When it comes to Darjeeling Tea pairings, the opportunity is almost limitless owing to the scope that this tea category offers – from first flush Darjeeling Teas in the spring, all the way through the final third flush in the autumn, with flavours ranging from light and verdant, to sweet and spicy. Below is a short list of suggestions you might like to consider enjoying a small cup of Darjeeling with.
First Flush Darjeeling Tea Pairings
On the whole, FIrst Flush Darjeeling Teas are often lighter and greener that later in the season. This is because they are picked before the heavy rains that help the tea leaves to grow bigger and stronger and develop deeper flavours. The floral freshness and citrusy notes of this tea therefore lend themselves to light desserts, dairy and fish.
The light sponge of a carrot cake, run through with orange zest and topped with whipped cream cheese frosting perfectly complements a First Flush Darjeeling, balancing with the floral aromas and ‘greeness’ of this tea. Did you know that Darjeeling is also a prominent orange-growing area? It’s almost as if they belong together. Try this with our Darjeeling Spring Selimbong, which is earthy and floral.
If you’re going to pair these pretty little macarons with Darjeeling Tea, we recommend choosing flavours like berries, rose, pistachio and orange blossom, as these really highlight the delicate notes of flowers that run through a first flush Darjeeling – try it with our Darjeeling Spring Seeyok that has a light strawberry-sweetness.
A lightly smoked salmon served with fresh, juicy cucumber and a soft sheep’s cheese, topped with a little fish roe is a wonderful accompaniement to First Flush Darjeeling Teas (particularly our Platinum Darjeeling Spring Singell). The oily nature of the fish and roe, and the mellow melon notes of cucumber pair beautifully with the undertones of hay and warm honey in this tea.
Second Flush Darjeeling Tea Pairings
Our Darjeeling Summer Samabeong (Organic) has notes of honeysuckle and mirabelle plums, which means it’s an ideal tea to go alongside a fruity biscotti. Pictured is an apricot, date and almond biscotti that brings out the sweetness in this tea, while the grain of the biscuit balances out the nuttiness for a wholesome afternoon treat.
Summer Berry Pavlova
The baked fruit flavours and light spice in our Darjeeling Summer Singell makes a summer pavlova shine, particularly when made with brown sugar and topped with edible rose petals. The fattiness of the cream also takes the edge off any astrigency, and makes for a long, smooth finish.
Elderflower is such a beautiful spring/summer sight, and highlights the florality of any of our First Flush or Second Flush Darjeeling Teas. Why not try our Elderflower Champagne Jelly, or Cold Brew Darjeeling with whole heads of elderflower?
Third Flush Darjeeling Tea Pairings
Sticky Ginger Loaf
The ripe, rich fruit and spice quality of our Darjeeling Autumn Samabeong (Organic) pairs well with a sticky cake like ginger, or molasses. As this tea is the most oxidised and has the highest astrigency, it cuts through the sweetness well and harmonises with the peppery ginger in a sticky ginger loaf.
Milk or Dark Chocolate
A simple way to cut through the astringency of our Darjeeling Autumn Samabeong is also a small piece of high quality chocolate. That way, you can enjoy the fruity, syrupy nuances of this tea and balance the mouthfeel with a creamy finish from the chocolate.
Jammy fruits like figs also pair well with our Darjeeling Autumn Samabeong, particularly when served on a wholegrain toast with rich cheese like labneh, and woody herbs like thyme.
For more tea pairings and recipes, make a cup of your favourite tea and browse our Journal.