This 2019, we’re ushering the year of the pig which means we’ve completed one full cycle of the 12 Chinese Zodiacs. I always love this time of the year for there’s a certain buzz in the air, filled with excitement for the coming of spring. Sure we don’t exactly experience the four seasons in Singapore, but it’s not difficult to catch on infectious vibes of the festive mood.
The other reason I love Chinese New Year (CNY) is without a doubt the reunions centred around food! Food is such a big part of our Chinese culture and it’s amazing how it brings people together over feasts of time-honoured dishes, as well as the many sweets and goodies only enjoyed during this festive occasion.
That being said, most CNY goodies and dishes are very rich in flavour, ‘heaty’, and tend to pack on the calories. Luckily, T2 Tea’s got that covered with teas that will not only complement your favourite CNY dishes but also help cleanse your palate — Lucky Lychee Rose, China Jasmine and Singapore Breakfast Tea.
Tea Pairing 101
Just like wine pairing, the function of tea pairing is similar — to enhance the flavours of both food and beverage. However, unlike wine pairings, tea as a beverage is much more versatile and can easily match a variety of foods. Some classic tea pairings are Assam black tea with buttery scones and jam, or green tea (sencha) with sushi. The general rule is simple: a robust dish should match a strong-flavoured tea and vice versa so that the flavours don’t get drowned out by either food or tea.
Here are some of my recommendations for food x tea pairings from T2 Tea which are perfect for your CNY celebrations:
China Jasmine Tea x Herbal Roast Duck
This one’s for the tea purists, a classic blend of green tea infused with jasmine for a fragrant jasmine scent. It’s fuss-free and no-nonsense, an archetype of traditional tea that will pair easily with any and every Chinese dish at the dinner table, especially those with bold flavours.
I love having Jasmine Tea with roast duck for the grassy, slightly bitter notes of the green tea help to cut through the rich and oily meat. Apart from being a great palate cleanser, it’s scientifically proven to have a whole host of health benefits, such as preventing cancer and aiding in weight loss, so you can definitely count on this to help you burn some calories!
Lucky Lychee Rose (Limited edition CNY product) x Pineapple Tarts
The Lucky Lychee Rose is an exquisite blend combining fragrant lychees and rosebuds with apples, pineapples, hibiscus, and bamboo leaves. This fruity-floral blend is extremely aromatic and can be enjoyed hot or cold. This tea pairs brilliantly with pineapple tarts, for its delicate sweet notes will complement the saccharine pineapple jam and buttery pastry.
This is perfect to serve and impress guests at gatherings or simply enjoy as a pick-me-up after a long day of CNY visiting. Packaged in an adorable box with auspicious colours in the shape of a teapot, this also makes a great gift for relatives!
Singapore Breakfast Tea x Bak Kwa
Hands up if you love having kaya toast for breakfast! The Singapore Breakfast Tea is the best brew to kickstart your day. Featuring a blend of puerh, pandan and green tea; the sweet coconut flavours make this a lusciously aromatic brew.
It’s a no-brainer to pair this with actual kaya toast and soft boiled eggs but since we’re in the CNY mood, pairing it with Bak Kwa would make an excellent combination! The nutty mellow notes of the tea provide flavoured depth that serves to highlight the sweet charred meat.
A big thanks to T2 Tea for sending these delectable teas and exclusive CNY merchandise such as the pineapple teapot and the golden pig infuser! These give me yet another thing to look forward to and makes the job of entertaining a breeze. Wishing you a joyous and prosperous year of the pig!