Keemun Panda

Keemun Panda

I’m in a quandry.

Asking me about my favorite black tea is like asking me about my favorite wine. While I enjoy both black tea and wine on their own, I really enjoy both paired with food. Trouble is that some pairings are better than others. While I can say without a doubt that my favorite type of black tea is Yunnan Gold and that my favorite wine varietal is tempranillo, I can also say that I prefer other wines and other black teas when consuming different foods. This makes it difficult to write about my favorite black tea.

I am very fond of Yunnan Gold. I love the sweet spiciness of these teas and find that they make both a wonderful hot drink as well as iced tea. I love the way each Yunnan tea has its own characteristics: Earthy, spicy, sometimes even floral. It’s the tea I am most likely to pack when I am going on vacation, and nothing beats a hot cup of Yunnan Gold with eggs scrambled with chorizo.

Yet. . .

When I have a breakfast of bacon and eggs, I’d just as soon give Yunnan a pass. Nothing matches with bacon quite like Keemun, though a nice Assam often hits the spot. I sometimes even crave CTC African teas when enjoying a traditional breakfast, though I seldom drink them on their own.

I’m also not crazy about Yunnan teas when paired with sweets or sandwiches. The delicacy and subtlety of the tea gets lost when paired with these foods and the Yunnan tea simply isn’t strong enough to clear the palate of all that starch. Again, give me a decent Keemun, Assam, or autumn flush Darjeeling with my afternoon tea, and I am happy as a clam.

Food aside, though, Yunnan Gold remains my favorite black tea. In fact, if you are a black tea novice, or want to start drinking tea “straight”, with no milk or sugar, try a Yunnan Gold: It got me hooked on unflavored, Chinese teas, and I’ve never looked back.

See what else Lainie is sipping on her blog!

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