One of my favorite things about living close to New York City is being able to go to the cool tea events that pop up from time to time. I attended a tea and cheese pairing at The French Cheese Board last week. Some of you might remember that I attended a similar tasting with Royal Tea NY a few years ago. Harney & Sons provided the tea for the pairings this time around.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit this hidden treasure in the village, I highly recommend that you do. They sell a variety of French cheeses and regularly hold classes and events that are open to the public. The staff that I have encountered there have all been very helpful and knowledgeable.
Fellow tea blogger Sara from Tea Happiness also attended this event. It had been a while since we last saw each other so it was nice to catch up and compare notes on the pairings. I’ll be sure to add a link to her post about the event once she posts about her experience.
Tea and cheese pairing is something that I don’t often do on my own but it is always interesting to see how the different flavors go together. The tea portion was led by Emeric of Harney & Sons. Most of the attendees seemed like they were new to tea and they were all curious to learn more. I still a get a bit of a thrill from watching people explore higher quality teas.
Dragonwell and Brillat-Savarin
The first pairing of the night was Harney’s Meijiawu Lung Ching with Brillat-Savarin, a triple cream offering from Burgundy. They were both lovely but this combo clashed a bit for me. I love the heaviness of this cheese but it all but obscured the delicate nuttiness of the tea. Brillat-Savarin pairs much better with darker, more chocolatey leaning choices.
Ali-San Oolong and Valençay
Next up was a Taiwanese oolong alongside a fresh goat cheese. The lightly oxidized tea was floral with slightly creamy notes. This pairing was also a miss for me. Goat cheese is not my favorite so I’ll have to admit to a bit of a bias there. I found the flavor too strong, especially when I got bits of the vegetal ash rind. Darjeeling is a better match for my palate.
Fruit d’Alsace and Tomme Elderflower
I thought this was a unique pairing because it featured a flavored tea. The ingredients were inspired by the flavors of Alsace, the same region that the tea is from. That’s not a connection that can easily be made with most teas. The elderflower in the cheese was quite strong so it came across as almost perfumy. I did think they went together fairly well.
Lapsang Souchong and Comté
The last pairing of the evening was probably my favorite. Harney & Son’s Lapsang Souchong echoed the smoky notes in the cheese. The cheese had a fairly hard texture with a
Thank you to The French Cheese Board and Harney & Son’s for their generosity. It was a great evening and I hope that they will have more tea focused events like this in the future.