More tea and cheese pairings for a “cheesy” tea time (continued from Part I). This time, we’re pairing up Darjeeling teas and black teas with an array of cheeses. (Again, this is a consolidation of the wealth of pairing suggestions available online.)
- A First Flush Darjeeling with Délice de Bourgogne — The gentle, fragrant tea bridges the fatty, somewhat savoury finish of this triple cream cheese (butterfat content is 75% minimum), leaving a subtle, delicate balance of soft flavor on the palate.
- Namring First Flush Darjeeling with Brie, Camembert, and Mountain Harvest Goat Cheese — The tea’s bright and astringent notes balance the richness and fat content of these mild and buttery flavored soft cheeses. For the brie, try including the ‘flurry’ (the waxy rind); it helps bring out the cheese’s flavor.
- Castleton Estate First Flush Darjeeling with Explorateur — The citrus undertones of this tea are particularly beneficial, with an astringency that helps to cleanse the tongue and prevent the richness of this triple-cream cheese from dulling the palate.
- Darjeeling with Le Riopelle de L’Isle, Fromagerie de l’Île-aux-Grues — The tea has tannic, floral, and aromatic qualities that pair well with the complex flavors of the cheese.
- Darjeeling with Lost Lake — Floral notes of the tea blend with those of the goat cheese (with a briny yeasty rind from Fifth Town Artisan Dairy, Ontario, Canada).
- Darjeeling with Le Silo, Les Dépendances du Manoir — The tea heightens the sweetness of the cheese (a 10-year-old raw cow milk cheddar).
- Darjeeling with Cream Cheese — The muscatel character of the tea is tempered by the rather bland and slightly tangy flavor of the cream cheese.
- Keemun Hao Ya with Alex Farm Premium Smooth Cheddar (6-year aged) — The tea is earthy and full-bodied with a fruity, Burgundy-like character. It rounds out the cheddar’s sweet, sharp tang. The tea’s melting warmth is particularly enjoyable with this smooth, dense cheese.
- Keemun Hao Ya A with McCadam New York Extra-Sharp Cheddar — This tea’s earthy richness and hints of cocoa and spice play off the sharp, rich, nutty tang of well-aged cheddar. Very satisfying, particularly in the finish.
- Lapsang Souchong with Irish Whiskey Cheddar — The smokiness of this tea really holds up to the bitterness of the cheese.
- Lapsang Souchong with Valdeon Spanish blue — This tea paired with the pungent Valdeon, a powerful blue, assures that neither gets drowned out by the other.
- Lapsang Souchong with Stilton — The powerful flavors of this very special blue cheese create an amazing counterpoint to the smokiness of the tea.
- Lapsang Souchong with Fontina — The cheese has a caramel-like sweetness and stood up nicely to the smokiness of the tea.
- Lapsang Souchong with Wasik’s Equinox Goat Cheese and Gorgonzola — Strong, musky flavored cheeses like these go very well with the smoky Lapsang Souchong.
- Russian Caravan with Oka, Agropur Signature —The tea complements the cheese on every level.
- Assam with Brindisi Fontina — The Brindisi Fontina softens the tannins in the tea.
- Assam with Wasik’s Equinox Goat Cheese and Gorgonzola — These strong, musky flavored cheeses are a perfect complement to the malty Assam. Try the goat cheese with a dribble of honey to create a great flurry of flavors: malty tea, tart cheese, and sweet honey aftertaste.
- Classic Earl Grey with French Roquefort — This robust and powerful salty blue cheese is rounded off nicely by the comparatively sweet, citrusy Earl Grey.
- Golden Yunnan with Chèvre — Some cocoa nibs and honey added to the cheese bring out the sweet caramel notes of the rich black tea.
- Golden Yunnan with Marieke gouda — A bit of fresh cracked pepper on the cheese brings out really nice spicy and malty notes in the Golden Yunnan.
- Pu-erh with Gruyère — A salty, earthy cheese that pairs well with the very earthy tea.
Part III covers some general guidelines for tea and cheese pairings.
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