Monday, July 2, 2018

World Tea Expo 2018 Workshop Post 3: how can we pair foods and teas in a food service situation?

In Post 2, we discussed how specific foods go well (or poorly) with specific teas. In this post: the main underlying question that came up in the course of the workshop—please please comment on the answers we developed!

That question is: what is the most efficient way to ensure that your guests pair tea with foods successfully, so that both tea and food shine? At fancy afternoon tea services, people are served a slew of foods, often in a three-tier curate, and then are asked to choose a pot of tea to accompany the foods. Inevitably there will be foods that don't go well with the tea a person has chosen:

What to do?

The solution I proposed was to have different curates, depending on what tea a person chooses. 

This idea was immediately shot down as utterly impractical. Just as an example, suppose each person at a table chose a different tea—how many curates would that entail? Can you just imagine what that table would look like?!!!

So the next thought that came to mind was to offer the same foods but as tapas, so each person could first choose their tea, then choose the tapas that would go with that tea. In general you would only need four or maybe five sets of tapas—you would serve what you would otherwise put on a curate in separate small dishes.  

This seemed to the workshop to be a workable plan—a Tea & Tapas Bar. (Worth noting: tapas are considered a major dining trend for 2018—

Or maybe a Wine, Tea, and Tapas Bar? Such an arrangement would suit me! I don't drink wine because it makes me sick—surely there is a large number of people who, like me, feel out of place at a wine and tapas bar because they don't drink wine. Don't you think they would enjoy tea, especially when served in wine glasses! At the workshop we thought so!

Photo by Mel Turner from
Here are two places I know of where tea is successfully served in wine glasses (tell us about more!):

• For those of you in the Boston area: L'Espalier under the aegis of Tea Sommelier Cynthia Gold.
• For all of you in Benelux: Kristin van Eetvelt's—see

==>>> Even though Kristin's webpage is in Flemish, you can appreciate the photos of her approach to tea and food service! TAKE A LOOK AT THE VIDEO! (no words, just music and Kristin and guests and chef and tea and food). And please contact her with your questions—her website is in Flemish, but she speaks and writes English, and the word for "Contact" in Flemish is..."Contact"...

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