When the sun comes out, it’s the perfect opportunity to trade in your classic cuppa for a refreshing, tall glass of iced tea accompanied by your favourite Excellence chocolate. Tea sommelier Jennifer Commins shares her top three pairings, as well as some tips for making homemade iced tea.
Jennifer Commins is the founder of Pluck Tea, which sources premium tea leaves from around the globe.
Lindt Excellence Strawberry Dark Chocolate + Iced Green Tea + Loose Red Berries
Vegetal, grassy green tea makes the ideal match for the bold, strawberry flavour of this chocolate for a refreshing summertime flavour profile, reminiscent of a field of strawberries. Any bitterness present in the green tea is balanced by icing it, as well as the sweetness of the added berries, while the green tea also helps to showcase the richness of the chocolate.
Tip: To make a single serving, steep the tea leaves in half the amount of water you normally would, so a half cup. Most teas, such as black and oolong, can be steeped for approximately five minutes, while green tea should be steeped for two to three. Finish by pouring the steeped tea (strain it first if you’re using loose tea without a bag or strainer) over a glass of ice.
Lindt Excellence Lime Zest Dark Chocolate + Iced Oolong Tea + Muddled Mint Leaves
This oolong tea is an unroasted blend somewhere between green and black tea that has naturally milky notes, which play well with the zesty citrus flavour of Excellence Lime Zest, resulting in a pleasant, soft mouth finish. Fresh, muddled mint leaves make this pairing especially refreshing, and mirrors the decadence of a classic mojito.
Try: Pluck Spring Oolong
Tip: When pairing tea with chocolate, no added sweetness is needed, but if you prefer a dash of sugar or another sweetener such as agave syrup or honey, add it to the tea while it is still warm.
Lindt Excellence Coconut Dark Chocolate + Iced Fruit-Flavoured Black Tea + Squeeze of Fresh Lime
The lovely texture and round flavours (due to coconut’s rich and oily nature) of this dark chocolate is perfectly balanced with the tannins in the black tea. Since the tea is also fruit-forward, with natural notes of mango, lychee and lemongrass, the luscious tropical flavour profile of this combo is only enhanced with the added acidity of a squeeze of fresh lime.
Try: Pluck Spadina Blend
Tip: If you’re making a big batch for later, keep in mind it’s best to consume same-day, so the tea avoids oxidation, which can cause a change of flavour.