Tea is known to enhance and bring out the aroma and subtle flavors of many types of food. But, just like wine, you also need to learn which tea can actually compliment the taste of certain foods. Today we’ll discuss about pairing Pu’er tea with foods.
Pu-erh is unique in the world of tea. There is no other tea like it in terms of processing, storage, and taste. Different factors such as origins of the raw materials, soil, altitude, time, storage conditions affect the taste of Pu-erh and make it such a fascinating type of tea. This smooth and mellow tea carries an array of complex flavors depending on the age of the tea, with tastes of warm, worn elegance that are akin to a fine cigar or aged whisky. Some Pu’ers can steep to reveal savory and often brothy earthiness that can be balanced by a subtle sweetness. Pu’ers complexities often make you stop and consider its journey (if it has been substantially aged), as the depth of flavor offers a certain wisdom.
Pu-erh teas have a strong, earthy and distinctive flavor, and they make great choices alongside a chicken or stir-fry recipe, as they can neutralize the oily and greasy tastes. Thanks to their digestive benefits, these beverages are often preferred after large meals.
Traditional spicy Chinese foods like Dim Sum match excellent with Pu’er. Tony Gebely of The Phoenix Collection, a tea purveyor in California, recommends pairing the dim sum meal with Pu-ers, as they “are best for relaxing my stomach and making me feel less bloated.” In particular, he likes to pair “a dark steeping of camel’s breath tuocha,” as it is a “great companion to a deliciously heavy and greasy meal.” The silky smooth mouthfeel of the Pu’er seems to wash the lingering dim sum oils and heavy flavors away to cleanse the palate, while not straying too far from the savory flavors of the meal.
Beyond Chinese favorites, Pu’er can be paired with any rich or lengthy meal. You may even experience a sip of Pu’er blended with chrysanthemum flowers, as chrysanthemum is said to help cool the body, and, of course, steeping Pu’er several times allows us to linger at the table and bask in the glow of any good meal. Whether at the kitchen table or tucked into a tiny café that serves decadent baked goods, linger by a teapot of the earthy brew to balance rich bites and soothe gray winter days. Consider Pu’er to be a welcome, warm blanket draped over you after you’ve been sated and can’t quite move, one that also comforts you enough to leave the meal lighter and slightly more energized than when you arrived.