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Tea and Cheese Pairing

Recently I watched an online video of my dear friend and fellow India traveller, Shabnam Weber demonstrating the myriad flavours of tea with cheeses. A few years ago, when attending a Tea Association of Canada conference in Niagara Falls, Shabnam held a workshop with a selection of teas and cheeses - a pairing of commodities that I had never given thought of since. But just after viewing the video, I had an idea!


The Charlottetown Farmers' Market once again is opening its doors On November 29 and December 6 for Artisan Sundays. In the past, I was given space to host an afternoon tea in a part of the lunch room. Alas, this year, there have been so many applications for booth spaces that an afternoon tea was not possible. BUT...I felt inspired to offer a tea and cheese pairing counter right at my booth, and because I like to work with other vendors as much as possible, I will get my cheeses from Avondale Meadows Farm! Allister and Margaret Veinot have been offering fine cheeses for years at the market and for a small fee of $3, I will host my own tea and cheese pairing party!

[caption id="attachment_2705" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Avondale Meadows Farms Avondale Meadows Farms[/caption]

A favourite black tea of mine is Keemun from China. It is sweet and slightly smoky, and rich in tannins. I will have a carafe of it and a chunk of 'smooth' cheddar from Allister's fridge. Cheddar is very common as a kind of firm smooth cheese, originally made in Cheddar in southern England. As we experience the 'dry mouth feel' of the cheddar, we shall see if we find it is the perfect compliment to the sweet Keemun.

[caption id="attachment_2709" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Avonlea Cheddar Avonlea Cheddar[/caption]

The green tea that I will offer is the Japan Sencha. With that I will have a wedge of smoked gouda, a Dutch yellow cheese made from cow's milk. It is named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands. The Sencha is a bit nutty, toasty and full bodied. I can't wait to see how the cheese enhances the flavour of the tea and vice versa.

[caption id="attachment_2710" align="aligncenter" width="300"]A selection of cheeses at the Charlottetown Farmers' Market A selection of cheeses at the Charlottetown Farmers' Market[/caption]

My third option for my visitors to try will be my Margaret's Hope Darjeeling with a Brie. Darjeelings tend to be quite astringent, leaving that dry feeling in your mouth. I was at this estate in India in May so I feel a friendship with its tea! The Brie, as you may know, is a creamy, rich soft cow's milk cheese named after Brie, the French region from which it originated.

[caption id="attachment_2711" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Fanc Fancy it up for the holiday season![/caption]

For those of you who can't get to the market for this tasting session on November 29, pick up some tea at the market, at one of the locations that sells our teas, or from our online store and organize a tea tasting at home with your friends. It just might be something you could offer at your Holiday party for those who abstain from alcohol. You could even put the tea in a wine glass or decanter. I think I just might do that myself!

When you do, please let us know how your friends enjoy it.


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