Tea Pairings for Christmas Entertaining

Author: Corina   Date Posted:26 November 2014 

Christmas is a time when many of us may overindulge, just a little, on food and drinks. At The Tea Centre, we have come up with a few options to demonstrate the number of ways tea can be served and the foods they can be paired with.

Christmas is a time when many of us may overindulge, just a little, on food and drinks. Generally, one of the excesses of Christmas is our unusually higher levels of alcohol consumption. We indulge in bubbly, wine, beer, and even our desserts get smothered in brandy and rum laced sauces or cream! After all, they do say Christmas is the time to be jolly!

But if you’re looking for an alternative and struggling to come up with ideas then, of course, we suggest tea! An Aussie Christmas is usually a scorcher as temperatures reach the 30s, and even 40s for some. As such, tea is not always the first beverage that comes to mind when serving drinks at Christmas gatherings. However, it doesn’t always have to be a steaming cuppa. A nice iced tea or non-alcoholic tea punch may be just the thing that hits the spot on a hot Christmas or Boxing Day.


christmas-indulgences

Where there is merriment, there is food and drink. At The Tea Centre, we have come up with a few options to demonstrate the number of ways tea can be served and the foods they can be paired with. Just like wine and beer, certain teas have a way of complementing certain foods. The following  tea pairings are just some ideas that can complement popular Christmas fare.

On arrival

Iced-white-tea-with-ginger

Iced White Tea with Ginger and Lemongrass – whet your guests’ appetites by serving this refreshing iced tea with canapés. Add some lemon squash for a little more zest and sweetness and pop one or two pieces of crystalised ginger in the bottom as a tasty little garnish.

Recipe for one litre:

  • 15 grams Pai Mu Tan white tea
  • 15 grams fresh ginger – sliced
  • 15 grams Lemongrass Lemon slices for infusing
  • Sugar syrup: 10 grams white sugar – dissolved in hot water 1 litre fresh cold water
  • Crystalized ginger pieces and lemon rinds, or lime wedges – for decoration

Place all ingredients in a jug, cover with lid and refrigerate overnight. The next day, strain through a tea sock. Check the sweetness and add more sugar syrup or lemon squash if required.  Iced tea is ready to serve.

Ham

ham-with-apple-960x642If you’re serving ham as your Christmas centrepiece, a nice spiced tea, warm or cold, will certainly go down well with this Christmas favourite. If you’re looking for a warm tea then the traditional Black Glögg will provide a spiced fruity drink, which will complement that Christmas ham.

On the other hand, if you wish to serve an iced tea, turn to the herbal infusions. A mixture of Anti Stress herbal infusion and Turkish Apple drink make a great fruity, spiced iced tea.

spiced-apple-iced-drinkServe over ice with sliced or thin wedges of green apple and orange.

 

Recipe for one litre:

  • 15 grams Anti Stress
  • 25 grams Turkish Apple mix - dissolved in hot water
  • 1 litre fresh cold water
  • Sliced or wedged apples and oranges – for decoration

Place all ingredients in a jug, cover with lid and refrigerate overnight. The next day, strain through a tea sock. Iced tea is ready to serve.

 

Seafood

prawns-and-lemonMany of us enjoy the taste of citrus with our seafood and in many Eastern Asian countries full-bodied green teas go well with seafood.

If you’re looking for a warm tea, try a nice pot of Japanese Sencha but for something a little different, one of our particular favourites is Japanese Genmaicha. A deliciously savoury green tea with a slightly nutty flavour, this brew is perfect for serving with seafood.

For something with citrus, The Tea Centre’s Japanese Lime, iced, would be a perfect accompanying drink for seafood. Serve this slightly fizzy and sweeter with the addition of lemonade. Japanese-Lime-iced

Recipe for one litre:

  • 20 grams Japanese Lime
  • 1 litre fresh cold water
  • Sliced lemon, lime, and orange for infusing and decoration

Place the Japanese Lime tea, cold water, and citrus slices in a jug, cover with lid and refrigerate overnight. Next day strain through a tea sock. In a long glass add some ice and fresh citrus slices. Fill the glass three quarters of the way with the iced tea, then top up with lemonade. Don’t forget a couple of long drinking straws.

With Dessert

Plum-PuddingFor a warm black or green tea with dessert, you can’t go past The Tea Centre’s Christmas Tea blends. Or, if you’re quick enough, try our Plum Pudding TEAser. These fruit and spice teas scream Christmas and can be a great dessert tea. If you’re not a fruit and spice kind of person, then consider Chocolate Mint Black Tea Blend, our Moroccan style Mint Green tea, or the Olive Leaf green tea. These all make ideal after dinner drinks with their respective minty aftertastes.

For a dessert iced tea, you really can’t go past The Tea Centre’s Japanese Garden. Fruity and floral, this green and white tea blend makes for a superb, sweet, and fragrant sip.

Japanese-Garden-iced-618x960Served in a long glass with slices of fruit and edible flowers creates a spectacular drink that looks just as good as it tastes.

Recipe for one litre:

  • 15 grams Japanese Garden green tea
  • Sugar syrup: 10 grams white sugar – dissolved in hot water
  • 1 litre fresh cold water
  • For decoration: slices of fresh fruit and, if possible, edible flowers or flower petals

Place ingredients in a jug, cover with lid and refrigerate overnight. The next day strain through a tea sock. Check the sweetness and add more sugar syrup if required. Serve tea over ice, fruit, and flower petals. Decorate with extra fruit or flowers.

After Dinner (alcoholic beverage)

  • christmas-drinks2-e14168939652554 Tea Bags (we suggest Stockholm Blend/French Earl Grey/Japanese Garden or Japanese Lime)
    Or 8-10 grams of your favourite fruit tea (can include fruit infusions or flavoured teas)
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water
  • 8 fresh mint sprigs
  • 4 cups of lemonade
  • 1/2 cup of vodka ice cubes and lemon slices

Place tea bags in small/medium bowl and add 1/2 cup of boiling water (if using loose leaf tea place tea in tea sock or muslin bag before placing in bowl with 1/2 cup of boiling water). Let steep for a good 6 minutes or so then discard the tea bags/sock and put aside.  Place mint in bowl and mash gently with the handle of a wooden spoon until slightly bruised, this will help to bring out the flavour.  Place mint leaves into jug, pour in tea, vodka and lemonade.  Can cover and refrigerate or just add ice cubes and lemon slices before serving.

These are just a few ideas, and the flavours and options are extensive. So as you begin to prepare your Christmas menu, also consider a tea pairing menu that will complement your festive fare.