Up until I had the tea and chocolate pairings at La Maison du Chocolate, I thought the only tea that went well with chocolate was rooibos. Uhhhh, I was totally proven wrong.
At the Rockefeller Center La Maison du Chocolat location I sat at the bar and tried five different pairings. Tea is from Mariage Frères (a favorite tea company of mine!) and when you order any of their teas, it comes paired with a chocolate that was chosen by La Maison's Creative Director.
Raymond, the boutique manager, expertly steeped each tea for the pairings. Tea was served in smaller espresso cups since we were going to have multiple pairings.
We first started with the French Breakfast Tea which has notes of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. This was paired with Micaela, a cafe au lait mousse in milk chocolate. First a sip of tea, then a bite of the chocolate, and repeat. The chocolate and caramel notes in the tea melded perfectly with the coffee and milk chocolate.
We moved onto a green tea, the Fuji-Yama. Matching green on green, the chocolate chosen to accompany this tea was the Jolika, an almond paste with pistachio. The clean green tea complemented the smooth almond paste.
Next up was another green tea, the Jasmin Mandarin. The Dentelle, a praline with crispy crepe was paired with the floral and sweet notes of the tea. Nice and crunchy, this is my kind of chocolate.
Métis is a rooibos with floral, raspberry, and vanilla notes. I think every chocolate goes with rooibos, but the Guayaquil went exceptionally with its hints of vanilla.
Last was the Empereur Chen-Nung, a smoky black tea with underlying orange peel notes. Naturally, this tea was perfect with the Orangette, a candied orange peel dipped in chocolate.
The basics of pairing tea and chocolate are pretty simple -- match a flavor or note found in both the tea and the chocolate.
On the menu was Marco Polo, one of Mariage Fréres' popular teas which was paired with the Andalousie, a ganache with lemon zest. Since I had Marco Polo at home, I cold brewed it and had it over ice with the Andalousie the next day. All the other pairings I had were very good, but this combination was my favorite.
//Tea and chocolate pairings courtesy of La Maison du Chocolat. All content and opinions expressed here are my own.//