Happy Pi Day! Here at TeBella Tea, we love any excuse to brew up a cup of tea and pair it with something decadently sweet. And while 3/14 may be all about everyone's favorite mathematical constant (get out of here, golden ratio, today is not for you), we're celebrating my sharing our favorite tea and pie pairings.
Of course we're starting off with a Floridian staple. Does anything taste more like the month of March in Florida than Key Lime Pie? It pairs wonderfully with the characteristic astringency of a First Flush Darjeeling, which tones down the bordering cloying sweetness of key lime custard and whipped cream (so yes, you can handle that second slice of pie without hitting a sugar wall--counterproductive? Maybe. Who cares.). By the same token, the tannic astringency of a tea is felt less keenly when paired with sweet or custard-y foods. The result is a perfectly balanced pairing, wherein Key Lime Pie and First Flush Darjeeling shine brighter together.
There's something classic about Earl Grey, lavender, and chocolate. It's the Chanel No. 5 of flavor pairings: sumptuous, confident, with a touch of drama (and with similar top notes of neroli and bergamot!). Chocolate and citrus are always well received as a pairing, but lavender really pops when matched with chocolate mousse. Tuck in with a good book and enjoy this pairing for the reliably delicious treat that it is.
This may be one of my favorite pairings. It's a bit of an odd couple, but it works. We've already explored sweet and tart with Key Lime Pie, but the tartness of cherry pie filling is a whole different ballgame. The buttery crust of a cherry pie gives it balance, and it is an unexpected but perfect companion for a Kukicha.
Prized for it's umami flavor, Kuckicha is a grassy, full-bodied Japanese green, and while it has a mellow sweetness in the finish, it is still a rather vegetal cup of tea. Cherry Pie highlights the sweet quality of the leaf, while the characteristic umami of Kukicha gives depth and nuance to the rich sour-cherry flavor of the pie filling. If you're going to experiment with any tea and pie pairing, this combination would be an adventurous place to start.
Savory pies more your thing? Wonderful! I have a soft spot for spanakopita. Seriously, what's not to love? Flaky phyllo dough, fresh herbs, cheese...it's the whole package. It goes wonderfully with bright, crisp, citrus-y flavors, and so our Florida Orange Blossom was a no-brainer. Pair it with a hot cup of tea to enhance the herbaceous springy-ness of the combo, or enjoy an iced glass of tea for a refreshing snack.
We also asked our staff for some tea & pie ideas, and they delivered:
"I am personally a fan of Oolong Nirvana paired with Lemon Meringue pie! The tart, tangy lemon filling and smooth sweetness complements the vanilla in the tea. Yum!" - Jess F.
"I'm not much for pie, but when I am, it's for a rich chocolatey pie of some sort; perhaps a chocolate pecan pie? Something so decadent would pair perfectly with a cup of Cafe Au Lait with a splash of milk and sugar." - Roxanne F.