Updated: May 24
Tea with Desert: The good, the bad, and the coffee
There are generally three types of folk in the world: those who love tea, those who like coffee, and those who haven’t experienced nirvana (non-tea drinkers). This blog post is intended for the first group of people, and hopes to give advice on how to optimise the enjoyment of drinking tea with complements, as well as the benefits of consuming tea by itself. The second and third groups can also be enlightened by this blog and hopefully be shown the enjoyment that tea-consumption results in.
Tea on its own…
Whilst tea can be, and in some cases should be, consumed with other sweets; the importance of drinking tea itself can hardly be over-emphasised.
Firstly there are the health reasons, such as those mentioned by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which explains the “acute benefits on both mood and performance” that tea consumption result in. Secondly, tea is a portable hot drink meaning that it can be enjoyed whilst at home, at work, and on the go (provided you’ve brewed it right!). Thirdly tea contains caffeine which can give you bursts of energy so that you can fulfill tasks to the best of your ability – plus brewing tea also gives you a welcome break to any tedious work that you’ve got to do.
Also (for all the coffee lovers) brewed tea has a lower amount of caffeine than brewed coffee, around 25-48mg as opposed to coffee’s 95-165mg, thus ensuring that this stimulant drug isn’t over consumed, thus ensuring positive health benefits in the long-run.
Giving tea its complement…
The accompaniment of a refreshing and light snack with your cup of tea can be a welcome addition. It can not only make you feel more satisfied, but can ensure that your taste-buds are stimulated by delightful new tastes and combinations.
Some ideas include soft complements that prolong the taste of sweetness on your tongue, such as smooth milk chocolate, and caramel cheesecake. These desserts soothe and satisfy with balance and poise, and are best enjoyed with blooming tea.
I was recently experimenting with various complements to tea and found that hard boiled candy such as humbugs or licorice are not a good idea (don’t ask…), whilst fudge and toffee are more agreeable – but personally - cadbury’s oreo chocolate does the deal for me.
Then there are the zesty partners to a cup of tea. These include the good old lemon meringue, and the hearty orange tart. These can be best enjoyed with jasmine tea – or if your feeling really adventurous – green tea. Marmalade on toast is sure to be tangy and delicious, and is best enjoyed with black tea. A distinct and rich flavour, is sure to be provided by dark chocolate, which will leave you feeling warm and content.
Cakes are also highly recommended to be served with tea. Whether it’s a chocolate ganache or a soft strawberry sponge, a sticky toffee pudding or a bicocho, cakes are individualistic and unique, and I would encourage alternating between tea flavours when eating cakes, so that the perfect sweet spot can be found.
The final sip…
Whether you like tea by itself, or enjoy a snack with your cuppa, what all tea-drinkers can agree on is that every flavour of tea has its own distinct panache. Whether it has a lightly infused jasmin flavour or a refreshing green tea taste it is sure to leave you content and satisfied. And at the end of the day - that is all that matters.
Suzanne J Einöther, Vanessa E Martens, Acute effects of tea consumption on attention and mood, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 98, Issue 6, December 2013, Pages 1700S–1708S,https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.113.058248
Mayo Clinic Staff, ‘Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more’, April 14 2017, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20049372 [accessed on 01/11/2019]