Saturday, 5 June 2010

Cutting the cheese (with #tea)

Most people would ask, 'What sort of wine goes with this cheese?' But I'm not going to do that. Instead: What kind of tea? With cheese? Well sure. Why not? You drink your cheese and nibble at your wine. While you're doing that, I'll be having a nice cup of tea, thank you very much.

And while I sip my dark, steaming, brewed deliciousness, I'll be having a little cheese. Cheese glorious cheese.

Was at a cheese fest in Bad Tölz in the mountains (or in the foothills at least) yesterday and tried more varieties of cheese that I could shake a stick at. Must've tried a few dozen kinds, but I'll only bore you with the ones I brought home with me.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that there's no way I could brew all the tea I'm describing as I write this. Well, I take that back. I suppose I could do that, but I'm not going to. I'm drinking a Darjeeling Gielle at the moment. It's a light first flush. Now on o the main event:

First is a bleu cheese from Bavaria. I decided it was strong enough that I needed a mild tea. So I drank Ceylon Adawatte with it. Perfect combination. If I may say so myself.

Then I wanted to pair a cheese with some Darjeeling Singbulli, so I chose Austrian Bergkäse. The Floral notes in the tea seem to somehow fit with the wildflowers I think of when I imagine the cows grazing in high mountain fields. Mmmm...lecker.

After that, I had an unbelievably good French cheese from the Haute-Savoie region on the Italian/Swiss/French border. The cheese was called Reblochon AOC fermier and also made from raw milk. This cheese needed something distinctive. Since I can think of no nicer Oolong, I decided to eat this cheese with Jun Chiyabari Oolong.

I must mention that there was a mustard stand at the cheese fest (Senfmüller Guido Breuer). If you've followed me for any length of time at twitter, you know I have an unhealthy obsession with mustard. Sent an inappropriate amount of time when I should've been tasting cheese trying this and that mustard. Was truly the high point of the afternoon. As good as the cheese and wine are, I'd give nearly anything for a mustard festival.

Back to France, but this time to the north coast to a ville called Lessay. Just looked it up on Google Maps and it's on the coast near Jersey. Old Jersey. The cheese-makers are called Fromagerie Reo ( and they make one of the best raw-milk Camemberts that I've ever tasted. This cheese calls for an exquisite cheese. That's why I'll eat it with a Japanese Sencha I adore called Fudji. It's much stronger than other Senchas I've written about. If you ever happen across Japan Sench Fudji, try it. You'll be glad you did.

I've had so much cheese in the last few days, I think I might burst. Maybe that's partly why I instinctively reached for the tea. Without some liquid to mix with the tea, I might've gotten some cheese lodged in my throat.

If you die of cheese lahikmajoe, there'll be no more tea.


  1. Funny you speak of pairing cheese and teas!
    Last year, I was thinking of attending a class on tea and cheese pairings! Now that you posted this, I wish I would have invested in that class! Would have been some valuable information! haha

  2. I don't eat much 'raw' chesse, I basically just cook it in lasagne; add it to a sauce or melt it on toast. I'm going to a cheese and wine festival next week where I'll take my teapot and a few varieties, and nibble the crackers whilst enjoying.
    My take is that I like to ask "I feel like a Golden Yunnan. What food goes with that?"
    On Friday I have a bocconcini salad with a Pai Mu Tan, that certainly worked.
    But my favourite tea parings would be the following 3 course meal:
    -Barbecued Chicken Tenderloins with a Lapsang Souchong
    -A Sirloin steak in Brandy & Pepper sauce with a Daintree tea
    -Vanilla baked cheesecake and a Chun Mee green to finish

  3. Interesting thoughts.
    Camembert and Sencha...
    What does Sencha taste like?

  4. As you know, Ice, I'm much more of a black tea guy, but it seems like there are limitless Senchas from both Japan and China.

    Even Lipton and other tea behemoths sell green tea with the label 'Sencha'.

    The Fidji Sencha is strong (for a Sencha at least) and not at all bitter.

    It's one of the teas I like most.