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Move over wine, tea and food pairings are the new fine dining trend

It turns out that you really don’t need alcohol to enhance the flavors of your food.

Other non-alcoholic drinks also have a lot of depth and pair just as well with food to give you the ultimate fine dining experience.

What was once thought of only as a ‘tea time’ drink has become quite a popular choice to pair with sophisticated fine dining instead of the usual scones and cake, thanks to the variety of exotic flavors now widely available in both restaurants and stores .

Like whiskey, wine and gin, the aromas, flavors and texture of tea can enhance food because the combination possibilities are endless, says Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company Lindt

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Whether you’re a teetotaler or just looking for something new to try, a combination of tea and food won’t disappoint.

Follow the guidelines below to get the most out of your tea and food pairing experience.

A Beginner’s Guide to Combining Tea

Adjust the weight and intensity of the dish

As you would expect, the intensity of teas such as white, green, black and dark are all different.

White teas are the most delicate with subtle flavors, while black and dark teas have the deepest flavors.

You can combine green tea with white fish, or black tea with red meat.

However, combining a white tea with a curry would not work as the tea has delicate notes that will overwhelm the curry with its strong spices.

Mix and match the right combos

You can use the same notes of tea and food.

Lindt chocolatier says their Excellence range, the 70% Cocoa, pairs perfectly with the robust flavors of English breakfast tea for full flavor.

For a classic, add milk to accentuate the creaminess of the chocolate.

Complementary flavors

This combination of chocolate and tea is another classic that balances the flavors of citrus and Earl Gray tea.

Balancing with Lindt’s high citrus taste Orange intenseslivered almonds complement the tea’s earthy undertones for a well-rounded taste.

Chamomile and apple

Chamomile is credited with sleep benefits and for those who have trouble sleeping, but this herbal tea also pairs well with scones and fruity sweets, as it contrasts with the apple flavor.

Red meat and Assam black tea

Rich and oily red meats work well with Assam black tea as it acts as a palate cleanser between each bite.

Curated by Sandisiwe Mbhele

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