Pairing Food with Tea

Tea, Food Paring: what teas go well with meals

Beer, wine, and coffee are common companions to many meals. However, tea is a great tasting and healthy alternative. Plus there are many options, from a light flavored white tea, to a full bodied and robust Assam tea. Here is a guideline for what teas go well with different type of foods.

White Tea

White tea is very smooth and delicate. It’s best paired with light flavored foods, such as salads, rice dishes, and lighter dessert items.

Green Tea

Green tea has a vegetative, grassy smoothness and a medium body. It’s well suited for subtly flavored foods such as seafood, rice, and chicken.

A more robust Pinhead Gunpowder green tea pairs well with Asian or Middle Eastern foods. A cool refreshing Moroccan Mint tea does wonders for digestion.

Oolong Tea

A popular tea served in Chinese restaurants, oolong tea goes well with many foods. A greener Jade Oolong will go well with chicken, seafood, and fruits. A toastier Wu Yi Oolong will hold up well to heavier dishes such as grilled meats and duck.

Black Tea

Another versatile beverage, black tea goes well with a wide range of foods. A lighter bodied Second-Flus Darjeeling goes well with salads, seafood, and chicken. A fuller bodied Keemun or Yunnan goes well with Chinese foods; spicy Mexican, Italian, or Indian dishes. While robust Assam teas and breakfast teas go well hearty foods, breakfast items, and decadent desserts.

Try a pine smoked Lapsang Souchong or Russian Caravan for barbeque food or smoked salmon; anything that can benefit from a smoky finish.


A traditional Indian beverage with spices, chai is great for hearty dishes and dessert items. With milk and sugar, chai is a warming, filling beverage that is a meal all its own.


Pu-erh is great for large meals. This fermented tea is exceptionally smooth and full-bodied, and has been used for centuries in China as a digestive aid. It has a number of compounds that cut grease and limit fat absorption. Serve this after a large meal, or with oily foods and red meats.

Herbal Teas

For late meals or for those with caffeine sensitivity, a nice herbal tea might be ideal. An herbal peppermint tea soothes the stomach. A sweet and full-bodied rooibos blend goes well with desserts. Try a Cranberry Apple tisane to pair with desserts, or maybe a Chamomile Lavender tisane to wrap up the evening.


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