Our journey with tea pairing started in 2013 already. The first pairing was between vintage Pu-Erh (both Raw and Ripe from the 80’s) with chocolate and macaroons. We used high quality hand crafted Belgian chocolates and macaroons from Pierre Ledent, but have confirmed similar findings later with regular quality chocolate too.
Here is a good pairing guide for chocolate and tea (click to download – 192kb JPG):
Since the initial pairing sessions with chocolate, we’ve been tasting and trying different pairings on and off for all these years, but in 2017 we took it up a notch. The Teahacking team spent 7 months with Copper restaurant in Kuala Lumpur (if you’re in town, make a trip – Chef Chai’s creations are well worth it) tasting and recording hundreds of pairings that would go well together both from the flavor and sensory experience point of view. This resulted in us running a collaboration event for tea pairing enthusiasts.
Here’s what some of them had to say:
“this is a very special experience that’ll bring a fresh, dynamic perspective to what makes a terrific tea and how it can radically transform a meal”
“…The tea imbues different dimensions into each course, challenging our bewildered taste buds to make sense of the culinary alchemy sparked by each combination of food and beverage…”
Copyright: Malay Mail
“You will taste, think, have all your senses titillated and be thrilled by what you discover with every bite. There will be teas served hot, warm, and cold – not iced, but prepared using the cold brew method.”
“You’ll get a taste right at the start of the dinner, where a cold brew Taiwanese Honey Black dances with a Cherry Gazpacho with oysters, burrata, fennel, and snow peas. This vibrant combination sets the right tone, finetuning your palate for more delights and surprises to follow.”
“Indeed it was a culinary learning experience with a delightful artisanal vintage tea paired by @teahacking probably the best meal in 2017”
– Kartik, Brand Director, Nadodi
“Move over wine pairing, tea pairing is going to be the next big trend.”
– Expatriate Lifestyle
“I can now tick off in my bucket list of foodie adventures with this first-of-its-kind experience!”
“It’s interesting to see how tea could be paired with food as there might be individuals out there who are not for the taste of wine or any alcohol in particular. Tea could very well be that middle ground for them to further expand the landscape of their culinary experiences.”
– Food critic
“Soup. Hold. Tea. Mix – wow.
The mixture of the two flavours became a third – much like the bubble gum meal in Charlie and the Chocolate factory. How did that just happen?!”
There have been plenty of discoveries as well as ups and downs along the way. But never ever has there been a dull moment when trying new combos, methods and equipment.
As Chef Chai put it:
“Even though we finally settled on these dishes for the pairing menu, if we continue to test and taste, we will keep coming across better or more interesting matches. The taste profiles of teas are so varied that the possibilities are endless.”
Join us on this journey to make tea pairing something everyone can experience as part of their everyday life!