The Lifestyle Portal had attended a very interesting workshop cum contest on 21st August 2015 at Tea Trails, Malad in Mumbai hosted by a popular events website called Buzzintown.
Being a Bengali we have a weakness for teas – be it green tea, brewed or boiled. Some years ago we had written a feature called ‘How do you like your chai’ where we got our readers to tell us how they liked their morning or evening cuppas. So our love for teas have brought us to the next level – a ‘tea and food pairing challenge’.
Kavita Mathur, a tea connoisseur and a co-founder at Tea Trails India conducted an enlightening workshop on the types of teas, how to prepare them, interesting facts and at the end of it all, there was a ‘tea and a food pairing challenge’ and guess who walked away with the second prize? Of course, your’s truly!
Just like the taste and flavours of wines depend on the estate, garden or vineyard they come from, the teas get their characteristic flavours from the gardens, the elevation of the tea gardens and the harvesting. So there’s the first flush, 2nd flush and tannings that all depend on when the teas were harvested.
We also learnt that tea plants can grow up to 60 feet and that the oxidation process is what lends a particular flavour to every tea.
For instance, black tea is a fully oxidised full-bodied tea while the Oolong is a semi-oxidised tea from Taiwan and China.
For those who like their tea to be boiled, Tea Guru Kavita Mathur advises that ideally milk should never be added to tea! And for those who sip on green tea, make sure you don’t boil the water, the temperature of the water should be ideally between 60 – 70 deg.
The basic concept of tea and food pairing is that they should compliment each other. A lot of factors goes into identifying a good tea one of them is the colour – light to dark and least oxidised to most oxidised.
Types of teas
The types of teas that we tasted and learnt to combine with the food types were –
White Tea – which is a natural tea with floral notes. Cannot be served with sweet or over powering food items.
Green Tea – has a grassy flavour that goes with subtle flavoured foods
Masala Chai – what we Indians love so much goes well bun maska and pakodas
Black Tea – offers a smoky flavour and goes well with a smoky grilled sandwich
Oolong (Lemongrass) – goes well with a Burmese salad
Oolong (Semi oxidised teas) – from Taiwan and China
Assam Tea – dense flavour, goes well with chocolate
As the second prize winner, we took our Rs. 500 Tea Trails Voucher and treated our family and friends to some brilliant teas at their outlet in Hypercity in Malad.
We tried their chilled Mango Bubble Tea, it’s quite a treat for shoppers on a hot summers day. We loved how the mango bubbles burst into the mouth and waking us up from a lazy slumber. And their Kadak Masala Chai with a hint of black pepper is sure to wake you up from that slumber and soothe an aching throat.
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