tea and cheese, yes please!

tea and cheese pairing sounds unconventional but it is a thing and it’s on the rise. great concept for your next gathering to impress friends or something you will enjoy solo as you explore your pairing preferences.

some tea tasting attributes to consider are the two below which always depend on the local climate, weather, soil and even the way tea is dried and cured.

  1. high level of tannins
  2. varying degrees of astringency (i.e. acidity or bitterness taste or smell)

tannins produce tart taste and provides the colour to the tea, you can expect high levels of tannin in tea that has a deep colour. Here’s how you can differentiate tannin levels:

  • black teas have the highest level
  • oolong teas have a mid-range level
  • white and green teas have less a lesser level

teas with high level of tannins balance out rich or sweet elements of cheese, while you can expect less levels of tannins to be better balanced with salty cheese selections.

general rule of thumb, best pairing tips:

  • pair soft or semi-firm and creamy cheese with milder fresh black tea or soft green tea
  • pair strongly flavored (hard and soft) cheese with stronger high level tannin teas
  • herbal teas have unique flavours and diversity and involves some trial and error but generally, tart, fruity teas pair well with mild creamy cheese. floral or mint teas pair best with fresh soft cheese

Flow’s ideal pairings include:

  • asiago cheese with our Sparrow’s tongue. generally green tea is best paired with soft, mild, creamy cheese
  • Gruyère pairs best with our Pu’er. this salty, earthy cheese pairs well with the very earthy tea
  • fresh ricotta, burrata and even mozzarella best suited with our Wild white. for a sweet taste drizzle some honey on the cheese or for a savory taste of the cheese add a pinch of Himalayan salt
  • sheep milk gouda best paired with our Milk oolong. this pairing will melt the cheese away from your tongue before you can get to taking another sip of your tea
  • fresh goat cheese with herbal teas best suited with Rose bud radiance and Lavender calm. sprinkle some of the petals onto the cheese for that extra touch 

tea and cheese please tasting ready:

a few tips to help you prepare for your tea and cheese pairing party:

  • have at least one cheese from each cheese type (salty, soft and creamy, hard and strong, nutty, etc.). arrange the cheese from the mildest to the strongest flavors
  • have 2-3 black teas, 1 green tea and 1 oolong to cover the range of flavor matches
  • white tea is easily overpowered by many cheese flavours, if exploring beyond what we suggested use this tea only for delicate flavoured cheese options
  • for optimal flavours, keep cheese at room temperature
  • slice the cheese as thin as possible for optimal tasting experience
  • cheese should be cut from the rind to the top for full flavor range experience
  • serve with crackers and fruit slices to round the flavours of your tea and cheese pairings
  • be sure to keep some fresh water for when switching between flavors

approach this with a sense of adventure and just have fun while you and your guests find your preferences.

pair. steep. sip. enjoy.