ChaBay Tea & Fromage Pairing (10/09)

ChaBay Tea joined the French Cheese Board team for a very special tea and fromage pairing with their beautiful wood-fire tea wares and fine teas.

Before starting the pairing session, the French Cheese Board team introduced the space. Auguste and Lisa introduced themselves, their brand and briefly talked about their pop-up store at Canal Street Market.

The pairing began with the Bay Rose Oolong tea and Beaufort. This tea is a blend of lemongrass and organic roses with ChaBay Forever Spring Oolong. The tea is floral and fresh, with nice bright notes that linger in the nose. Beaufort is a hard Alpine-style cow’s milk cheese from Savoie with fruity and floral notes and a buttery, supple texture. The tea and cheese have complementary mouth feels and layers of flavors that open as the two are consumed.

The second pairing of the evening was Jade Mist Oolong with Brie. The tea comes from Taiwan’s Jade Mountain. It is refreshing and lively. It has a sweetness, like baked sweet potato that is just beginning to bubble. The tea also has a long finish in the back of the throat, with a cool sensation that only high mountain teas provide. Brie is a bloomy rind cow’s milk cheese from Ile-de-France. Tones of button mushrooms with a milky and earthy finish. The slight creaminess of the cheese goes down smooth with the coolness of the tea and together, earthy and floral notes of both products are more pronounced.

The last pairing included two cheeses, Mimolette and Bucherondin with Alishan Red Tea. This is a unique high mountain black tea, grown on Taiwan’s famous Alishan Mountain at 1800 meters. Smooth and unique, it has cacao sparks with lingering spiced sweet notes – a result of it’s origin as a Qing Xin cultivar, originally grown to be produced into an oolong tea. Bucherondin is goat’s milk bloomy rind cheese from the Loire Valley. It has a thick and chalky paste at the center that is tangy, citrusy, and earthy. In the pairing, the two contrast each other in flavor for a sweet and tart combination. Mimolette is a pressed and cooked cow’s milk cheese from Pas-de-Calais. Its paste has a a distinct orange color from natural seasoning that’s smooth, fruity, and slightly salty. The two together bring an enhanced mouthfeel due to the smoothness in both products and brings the butterscotch sweet notes in the cheese and the spiced notes in the tea

The event finished with a very dramatic drop of the large Tea Sablé made with French butter on the table that everybody paired with tea and cheeses. What a delicious surprise!