June is iced tea month, and while we love clever iced tea recipes and cocktails, we also love the unexpected ... like pairing iced tea with cheese!
We were featured in a recent special issue of Culture Magazine, when writer Laurel Miller asked us for some pointers on the perfect pairing. And we have a good tip for pairing tea (hot or iced) with just about anything: Remember that tea is like wine, in that it can have tannins (the quality that kind of "dries out" your tongue) that can overpower delicate flavors. A big, tannin-heavy tea should never be paired with a delicate, subtle cheese, because as Laurel wrote, it'll just steamroll those delicious light flavors! With that said, here are a few pairings that really work for us, and the next time you're inviting friends over, surprise them with a cheese platter and a few different iced teas for mixing and matching! We'd recommend:
Grassy Green Tea:
Pair our Organic Gen Mai Cha with Le Marechal, a cow's milk Swiss cheese with a savory and somewhat herbal flavor (because dried herbs are rubbed onto the wheel of this cheese as it ages).
Floral Green Tea:
Pair our Jasmine Petal Green with a Cabra Blanca, a semi soft, silky and tender goat cheese with a subtle aroma, slight sweetness balanced with delicate tartness. We love Avalanche Cheese Co.'s Cabra Blanca, a cheese company based here in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado!
Malty Black Teas:
Pair our Organic Assam Breakfast or Organic Paisley English Breakfast with high butterfat cheeses, that will stand up to these tannic teas. Gouda would work well!
Smoky Black Tea:
A strong tea like our loose Lapsang Souchong is perfect for pairing with a cheese with big flavor, like white Stilton.
Think of how you might serve a creamy cheese with dried cherries to guests, and then pair our Alpine Berry or Organic Paisley Tart Berry with soft bloomy-rind cheeses like Camembert.