For this pairing I chose the whisky of teas aka. Lapsang souchong. This black tea is characterized by it's strong smokey flavour and earthy notes. It's extremely bold!
This Chinese black tea is smoked over pine-wood fires.There are many stories around how this unique tea came to be. One of my favourite ones is that tea traders would build wood-fires to keep warm during their long trips. The teas that were being transported then acquired this unique smoky flavour.
For me, personally, it's a bit hard to drink this tea on its own due to it's strong flavour! Since its flavour is so intense I thought I would pair it with something as equally intense like cheese - not any type of cheese but rich tasting cheese like blue cheese and parm.
So I tried both! First I started with Parmegiano-Reggiano. This beautiful Italian cheese is known for its flavour packed punch! It has a nice saltiness with subtle hints of nuttiness which played nicely with the strong smokey flavour of the lapsang.
Next I tried Saint Agur blue cheese. This creamy blue cheese comes from the Auverne region of France. It has a smooth texture and strong but balanced flavour and not too salty. The creaminess of this cheese was balanced by the nice astringency of this tea. The strong smoky character of lapsang souchong helped balance the pungent (aka. funky) taste of this blue cheese. The tea acted as a great palate cleanser and each sip left you wanting more cheese, and more tea...This pairing was amazing!
I chose a tea with a strong taste so I knew I needed to pair it with something of equal flavour intensity. I also wanted to make sure the flavours complemented each other. Since I know the tea has strong smokey flavour and woody aromas I chose parm (for its nutty hints) and creamy St Agur. I wanted to compare both pairings and see which one worked better. For me, St Agur and Lapsang was an amazing match! I mean I liked the parm and lapsang pairing but this one kept me wanting more and more! I think the creamy texture and mild saltiness of the cheese was the perfect combo for this tea. If you get a chance you should try it!
Hope this inspires you to try and share your own pairings! It's about having fun and discovering new tastes. You can be as detailed or concise as you wish :)