During an online chat with some fellow tea lovers, one of them (Janis of TeaGuide.net) mentioned dark chocolate made with sea salt and was wondering what tea would go well with it. Several possibilities were mentioned, but no conclusive recommendations were presented. Ever curious and willing to experiment, when the chat was over I alerted my hubby that a trip to the store was needed posthaste!
We found the sea salt dark chocolate at some local stores and chose two different ones for our test. The first was a name brand (#1 in the photo) and the other was a no-name store brand (#2 in the photo). So this test would also involve comparing these two chocolate bars.
The teas were selected with care, assuring a range of tastes that are traditionally paired with dark chocolate:
- Borengajuli Estate Assam (labeled “A” in the photo)
- Tie Kuan Yin Iron Goddess Oolong (labeled “B” in the photo)
- Lover’s Leap Estate Darjeeling (labeled “C” in the photo)
- Twinings Earl Grey, bagged, but we cut ’em open and steeped loose (labeled “D” in the photo)
We steeped some of each up and set the cups in a row, ready for the test to begin.
This next part is very tricky, and we had to take great care to make sure it was done just right since it involved actually eating the chocolate. The sacrifices that hubby and I make for science and your edification!
We proceeded in an orderly manner, trying each tea with bites of each of the chocolate bars we had. We had to repeat this procedure (especially the part about the bites of chocolate) several times before coming to any definite conclusions.
- Borengajuli Assam (“A”) blended well with chocolate #1 and actually brought out the faint saltiness; the tea tasted less bitter when sipped with some of chocolate #2, which is darker, thicker, and more salty than #1.
- Tie Kuan Yin (“B”) harmonized well with chocolate #1 and the planty taste went well with the saltiness of #2.
- Lover’s Leap Estate Darjeeling (“C”) was okay with chocolate #1 but not so good with chocolate #2.
- Twinings Earl Grey (“D”) was a disaster with chocolate #1 and seemed more citrusy sour with chocolate #2.
The clear winner here for hubby and me was Tie Kuan Yin (“B”), since it went best with both brands of chocolate bars. In fact, I think I’ll have some more right now…mmmm!
Try an experiment of your own and see what you think. Enjoy!