Recently, a handful of (hungry and thirsty) staff gathered for a food and beverage tasting experiment. Rather than taking a scientific lab approach to assess the attributes of the pairings offered, we elected to eat and drink as we would in the real world … and had a nice lunch in our office kitchen. We shared a delicious spread of hot and cold food options ranging from spicy sweet kale salad to melt in your mouth grilled salmon fillets. Armed with glasses of our Tejava Origins tea, our team set out to discover our favorite pairings.
Tejava Origins Iced Tea: Fujian Oolong and Hojicha Green (visit Tejava.com)
We started off with cold plates: spicy/sweet kale and cranberry salad, summer-fresh roasted peach and heirloom salad, and assorted sushi. We then moved to two different types of chicken (rotisserie and lemon-marinated), accompanied by a medley of roasted vegetables and candied sweet potatoes. Grilled salmon fillets were the final entrée and green grapes were our dessert.
Highlights from our staff tasters:
“The Origins Hojicha, with the deep roasted flavor, went perfectly with the white meat of the rotisserie chicken as it gave some depth to what could be a bit dry and bland meat. Oolong was also a good partner. Speaking of Oolong, I was surprised how versatile it was! It went so well with a variety of foods we had – sushi, peach & heirloom tomato salad, lemon herb chicken, and candied yams. Definitely a well-rounded meal accompaniment!” -Lorna
“The Oolong worked well as a palate cleanser and paired well with many dishes. The Hojicha was best on its own – the strong roasted flavor competed with the flavors in the food.” -Neveen
“Hojicha paired with the sweet potatoes was my favorite. The pairing transported me back to my childhood memories of enjoying afternoon tea and sweet treats with my grandfather.” -Trevor
“I especially liked our Fujian Oolong paired with the grilled salmon. The lightly toasted Oolong complemented the “buttery-ness” of the salmon quite nicely without competing or overwhelming the palate. Great combination.” -Michelle
“Our Hojicha Green enhanced the various flavors of the sushi.” -Yasu
“Fujian Oolong was great with everything!” -Mohammed
Overall, the CGWC team agreed that our Tejava Origins Fujian Oolong was a ‘well-rounded meal accompaniment.’ The Origins Hojicha Green was not to be overshadowed. With its deep roasted flavor, many thought it paired well with the rotisserie chicken as well as with the candied sweet potatoes. We love how a sensory experience can take one back to a moment in their past as Trevor was transported back to warm memories of his time spent with his grandfather.
Our experiment, while in no means scientific, turned out to be a successful, fun, team building experience which uncovered new food/beverage pairings. We encourage you to gather a bunch of your friends, raise a glass and discover new pairings!