Canadian Tea & Food Pairing

Hottest Tea Trend: Becoming a Certified TAC TEA SOMMELIER® Professional! First it was wine, then beer and now tea. TAC TEA SOMMELIER® Professionals are pairing the flavors of tea and food in Canada. A big THANK YOU to the Certified TAC Tea Sommelier® Professionals who developed these delish pairings.

poutinePoutine & Kenyan Black: The salt content of the gravy, fries and cheese neutralizes the strong, brisk notes of the Kenyan black leaving a smooth but still full-bodied black tea to compliment your meal.
– KellyAssam, a black tea from India with a rich fresh aroma and flavour would combine well with the richness of poutine.
MaureenGreen Tea- Dragonwell
JoanFor a traditional poutine with no meat, try a nutty Long Jing Chinese green tea, which tastes good and cuts the grease.
MichaelHungry for a poutine? Pair poutine topped with classic white Cheddar with a lovely cup of Darjeeling Second Flush green tea from India, the best the Darjeeling region produces.


A smoky gunpowder Green tea would balance with the salt and starch of a poutine while allowing the curd and green tea to blend. However this is one I am now itching to experiment with to add tea right into the poutine, my first test with it will be a Pu’erh as this earthy flavored tea could really shine and holds its own with the savory gravy of a poutine

Je conseillerais un thé noir Assam. D’une part les notes de mélasse du thé complèteraient à merveille la sauce brune de la poutine. Aussi, l’astringence du thé viendrait équilibrer ce met plutôt chargé au niveau des lipides.

peameal baconPeameal Bacon & Assam Black Tea: Assam teas are very smooth, and sweet and that extra push of sweet honey and malt notes from the Assam is will make the bacon feel like a gourmand treat! Like maple bacon, but better!
KellyEnglish Breakfast, a blend of black teas from Assam, Sri Lanka and Kenya. This traditional breakfast tea is full-bodied, robust, with a great depth of flavour and colour that would round out the saltiness of the bacon.
MaureenBlack Tea- Yunnan – Black Tea
JoanA rich hearty puer – especially if the bacon is part of a breakfast sandwich of egg, real cheddar cheese and sourdough English muffin.
MichaelServing peameal bacon for breakfast? Try pairing it with a nice cup of lapsang souchong black tea. The intense smoky camp fire aroma and flavour will have your guests trading in coffee for a second cup of this dark red brew! Bacon and lapsang souchong; this pairing is no smoke and mirrors!

Probably not your normal suggested pairing but I really enjoy a cup of Earl Grey de la Crème Green Tea with my Canadian bacon

À cause de ses subtiles notes fumée, je conseillerais un thé noir Keemun pour accompagner ce met. Aussi, les notes rafraichissantes de cassis du Keemun viendraient contrebalancer l’aspect salé du bacon.

caesar drinkA nice vegetable Sichuan green tea like Meng Ding Gan Lu or Zhu Ye Qing or a Japanese sencha.
MichaelDarjeeling Second Flush
JoanMixing some lapsang souchong black tea in a classic Caesar will add the perfect touch of smokiness to this classic Canadian cocktail. Enjoy it on the rocks on a hot Canadian summer day!
CarolineWould pair well with a smoky Lapsang Souchong adding a new element into the traditional flavors and would amp up the Caeser experience
ErinLe Lapsang souchong est un choix judicieux dans l’élaboration du cocktail de type Bloody Caesar. Il est caractérisé par un goût de fumé qui s’amalgame parfaitement à ce cocktail typiquement canadien.

butter tartsPecan Tarts & Irish Breakfast: English Breakfast and Scones works really well, so why not Tarts and Irish Breakfast? Irish Breakfast is a rich, malty full bodied black tea that won’t get lost among all the sweetness of the tart, and the nutty notes of the pecan will work brilliantly with this solid breakfast blend. Add a splash of milk for some creaminess, though you can likely skip the sugar; this pairing is already a real treat!
KellyEarl Grey, a blend of traditional black teas with bergamot citrus notes. This tea would pair well with the sweetness of the tarts.
MaureenOolong Tea- TiKuanYin
JoanDong Ding, a Taiwanese oolong, is fresh and bright with a honey finish. It would very nicely wash down a butter tart.
MichaelLove the sweet and decadent flavour of butter tarts? A long-oxidized oolong is a perfect pairing with a classic butter tart. The beautiful amber brew and mouth-filling biscuity-taste will only add to the delectable flavour of this sweet treat.

Lightly oxidized Oolong, the floral and citrus tones would add a wonderful smooth feel to sip alongside this buttery dessert

Le délicieux oolong Tie Quan Yin est très doux en bouche et sa finale rappel les même saveurs que le beurre présent dans ce dessert.

nanaimo barsDarjeeling, a black tea from India with distinctive muscatel grape flavour with hints of current. This tea is often referred to as the “Champaign of Teas.”
Maureena smooth Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong black (also known as lapsong souchang – but I recommend the non-smoked variety).
MichaelA Nanaimo bar will pair perfectly with a cup of Kenyan black tea. This dark amber tea has a warm aroma and a smooth flavour that will balance the sweetness of this classic dessert in perfect harmony!
CarolineOolong Tea- TiKuanYin and/or Black Tea-Assam
JoanMatcha would be the perfect pairing for this sweet treat offering a balanced flavor for both

Le oolong Ali Shan révèle des notes de noix de coco qui en font un mariage parfait avec les barres Nanaïmo.

tourtiereTi Kuan Yin Oolong (Iron Goddess). The sweet floral aroma of this semi-fermented tea would balance the flavours of this savoury meat pie.
MaureenOolong Tea- WuYi
JoanIt’s a meat pie, so I go with puer again, as I did with the bacon, but perhaps a milder one with a nice straight earthy flavour instead of a real complex one.
MichaelA piece of tourtiere with a cup of Assam black tea is a pairing full of goodness! This tea offers rich and fresh aroma and flavour that will support the meats and spice blends in this traditional Canadian culinary goodness.
CarolineBeing part of a Christmas tradition I have tasted a Beautiful Christmas Chai (black tea) that would complement the various meats that a Tourtiere can be made with. The Spice of a chai lends itself to mingle well with the cloves and garlic already in this delectable pie.

Le thé blanc Nan Mei, avec sa finale légèrement mentholée, est un choix audacieux mais éclairé pour accompagner la tourtière. En effet, ces notes soutiendront efficacement les épices présentes dans la tourtière. Et l’aspect désaltérant du Nan Mei sera le bienvenu pour accompagner ce plat plutôt lourd.

split pea soupLapsang Souchong a black tea from the Fujian Province of China, known for its smoky aroma and flavour would enhance the smokiness of the ham in traditional split pea soup.
MaureenI’d have to go green and mild, so I pick an easy-drinking Huang Shan Mao Feng green tea.
MichaelGreen Tea – Sencha
JoanA Canadian favorite, traditional split pea soup pairs wonderfully well with a cooked pu erh tea. Its dark brew and rich earthy aroma is a true reminiscent of a Canadian woodland. Simply enjoy a bowl of soup with a cup of pu erh for a satisfying experience! Pea Soup and Pu erh: it’s an honest and true pairing!
A Little Smoke with Your Split Pea Soup?! A nourishing split pea soup and lapsang souchong Chinese tea is a terrific pairing. The smooth velvety richness of the pea soup is the perfect base for the smoky taste and aroma of this black tea. Whether your soup embraces ham or is a vegetarian version, this smoky black tea is delightful on the side or used as a flavour enhancer ingredient in your recipe.
CarolineMaking this cozy soup from scratch is something I do to give my family a warm hug on a cold day I use a Turmeric ‘n Spice Black tea as my liquid when making the soup to add to a touch of spice.

Un thé vert japonnais tel un sencha serait en accord avec cette soupe à cause de leurs notes végétales respectives.

Bottle of Canadian maple syrupLapsang Souchong: Add a slight savory kick to your Maple Syrup by serving it alongside a piping hot cup of Lapsang Souchong! This is a great example of how two completely contrasting flavours come together to form something truly unique and wonderful! Think maple bacon; only richer and better!
KellyPu-erh tea, this fermented tea is rich in taste with a hint of sweetness that will harmonize with the sweetness of the maple syrup.
MaureenOolong Tea and/or Plum Oolong Tea
JoanSweeter varieties of Chinese dark oolongs like a Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong or a Qi Lan (my favourite). Qi Lan has the quality of baked goods like loaves or even pancakes – and maple syrup goes great with pancakes.
MichaelSimply sweetened a cup of Earl Grey tea with this Canadian liquid gold and you have the most delicious sweetness of a pairing!

A traditional flavor demands a traditional tea a bold English Breakfast would complete it.

Le thé noir Dian Hong semble être tout à fait approprié pour accompagner le sirop d’érable. En effet, ses notes de caramel, de miel et de biscuits se marient toutes parfaitement à l’érable.




To become a Certified TAC TEA SOMMELIER® Professional, you need to know a lot about tea: where it’s from, how it’s made, the different aromas and flavors in tea, and which ones pair well with what kind of food. Canada is leading the way in the world of professional tea appreciation. The program was launched in 2006, and has quickly grown. It is now offered at seven colleges across Canada and online through the Academy of Tea, and in Italian through Protea Academy. The program is always growing and we look forward to sharing updates with you this year.

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