teas (Yunnan Da Ye, Feng Huang Hong Cha) or the more fruity and woody wulongs (Gaba Cha, Bai Hao).TIhese teas also accompany a chocolate with an olive oil ganache (for example, that of Geneviève Grandbois) with its fruity notes and its nutty finish.
For those fond of dark chocolates with nuts and dried fruits (Tanzanie 75% of Cacao Barry, Araguani 72% of Valrhona or Grand Noir 85% of Michel Cuizel), the pairings will be with the more woody and grilled wulongs (Shui Xian Lao Cong, Qi Lan Wuyi) to rival the bitterness of chocolate. Also worth trying in this case are earthy aged teas (Menghai 1996, Haiwan2005). All these teas are perfect with chocolate desserts such as a chocolate fondant cake, a tart or a brownie.
With a milk chocolate with a lower percentage of cocoa (Tanariva 33% of Valrhona, Ghana 40% of Cacao Barry), the combination will be pleasant with more full-bodied and malty black teas (Ceylan New Vithanakande, Darjeeling Castleton 2nd flush or Nepal automnal Jun Chiyabari) which pair particularly well with the sweet side of the chocolate. In the mouth, the blend of tea with milk chocolate creates the impression of an English tea.
White chocolate, pairs well with a lightly roasted wulong tea (Dong Ding Mr.Nen Yu).
Finally, if you are a lover of caramel ganache chocolates with fleur de sel, we recommends the more vegetal, buttery and fruity aspects of the Taiwanese wulongs (Dong Ding by Mr.Chang or Shan Lin Xi) for a harmony of balance and sweetness, or a Japanese green tea (Kabusecha Takamado) for a more explosive pairing.
Intrigued by the gourmet pairings between teas and chocolates? Don't miss our workshop: a captivating sensory experience in a convivial atmosphere. Chocolates of various terroirs, exceptional teas, rich and delicate pairings. (in French only)
Nepal Autumnal Jun Chiyabari Organic
From magnificent Nepalese gardens, only a short distance from Darjeeling, the delicate leaves and golden buds of this black tea from an autumn harvest have been transformed with care and expertise.
Shui Xian Lao Cong
Harvested from mature tea plants with roots deeply embedded in the terroir of the Wuyi Mountains in China, this roasted black wulong offers rich woody and fruity aromas enhanced by its generous presence.
Grown and processed in the region of Uji in Japan, this green "shade-tea" is of great finesse. Shade structures which block up to 70% of the light are placed over the tea plants two weeks before harvest in order to soften the leaves and increase the chlorophyll concentration.
Yunnan Da Ye Organic
With its large leaves (Da Ye) in southwest China (Yunnan), this black tea has been lightly rolled into long golden twists.
Feng Huang Hong Cha
Originating in Guangdong, this Chinese black tea bears the typical form of the wulong teas produced in the Feng Huang mountains.
Gaba Cha is a modern and surprising wulong tea produced in northern Taiwan.
Qi Lan Wuyi
This Chinese Wulong from the Wuyi Mountains (Fujian) was cultivated and harvested by the very skilled Ms. Huang in her stunning high-altitude garden. Her meticulous work is obvious at every stages of the process, all the way through to your cup.
Pu er Sheng 1996 Menghai
Here is a loose leaf Pu er from the Menghai region which has since aged under dry storage in Hong Kong.
Pu er Shou 2005 Haiwan
This Shou Pu er produced by the Haiwan factory, Yunnan, is composed of leaves of medium size compressed into a disc of 357 grams.
Ceylan New Vithanakande
Here is a beautiful black tea from Sri Lanka. In its dry leaf form, the silver luster of its buds offers refined contrast to the oxidized and very uniform leaves.
Dong Ding Mr. Chang
Over the years, Wulongs teas from Dong Ding Mountain (Taiwan) have made quite a name for themselves.
Dong Ding Mr. Nen Yu (roasted)
The expertise of Mr. Nen Yu is doubly honored here with this tasty cooking of Dong Ding, wulong tea from Taiwan.
Easily one of the most famous teas coming out of Taiwan, Bai Hao wulong carries out a very distinctive taste (akin to muscat grapes and spices) that is due to the intervention of a very specific leafhopper (Jacobiasca formosana).
Darjeeling Second Flush Castleton
This Indian Darjeeling black tea is a perfect introduction to Second Flush and one of the best we have in the catalogue. The garden of Castleton, more than 130 years of experience and one of the most prestigious of the region, is essential tasting for any tea connoisseur.
Shan Lin Xi
The mountain of Shan Lin Xi (Taiwan) is steep, imposing and highly exposed to the natural elements. Its wild character seems to be reflected in the Wulong tea produced in this region.
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