A white tea pairing that fits your taste to a tee can be something you’d want to return to — without losing the appetite for it. Of course, what mixes best with what is a personal decision. But a general rule should help you chart your course in the kitchen without your stomach turning over.
That thought may be extreme. Let’s not forget, however, that there’s a reason why sommeliers pair red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat. The same holds true for white tea pairings.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the long-kept secrets behind pairing white tea. Plus, we’re giving you 7 of the best foods to pair with the least oxidized of true teas so you don’t lose the delightfully sweet yet extremely subtle flavor of one cuppa. Read on.
Secrets to Pairing White Tea
Ultimately, you’d be able to find a perfect pairing for white tea if you understand its true nature. Forgetting that, and you’ll most likely lose the sweetness that is so well loved about white tea to spur-of-the-moment food pairing decisions.
It’s true. White tea has not captured the global spotlight as much as its more famous siblings: green tea, black tea, and oolong. However, white tea’s claim to fame is that it’s the least processed of all true teas from the leaves of the Camella Sinensis evergreen shrub — trumping even green tea in that department.
Table 1: White Tea vs. Green Tea
As it’s not as oxidized, white tea is extremely delicate; its sweetness leaves a buttery mouthfeel, often with notes of apricot/apple or hay. On the other hand, green tea pushes your buttons faster as it is more robust, leaving stronger, more vegetal notes.
So, a timely warning: Do not mix white tea with heavier dishes bound to overpower its extremely mild sweetness. Or you’ll lose a golden opportunity to cherish a most unforgettable yet subtle delight.
7 Irresistible White Tea Pairings to Try Now
If you’re still wrapping your head around the best white tea pairings, then the seven examples below should have you covered.
1. Light Fruits
The key to finding the best fruits to pair with white tea is zeroing in on fruits that don’t have strong flavors. You’d be safe that way. That’s assuming you want to put a premium on not losing the subtle sweetness of the true tea.
So, pick on light and delicate fruits such as peaches, apricots, pears, and berries. Or, for that matter, fresh melon, grapes, or figs. If you long for mango, ensure you’re getting the less ripe and, therefore, less sweet type.
2. Light Pastries
Then again, you’ll have to observe the golden rule when dealing with pastries to savor the oh-so-delicious flavor of white tea. If you’re gunning for heavy pastries that are very sweet, you’re burying white tea’s flavors as its subtle taste is bound to be overwhelming.
So, you can experiment with macarons, shortbread cookies, and light sponge cakes. And if you want your palates to be blown sky-high, try honey cookies with less prominent flavors.
White tea is much like a delicate white fish. It melds beautifully with any flavor it’s being mixed with. Thus, the sweet beverage is best paired with salads with a light dressing. Undressed basic salad should also be fine, or you can try your favorite choice of plain vegetables.
Fruit salads, however, are too strong for white tea, and if you pair them, you’d lose the rather shy flavors of the drink in the mix. If you’re longing to enhance the flavor of white tea, then a spoon filled with honey should get the job done.
The same holds true for seafood. You’d cherish white tea's sweet aroma and taste if you pair them with lighter-flavored seafood. A good example here is lightly-sauteed seafood or white fish.
Should you make white tea a tad stronger, a squeeze of lemon would also be a good pair to enhance the drink. Again, never pair it with seafood bound to overpower its oh-so-subtle taste and aroma.
5. Mild Cheese
Like begets like and as white tea and fresh cheese are both light and delicate, they’d be a perfect blend for one another. You can even add a drizzle of honey to the mix to enhance the combo. For one, white tea is bound to embellish the grassy notes that’s so common in many goat cheeses.
6. Herbal and Floral Infusions
Like oolong, white tea carries a sweet fruit aroma and undertones, though lowered to a few notches. Thus, herbal and floral infusions would blend well with the healthy beverage.
On a side note, white tea would make a compelling case as a daily routine if you’re really serious about health. Its caffeine content is lesser than green and black tea but its polyphenol content is higher, giving you a lot more antioxidants in the process .
7. Lightly Sweetened Chocolate
The operative word here is light-sweetened. White tea would go well with chocolates that are not heavy on sweets. That means forget about dark chocolate on the menu.
Conversely, white tea's alluring floral jasmine aroma is perfect for white chocolate. They’d certainly make an honest-to-goodness pair that makes you long for more.
FAQs About White Tea
Does white tea carry as many antioxidants as green tea?
Several studies have pointed out that white tea carries more antioxidants than green tea. The reason is simple: white lea leaves are less processed than green tea.
Is white tea good for the heart?
White tea is excellent for the heart as it has catechins to lower blood cholesterol and improve blood circulation.