Green tea is not the first beverage you might consider to accompany your cheese platter but your cuppa can really make for a surprisingly nice dairy pairing.
Wine and cheese is a staple offering at a dinner party, either as an appetiser to keep guests’ palates occupied before the main event, or at the end of an evening to bring the meal to a close—but did you know you can offer green tea as an accompaniment instead of wine?
Just like wine, green tea has the tannins and astringency to hold its own against the texture and powerful flavours of cheese. The result is a taste sensation that complements every cheese from a mild mozzarella to a creamy camembert or a salty edam. Green tea can offer online casino for us players nuttiness and roasted overtones, as well as floral and fruity notes, all of which are potential partners for cheese.
Additionally, green tea is usually served very warm to hot, so the temperature can react with the cheese in a way that wine does not, activating different parts of your tongue.
The foundation of flavour
Flavour consists of a number of elements, namely:
When you pair any food with any beverage, it’s important to consider all these elements in both the food and the drink. Use the green tea to complement, contrast or enhance the flavour of the cheese. The elements should be balanced.
Be careful to avoid the flavours competing against one another, or you’ll either get a case of the tea or cheese overwhelming the other or a clash that brings out the worst in both.
Pairing at home
Green tea and cheese pairing is a fairly new concept, so there are no set rules. Cheese can be hard or soft, aged or fresh, strong or mild and the range of flavours you get from green tea—from grassy to vegetal with marine notes, or roasted with woody overtones—means that there are many potential combinations of green tea and cheese.
Much of the information and pairing recommendations you’ll find floating around come from tea or cheese experts’ experiments. Just like tea, it matters where the dairy comes from and where the cheese is made, so in many cases it’s no good to find out that a very specific green tea matches very well with a very specific cheese (especially one that you can only get from a New York cheesemonger!) because you won’t be able to re-create it at home.
Fortunately, pairing is something you can easily try at home without great expense. We recommend 3-4 different teas and up to six cheeses across a range of flavours and textures, paired in every combination. Try this method of testing:
- Brew one tea at a time and taste-test each cheese in turn, mild to strong.
- Taste in this order: tea then cheese, cheese then tea, then tea and cheese in the mouth together. (Occasionally you’ll find that one sequence tastes better than another.)
- Cleanse your palate between each cheese.
- Take notes on what you like.
Pairings are rarely 100% amazing first time around, but through this experiment you should be able to form an idea of what kind of tea works with certain kinds of cheeses. You might, for example, notice that roasted teas go well with creamy cheeses, so you could try different types of creamy cheeses next time with that one tea, to refine the pairing.
Try these Two Rivers green tea and cheese pairings at home:
- Two Rivers Shincha with chevre goats cheese
- Two Rivers Sencha with manchego or cheddar
- Two Rivers Houjicha with brie or camembert
- Two Rivers Genmaicha with gouda or gruyere
What green tea and cheese pairing is your favourite?