In the West it is rare to touch the doors of the fascinating world of the leaves and buds of the camellia sinensis
The universe of tea is as rich and fascinating as that of wine. Each cup hides behind it soil and climate conditions, oxidation and fermentation processes, and even careful craftsmanship of selection and curling of the leaves.
Although it is the second most consumed beverage in the world -just after water-, and there are thousands of varieties; In Western cultures it is rare to touch the doors of the fascinating world of the leaves and shoots of the camellia sinensis, in search of a marriage.
But Asians have shown that this drink accompanies any time of the day and food. And, although the pairing is a Western concept, in several tables, tea has been tasted an accompaniment capable of highlighting or balancing the flavors of each dish.
“In Mexico, people believe that tea is for when you’re sick, in Asia, especially in China, the birthplace of tea, you drink at all times and with all kinds of foods,” explains Carlos Borboa, tea sommelier.
As in wine, the pairing can be of contrast or harmony: a fatty dish can be accompanied with a refreshing and herbal tea, or with an infusion full of sweet and unctuous expressions.
Acidity, astringency, bitterness, sweetness and body will mark the guidelines of the pairing.
Know each type
It is subjected to the sun’s rays and left to wither indoors to promote partial oxidation.
Pairing: White mushroom cheeses, mixtures of vegetables and flowers, and grilled meats.
After wilting, the leaves curl to release enzymes and oils, which are oxidized in contact with the environment Pairing: roasted dishes, smoked fish, sausages, blue cheeses and caramel.
Native to the homonymous region, in Yunnan, China, it is the only one that is fermented and aged.
Pairing: smoked preparations, stews, mushrooms, spicy stews and bitter chocolates.
Only the newer shoots are used for their preparation; they wither and dry, preventing their oxidation.
Pairing: vegetable and fruit salads, fresh cheeses and delicate crustaceans.
After collecting, the younger leaves are cooked and dehydrated to prevent oxidation.
Pairing: fish and seaweed, deep-flavored vegetables, cured cheeses and white chocolate.