10 Foods To Pair Green Tea With

July 19, 2021

10 Foods To Pair Green Tea With

Asking yourself, "What goes good with green tea?" Then you're in the right place! In this post, I'll share 10 food and green tea pairings you'll want to try right away.

Green tea got its name for the color of the leaves it came from. Unlike other teas, green tea is lightly oxidized, so the green color of the leaves remains slightly the same.

When paired with certain types of food, green tea can enhance the flavor you taste both from green tea and the paired food. In this article, we’ll show you some of the foods that pair well with green tea.

Though I usually focus on Japanese green tea, in this article, I'll introduce green tea from different countries and how each pair with different types of food.

The Wonders Of Pairing Tea With Food

Just like how we add spices to our food, tea can bring out the best flavor of food when the pairing is right. It’s the same as adding seasoning to a soup or marinating a chicken.

When done right, tea can give a wonderful snack time when paired with the right food. Tea can be paired with almost any type of food, and it will compliment it remarkably. That just shows how tea is an incredibly flexible beverage.

Interestingly, there are actually three flavors of green tea with different food pairings.

If you’re not much of a tea connoisseur, then you may not know there are numerous varieties of green tea, and each one has a unique aroma. While China alone has over a thousand tea tastes, here are some of the main flavors you might come across in Japan, China, and Sri Lanka:

  • Vegetal Green Tea: Vegetal green tea usually comes from Japan. An example of Japanese green tea is Sencha green tea. They have a grassy flavor that can be compared to seaweed. They’re paired best with seafood, which is why it’s popular in Japan to have tea when eating sushi.
  • Smoky Green Tea: Smoky green tea is commonly produced in China. It got its name from the slight smokiness it gets from manufacturing. They’re paired best with slightly stronger flavored food than seafood. Examples of food to pair with smoky green tea are chicken, turkey, light stir-fry, root vegetables, and light style pizzas. Smoky green tea doesn’t go well with sweets as it brings out the bitterness of the tea.
  • Fruity Green Tea: Fruity green tea is mostly associated with India or Sri Lanka. They’re paired best with light meats like chicken. Greasy or deep-fried light meats don’t go well with it. They’re sometimes used as iced tea because of their natural sweetness. Because of this natural sweetness, fruity green tea is paired well with fruit salads, sandwiches, and unsweetened pastries.

    Green tea can pair well with many foods

    10 Combinations You Need To Try

    Green tea is a popular tea worldwide, so it’s no surprise people try to experiment with what pairs well with it. Below are some of the foods you can pair green tea with for a wonderful tea experience full of rich flavors and culture.

    1. Seafood Provides A Grassy And A Bitter Aftertaste That’s Good For The Palate

    The green tea (vegetal green tea), especially sencha green tea, compliments well with seafood. They help enhance each other’s flavors, resulting in a unique combination in the mouth and leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste that makes you want for more.

    2. Japanese Food And Green Tea Is A Healthy Combination And Packs A Lot Of Flavor

    Japan’s cuisine contains mainly seafood and noodles, which pairs greatly with green tea. If you want to experience a Japanese style of drinking tea, you should try sencha tea paired with Japanese cuisines.

    Sencha has a balance of acidity and sweetness that pairs well with the flavor of Japanese cuisine. The Japanese foods also enhance the flavor of Sencha green tea that makes this pairing a heavenly match.

    (By the way, did you know green tea is also used in many cocktails? Here are 10 trendy recipes for you to try!)

    3. Chocolate Based Desserts Are Actually Great When Paired With Green Tea

    Chocolate contains cocoa which gives it a bitter taste. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa compared to other chocolates giving it an intensely bitter taste. You’ll want to pair it with fruity green tea to harmonize the flavors from the bitterness of cocoa and sweetness from the green tea.

    If you’re looking to eat sweet types of chocolates (like milk chocolate), vegetal green tea is a good pair for it. The slightly bitter and vegetal taste of green tea helps enhance the sweet flavor of the chocolate.

    4. Instead Of Beer, Try Green Tea With Barbeque Dinners

    Green tea can also be an alternative to beer for a barbeque party. Especially if you’re not a beer drinker or trying to quit drinking, green tea can be a great and healthy alternative for you.

    Gunpowder green tea, in particular, pairs great with barbeque foods. Its wood-barrel-smoky flavor compliments well with the taste of smokey barbeques.

    5. Pan-fried Chicken And Green Tea Is A Favorite Among Chinese Cuisines

    The smoky flavor you get from smoky green tea pairs well with pan-fried chicken. Smoky green tea helps reduce the greasy mouth feeling you get from eating pan-fried chicken. That’s why Chinese accompany tea like oolong when eating foods dipped in oil.

    If you’re preparing pan-fried turkey for the holidays, green tea also pairs well with it. If you want a really great combination, go for Chinese green tea. You also experience a different blend of green tea and experience how China consumes its tea.

    6. Green Tea And Pizzas With Root Vegetable Toppings Actually Pair Well In

    Smoky green teas, in particular with their intense flavors, Smoky green teas helps balance out the flavor you taste from root vegetables in pizza, giving you a unique blend of flavor in your mouth.

    7. Unsweetened Pastries

    Fruity green teas make unsweetened pastries taste a lot sweeter because of the natural sweetness. This is great for afternoon tea parties if you don’t want to consume sugar or if you have a guest who doesn’t want to eat sugary snacks.

    8. Whole Wheat Bread And Green Tea Makes For An Energizing Breakfast

    Whole wheat and green tea are great healthy food choices and can make for a nutritious breakfast. Starting your morning with this pairing can kickstart your metabolism for a productive day. In addition, fruity green tea helps add flavor to whole wheat bread that doesn’t have much flavor.

    (Don't throw your green tea leaves in the trash! Read about composting them instead in this article)

    9. Fruit Salads

    Fruit salads and green tea have a taste I would describe as healthy sweetness. Not only does this provide good sugars, but it won’t make you hungrier, unlike refined sugars. Fruit salad and green tea combined helps alleviate your sugar craving.

    The natural sweetness in them doesn’t do harm to your body. However, too much of anything is a bad thing so consume in moderation.

    10. Sandwiches And Green Tea Is A Delightful Snack Packed With Rich Flavors

    A sandwich on its own already contains a mixture of flavor that really satisfies your cravings. You pair it with green tea, and those flavors are enhanced even further. Make sure you use fruity green tea as it’s the best pairing for sandwiches.

    Final Thoughts

    Tea is a very versatile beverage you can pair up with almost any food. But remember, tea also varies in flavor. Be mindful of what tea you’re drinking before pairing it with food. You can try and experiment with other food, and you may find a new combination of flavor that will satisfy you.

    Shop our green tea products to pair with one of these food options to discover your new favorite combination!

    This article was originally published in 2019, but updated in 2021.

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