Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas Chaxi Tea Pairing event

It was nice to conclude 2020 with a large tea event at The One, a restaurant in Taipei! A large crowd and several dishes meant 2 Chaxi and large teapots!  
Actually, this event was designed like a class introducing the concept of tea pairing while the students/diners had their meal and a tea. This is the best way to learn: the concept is immediately put into practice! 
Gloria Chen (on the left) brewed a red tea for the entry and the desert,

Crab bisque
 while I brewed a Hung Shui Oolong for the main course. It consisted in a fine crab bisque with green 'hairy' peas (mao dou)! Finding the right concentration for the Oolong was very important. This is where wine pairing is easier, because a wine sommelier chooses the wine in function of the meal by considering the aromas and concentration of the wine. With tea, however, the brewer is the person who decides how concentrated the brew will become. 

In most cases, a dish has stronger flavors than tea. That's why we pick teas that can match up to the intensity of food. Hung Shui Oolong, thanks to its roasting, has such potential. What you have to consider, then, are the aromas of the tea. Do they match with those of the dish? In this case, the crab bisque was cooked much lighter than usual. So, I also had to take this into account when brewing my tea. It couldn't be too strong.

I also liked the entry: 2 braised mushroom filled with a few eggs of caviar! This touch of luxury was well in the spirit of Christmas... So I wish you all the best for this year's festivities. And I recommend that you try to pair some good teas with your Christmas meals. By combining tea and Christmas, you'll enjoy a double happiness! 

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