Tea & Chocolate
Two of my favorite things, tea and chocolate, are paired together in a heavenly way. Palais des Thés offers their miniature set of three teas and three chocolate bars (from Valrhona chocolates) to give you a taste pairing that's beyond genius.
Tea with dessert has been served for centuries, but mostly cookies and cakes. Certain teas are enhanced when savoring something that brings out their taste. Here's a little bit more about pairing teas with sweets.
No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. (Marcel Proust)
The literary reference to Proust and the Madeleine comes to mind when tea mixed and mingled with the taste of something else-- cookie, cake, madeleine-- and I think, if Proust had discovered the flavor combination of tea with chocolate, then maybe that crumbly madeleine might have been pushed aside for chocolate instead, n'est ce pas?
Each tea is paired beautifully with a flavor complementing chocolate in the tea set as follows:
Grand Yunnan Impérial tea has a floral sweetness, called the "mocha of teas" because of its cocoa notes, paired with a taste of the floral dark chocolate Alpaco (66% dark Valrhona chocolate).
Pure Indulgence Pear, a Chinese Mao Feng green tea, has fresh fruity notes that enhance the flavors, as the essence of pear mingles in the mouth which brings out the vanilla and caramel in the chocolate.
Thé du Hammam is an enchanting tea with fruity and floral notes that pair with the delicate creamy taste of Opalys 33% white chocolate.
I know I got a little link happy in this post, but I thought you'd enjoy discovering these tea blends paired with chocolates as much as I did.
Side note: when I took photos of the teas and chocolates for this post, I was tormented by a squirrel. My backyard photography "studio" for these images was a wooden gate that I use as a tabletop, placed underneath my orange tree. I was lucky to have an overcast day in which to shoot and wanted to take advantage of the light. The menacing squirrel wanted the chocolates (I'm assuming) and would not leave me alone. As I attempted to focus my camera and carefully set up each shot, the rustle of the branches above startled me into shrieking and cursing at the pesky creature. See, everyone wants tea and chocolate together, including squirrels.