Still deep into the winter season here in Colorado, we often find ourselves nesting at home rather than venturing into the city for dinner and drinks. Even after the holidays, we’re thinking up fun and healthy menus to entertain family and friends. The finale to many a winter gathering is often a beautiful sweet dessert. So what can you present as the perfect “closer” libation? Tea, of course – and with the vast variety of types and flavors tea offers, you can pick the perfect one! Desserts vary widely in taste and strength, some being very full-flavored, others being mild and refreshing. Most important in pairing a great tea with a dessert is to match the strength of flavor.
I typically keep my tea-pairing suggestions as broad as I can, but in this entry, I am departing from that by recommending specific teas from my company, The Tea Spot, mostly because these are the teas I serve most often to my guests and have the most first-hand experience with in pairing them with desserts.
With creamy desserts, like Crème Brulee or a Bread Pudding, it’s great to pair them with something that will awaken in flavor, like our new Organic New Moon Darjeeling, or if you’re looking for something more delicate or almost caffeine-free, our Meditative Mind white tea blend with rosebuds and jasmine pearls.
A classic with fruity desserts or chocolate with strong citrus tones is Earl of Grey. If you’re looking for a green, a perfect match here is our Boulder Blues, a blend of Sencha and Lung Ching with Strawberry and Rhubarb.
With lighter chocolate flavors, like a mousse, or meringues, you can’t go wrong with an Oolong – our lilac-like overtones in the spring-picked Taiwanese Vintage Oolong make it my personal favorite.
Some teas stand up beautifully as a dessert on their own. China black tea leaves have been flavored since around the time the Ming Dynasty was founded in 1368, and have become wildly popular in America and Europe in recent decades. The addition of natural essences and flavors creates an exciting sensual and gastronomic experience, as both the tea and the scent are often enhanced in the marriage of the two. A favorite is our Crème Caramel; with a well-defined, yet delicate caramel aroma, it’s the classic dessert tea.