Last year I listed teas for your Thanksgiving holiday tea time and the year before that I wrote about starting your Thanksgiving plans with tea. So you’re probably wondering what three teas did I miss or are there new teas out there? Read on to find out!
The key to serving teas with your Thanksgiving feast is the food line-up. Best to start there, then. Here are traditional Thanksgiving menu items:
- Turkey — Classic Roast Turkey, Brined Maple Turkey with Cream Gravy, Turkey with Stuffing, or many more, including deep-fried
- Mashed Potatoes — Blue Cheese-Garlic Potatoes, Old-Fashioned Mashed Potatoes, Velvety Mashed Potatoes, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes using Yukon golds, Parsley Mashed Potatoes, etc.
- Gravy — Traditional turkey gravy, Wild Mushroom Gravy, Roasted-Garlic Gravy, and more
- Stuffing — Porcini-Chestnut Stuffing, New England Sausage Stuffing with Chestnuts, and dozens more recipes
- Vegetable — Sautéed Green Beans with Shallot Crisps, Green Bean Casserole, Green Beans with Hazelnuts and Brown Butter, Chardonnay Glazed Carrots, Cider-Glazed Carrots, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Ham and Garlic, Basic Brussels Sprouts, to name a few of the most popular
- Sweet Potatoes — Candied Sweet Potato Casserole with Parsnips and Carrots, Sweet Potato Casserole
- Cranberries — usually served in a sauce variation (Double Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry-Fig Relish, Cranberry Sauce, Ginger and Pear Cranberry Sauce, Marmalade Cranberry Sauce, Southwestern Cranberry Sauce)
- Soups — Squash Soup and variations such as Squash Soup with Cumin, Squash Soup with Rosemary, and Squash Soup with Curried Pear
- Breads — Classic Dinner Rolls, Potato Rolls, Biscuits, crescent rolls, etc.
- Desserts — Gingered Fruit Compote, Sara’s Silky Pumpkin Pie, Pecan and Date Pie, Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, and a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream
With such a variety of foods, what tea or teas do you choose? My pick of three that should go with such a menu:
- Ceylon Black Tea — A classic Ceylon tea, with a light colored liquor and hints of delicate floral notes. The cup is bright, tending yellow, delivering a superb classic tea. For the best brew, steep for 2-5 minutes in water that has been brought to a rolling boil.
- Assam — This second flush Organic Assam Tea is grown 1500 feet above sea level, and delivers a full bodied and brisk brew with great flavor. Great when paired with a little milk, as the milk tones down the strength and adds smoothness, while highlighting the malty notes. For the best brew, Organic Assam should steep in water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 2-5 minutes.
- Darjeeling blend — Only the finest Darjeeling tea in selected for this product. This tea is light yet has a distinctive fragrant taste. Darjeeling is regarded by many as the “Champagne of Teas”. We recommend this tea be served hot without milk or sugar. This blend of Darjeeling has a smaller leaf size for a faster infusion. We also offer other Darjeelings with larger leaf sizes and slower infusions. Brew in a tea pot and use a tea strainer like the one shown.
These teas seem to go with the most foods listed above, so you can pick one, two, or even all three to serve with the meal and be assured of a great pairing. You will notice that none of these is a flavored tea, that is, a tea with various items added, such as fruit bits, spices, flower petals, flavoring oils, and even bits of chocolate, peppermint, or other candies. There is a good reason for this: such teas could very well clash with the foods you’re having or dominate the palate. Save them for separate tea moments or even as a substitute for those high-calorie desserts.
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