Want something special for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day? Create a “mood” with some well-paired tea and chocolate! The right tea with the right chocolate might just get your significant other in the mood for love.
According to William Leaman, executive chef and owner of Bakery Nouveau, Seattle, “Carefully chosen chocolates can pair wonderfully with teas. They can share many of the same characteristics, such as floral or fruit aromas and varying levels of astringency from tannins. The key is in finding the right combination that offers either balanced flavor contrasts or reinforces a particular note. Paired correctly, a tea and chocolate combination can offer a greatly enhanced tasting experience.”
We have a few tantalizing combinations to suggest that are sure to impress your sweetie and created some playful suggestions as to what stage of a relationship might call for which kind of tea and chocolate pairing.
Crush – dark chocolate with fruit & nuts and Gourmet Earl Grey with Lavender
Light-headed, giddy, can’t get the object of your affection off your mind? Sounds like the distinct signs of a serious crush. Show them how you feel with dark chocolate with fruit and nuts paired with Gourmet Earl Grey with Lavender tea. The citrus from bergamot oil in Earl Grey compliments the sweet flavors from the fruit. The herbal nuance of lavender balances the acidity of the tea and chocolate while complimenting the earthiness of the nuts. This is a tantalizing combination for any “wooer” or “wooee.”
Sweet Romance – white chocolate paired with Whole Leaf Organics Jasmine Green
True white chocolate (made with real cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla) pairs perfectly with tea scented with jasmine blossoms. Jasmine comes from the Persian “yasmin,” meaning gift from God. The ethereal nature of this floral green tea compliments the rich and creamy, yet delicate flavors of cocoa butter. This romantic combination of a sensuous tea and uncommon confection is a delicacy that is sure to get the attention of your Romeo and make a lasting impression on your Juliet.
Passionate New Love – lemon and white chocolate ganache and Gourmet Chai Spice Black Tea
Whether in love, or when pairing chocolate and tea, it’s important to share similarities while complimenting your differences. Like a new romance, a spiced tea like Chai offers exciting complex notes and flavors, while the lemon provides a refreshing contrasting simplicity that compliments the balance of spices. And the combination of the exotic spices is the perfect compliment to the flush of new love.
Steady Relationship – salted caramels in chocolate with Original Darjeeling
Salt, one of the most essential minerals, is prized for its ability to preserve the most precious provisions. Traditionally cherished above all other black teas, Darjeeling tea is often referred to as the Champagne of teas. Show your sweetie how much you value your enduring love by making an elegant toast with this classy combination. Darjeeling’s naturally bright fruit flavor and subtle floral aroma compliment the creamy caramel, chocolate and hint of salt.
Long-Term Love -75% cacao paired with Whole Leaf Organics Lychee White
True chocolate for a true love. We tend to crave stronger flavors as we get older and our palates become less sensitive. Dark chocolate with 75% or more cacao content offers a robust, satisfying indulgence. Dark chocolate has more tannins and higher acidity and yearns for the subtler flavors of white tea to help balance the stronger flavors. Lychee fruit adds a touch of sweetness and a silky compliment to the robust dark chocolate, making an enduring blend that’s strong and tender.
Turbulent Love – “Rocky Road” with Gunpowder Green
An olio of dark chocolate, nuts and fluffy marshmallow signifies the roller coaster element of some love affairs – sweet but with a salty, sassy, complex undertone. A little messy, if you will. Gunpowder Green Tea has a smoky flavor that pairs well with the salty and sweet combination of Rocky Road and smooths the experience.
For the tantalizing chocolate varieties suggested above contact Bakery Nouveau, or visit your local chocolatier.
What do you think of our pairings? Do you have a favorite tea & chocolate pairing you’d like to suggest? Send us your ideas!