Seed and Bean 80% Ecuador chocolate has a delicate earthy flavour. Paired with a Lentedauw Mao Feng (a Yellow Mountains, Anhui green tea bought at Simon Lèvelt)makes the chocolate way more exiting. More smooth and even a little fruity! 6 grams of tea in my new Honin I bought at Postcard tea, 70 degrees Celsius soft water (very important with this tea. Many of the Simon Lèvelt shops sell the Zero water filters. A great way of filtering your water) infusions after rinsing the tea: 30-35-40-45 seconds.
A beautiful single origin chocolate from Kalimantan (Indonesia) and a roasted Japan Kukicha both bought during my visit to a Simon Lèvelt shop are a very good combination. The Krakakoa 75% chocolate is full bodied and has a nice fruity flavour. The roasted aroma of the tea brings out the spicy and fruity flavours of the chocolate in a beautiful way! In order to balance the full body of the chocolate I used a lot of tea: 10 grams in my kyusu. Filled the teapot for 2/3 with 75 degrees Celsius water and steeped it for 30-20-25-30-35-40 seconds to bring out the sweetness of the tea but keep the astringency out. Astringency and a high cacao content chocolate aren’t a great combination.
The Sencha isn’t a hit with all Cuore di Mandorla. Just had some friends over so I needed a tea to pair all different cookies. The intense roasted Dong Ding Oolong is a good friend! 8 grams of tea in my gaiwan, after a good rinse, infusions of 30-35-40-45-50-60 seconds. Great way to start the weekend.
In my Simon Lévelt shopping basket Il cuore di Mandorla. I tried many different combinations. Most black teas pair good but I was looking for a more exciting result. Their Otsuka Fukamushi Sencha gave me the result I was looking for. The umami of the tea did great things to the orange and almond flavours of the Mandorla. 5 grams in my hohin, 5 infusions of 1 second combined, water temperature of 60 degrees Celsius. A real tread!
Vondel speculaas (spiced biscuit) I picked up at Simon Lèvelt and their Assam Goudblad zomerpluk (very tippy Assam second flush) is one of the first tea and food pairings I discovered. The spices and sweetness of the biscuit are balanced so beautiful by the Assam tea. It’s almost as if it becomes a masala chai! 7 grams of tea on 500 ml 95 degrees Celsius water and a infusion time of three minutes. It really needs hot water and a relatively long steep in order to do it’s job 😁.
Couldn’t resist picking up some beautiful chocolates at my local Simon Lèvelt store. The shop owner suggested their Yunnan Gold to drink with these beauties. She was right! Brewed it real strong in order to taste both tea and chocolates. 9 grams of tea on 500 ml of 90 degrees Celsius water and a steeping time of 3 minutes. Normally I would use 80 degrees Celsius water and a 1-2 minute steep but the tea really needs more extraction in order not to taste like hot water. The slight astringency balances the sweetness of the chocolates and brings out the chocolaty flavour much more.
During my visit to Simon Lèvelt I bought this combination: a fruity nougat and a Da Hong Pao Oolong. Nougat made the tea very fruity, tea reduces the sweetness of the nougat and enhanced the nutty tones. 8 grams of tea in my gaiwan (they sell great ones at their shops), 110 ml of 90 degrees Celsius water and steeping times of 25-20-25-30-35-40-45 seconds.
Roti, vegetables, potato and a China Mi Lan Xiang black tea. 8 grams of tea in a gaiwan. 30-20-30-40-45 seconds infusion time, water temperature of 80 degrees Celsius. Let the tea cool down a bit to gain sweetness. Just perfect.
Bought some great @krakakoa Sumatran chocolate at Simon Lèvelt. Paired it with a heavily roasted China Feng Huang Mi Lan Xiang Oolong. Chocolate became more complex and less sweet, tea lost some of its roasted aroma. Great combination! 8 grams of tea on 180 ml of 95 degrees Celsius water. 20-20-25-30-35 seconds brewing time.
Cannelloni, roasted tomato and a buffalo mozzarella. Paired with a China Raw Pu Er Ancient Tree Dragon Ball. Brings everything in the dish together. The tea stays so fruity! One dragon ball in a Yixing teapot. Water of 95 degrees Celsius, 30-20-15-10-10-15-15-20 seconds brew time.