Complementary teas for an afternoon tea
There are many different teas that can be enjoyed with an afternoon tea. Below are some common teas and components of an afternoon tea they’re best paired with.
- An English classic, Earl Grey tea is a black tea with a bold flavour. The citrus taste arising from either natural or synthetic bergamot oil makes it better suited to afternoon tea sweets, such as scones and cakes. *Fun fact, Earl Grey tea was named after Earl Charles Grey of England, who was Prime Minister from 1830-1834!
- Originating from India, the aromatic and astringent flavour of Darjeeling tea complements to savoury or sweet desserts.
- Also from India, Assam black tea is known for its malty, and sometimes sharp flavour. It is often enjoyed with a small amount of milk and sugar and compliments creamy and sweet foods, providing a balance to the sweetness.
Herbal teas are a popular choice for afternoon tea due to their light, fruity taste. Many herbal teas, such as chamomile and lavender teas, are caffeine-free, making them a great option for those not wanting a caffeine hit late afternoon.
- Due to its floral, apple-like flavour, chamomile tea is best paired with sweeter bites
- Mint tea is great with a range of finger sandwiches, fruity sweets, chocolatey sweets and neutral sweets
- The sweet, fragrant flavour of a lavender tea blend or infusion makes it ideal for simple afternoon tea foods like scones and Devon cream or shortbread cookies.
- The bold flavour of gunpowder green tea pairs well with savoury pastries, ham or chicken tea sandwiches and any dishes with mint.
Whichever tea you choose, it deserves attention and thought so to match the flavour to the food.
Written by Nicole Musuwo ANut
© 2020 The Caroline Walker Trust