Thursday, 6 May 2010

What kind of music goes with tea?

Any music, right? Wrong. There are certain sorts of music that really go with a nice cup of tea. Are there any that don’t? Can you put some Metallica on the box and sip from a hot cup of Chamomile? Really?

So my question is: What kind of music goes with which kind of tea? Is classical music better with Darjeeling or Assam? Do you need to match green or Oolong with traditional jazz?

Here are my immediate thoughts on the subject. I’m sure you’ll tell me if I’m way off base here, but I think I’m onto something. First I’ll deal with Ceylon. I’ve already written about Ceylon Nuwara ‘Lover’s Leap’, and it continues to be the Ceylon I prefer. So when I have a cup of this tea, I find myself listening to 60’s and early 70’s soul/Rhythm & Blues. Otis Redding crooning while I take deep slugs of this delicious brew.

And what about Oolong? There are so many sorts, but I’ll use the Dung-Ti Oolong that I’ve written about here. It’s a smooth, hearty Oolong, so I’d say the perfect music for it is: Alt Country. Make a nice cup of Oolong and put on ‘Ohio’ by Lambchop. Or The Flatlanders. Perfect.

Darjeeling? Bach. Or Brahms. Not Beethoven. Ok, Beethoven if you must. I can’t stop thinking of the Goldberg Variations with Wanda Landowska at the harpsichord, while I have a small pot of Darjeeling Singbulli. Mmmmh…

What about Rock and Roll? What’s the right tea for AC/DC? Assam, of course. Are you kidding. I almost want to say Celestial Season’s Rolling Thunder, but I won’t plug a brand. Not here.


  1. interesting post again! You have Assam tea down pat! I totally think of rock and roll with many black teas. For me oolong is more jazzy. I think of John Coltrane's Acknowledgement from "A Love Supreme". For pu-erh, i'm going to have to stick with O Fortuna! (i'm half joking, but it was the first thing to pop into my head!) See ya on twitter! Cheers!

  2. I am pretty much music illiterate :-p But I think Bach cello is a great idea for tea!

  3. I think it depends on the general mood which can influence my choice of tea and music.
    Something hard is not appropriate for an early morning tea when you are watching the city (and my neighbours would dislike me for playing "hard" music so early).
    I just need to find the tea for a dancing mood.

  4. Eh, I prefer quiet when drinking tea. There are some things I just can't do to music.

  5. I'd have paired AC/DC with rock-gut vodka straight from the bottle.

    Nothing against AC/DC (other than their boycott of iTunes). I did think Assam with classic rock when first reading the blog title. ("Really don't mind if you sit this one out...")

    A strong Kenya tea would go well with world beats ... Wock, all the Kuti and Toure families, Carlos Santana, ...

    A good English or Irish breakfast blend with Afro Celt Sound System - that'll get your morning started!

    In the afternoon you could try a strong Ceylon with MIDIval Punditz. I think in the morning that would have my hair standing on end.

    When you find the perfect blend of strong and smooth, try Cesaria Evora.