Tea Food

What kind of food is traditionally served with fine Chinese tea? None, really. Some types of tea, including certain black ones and the green teas of Japan, can enhance—and be enhanced by—food. Most fine Chinese teas, though, seem better when savored on their own. This is not to say that tea isn't served with meals in China; it certainly is, and is greatly appreciated as a mealtime beverage. But tea made from the highest-grade leaves is so delicate in flavor that its nuances might be overwhelmed by food. Indeed, the non-Asian tea-room set would be surprised to learn that sweets are considered to be particularly inappropriate with fine tea—because they tend to block out the teas' natural sweetness, which is one of their most appreciated qualities.

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