Japanese tea & dessert pairings

Pairings with Japanese tea and desserts exist albeit uncommon. Matcha is a popular choice for many although the variety that Japanese tea could offer is fascinating. One will be surprised how it could pair well with foods such as desserts.

Dessert and tea have both their own unique character.  When paired together, it makes one harmonious experience for every epicure out there. From the aroma down to flavour, tea could enhance the taste of your dessert by accentuating the dominant flavour of the dessert.

Below are some suggestions of how you can pair your Japanese tea with different kinds of sweets.

 Fresh fruits

 If you are not keen on decadent desserts, subtle teas such as kyobancha provides a balance of flavour by not overwhelming the freshness of the fruits.

  Chocolate and chocolate based desserts


Dark chocolate contains intense bitter, flavour since there is more cocoa content. There is less or non-existent additives such as milk solids and sweeteners. Teas with high umami content such as gyokuro pairs well with dark chocolate. The sweetness of kukicha also neutralizes to the bitter taste of the chocolate. Milk chocolate contains more sugar and milk solids.  Matcha and Sencha compliment the sweetness of this chocolate by their slight bitter and vegetal taste. This makes the taste of the chocolate stand out. Lastly, the roasted taste of houjicha works well for most chocolate based dessert.

Citrus desserts

Houjicha is a perfect accompaniment to citrus desserts due to its full-bodied, roasted and caramel flavour.  The earthy flavour of wakocha also makes the citrus profile of the dessert stand out.

  Creamy desserts


The roasted flavour of wakoucha contrasts  the creaminess of these desserts. The subtle astringency and the slight malty flavour of black tea offsets the overwhelming decadence that we get from rich and creamy desserts.

 Desserts with nuts

Are you looking for foods to pair with your sweet sakura tea? Nutty desserts such as macaroons and walnut tarts complement the sweetness and slight saltiness of the sakura tea.

 There are no set rules in pairing food and tea. It is clearly up to the your preference to alter any pairing to suit your taste. Food is meant to be enjoyed and that goes the same for your dessert and tea pairing.

Written by: Anne Tachado



Posted in Japanese Tea, Tea Recipes and tagged , , , .

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