Welcome to the VIVA tea pairing community event.
Every few weeks, we’ll be posting a new tea pairing specially prepared by one of the tea experts who are creating these delicious menus. For our kickoff first tea pairing, we’re exploring the world of black tea courtesy of the director of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, Shabnam Weber. You’ll be tasting English breakfast alongside traditional eggs Benedict or a sweet and spicy avocado toast recipe, or you can try them both!
We’ve put this together for tea lovers like yourself to show and share your love of tea. You can check out all the details on how to participate in our full explainer right here. It explains how to share your tea pairing photos and comments on Instagram by tagging @vivascandinavia and using the hashtag #teapairing, as well as posting your comments and photos in the VIVA Perfect Blend Facebook group.
About English Breakfast
English breakfast — originally known simply as breakfast tea — is black tea blend commonly associated with British and Irish cultures. In the UK, the tea was popularized in part by Queen Victoria in the last 19th century.
The teas in the English breakfast blends originate from Kenya, Assam and Ceylon. Teas from Keemun are sometimes included in more expensive blends.
English breakfast is often described as full-bodied and robust. It’s not uncommon for people to add milk or sugar to this tea when preparing it.
Pairing #1 – Eggs Benedict
“English breakfast teas are traditionally full bodied black teas blended together to combine a flavour strong enough to drink with a hearty breakfast,” says Shabnam. “And what’s heartier and more delicious than eggs Benedict. The full mouth feel of this tea is perfect for the creamy egg yolk and hollandaise.”
The recipe at the link here includes a number of substitutions for bacon if pork isn’t your thing. It also has some great tips for easily making the Hollandaise sauce and instructions on how to poach an egg.
Recipe: How to Make Eggs Benedict
Pairing #2 – Avocado on Toast with Chili and Honey
“For the same reason English breakfast works well with eggs Benedict, it will work beautifully with this healthier breakfast choice,” says Shabnam. “The creamy avocado, sweet honey and spicy chili will all hold up to this classic full bodied black tea.”
- 2 slices multigrain bread, toasted
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) honey
- Chili pepper flakes to taste
- Slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop the flesh out
- Divide the flesh between two pieces of toast
- Using a fork, mash the avocado to spread it and create a creamy layer
- Drizzle honey over top
- Sprinkle with chili peppers
Now it’s your turn
This is where you come in. Brew up some English breakfast tea and taste alongside one or both of the pairings above. You can make the recipe we’ve included below or you can enjoy this at your favourite breakfast spot. (I haven’t yet mastered poaching eggs so I still order out whenever I’m in the mood for some eggs Benny!)
Describe how the tea tastes alone and how it pairs with the recipe. Take some notes of your pairing and/or a photograph to share on Instagram or in our Facebook group. (See here for details on how.)
You can complete the pairing alone or share the experience with another tea lover in your life — either in person or do it virtually via a video chat — and then share the experience with us. We’ll share some of your pairing photos and tasting notes in an upcoming blog post.
About the Expert
The pairing was selected by Shabnam Weber. Shabnam has spent the last twenty years in the tea business as an entrepreneur. As owner of a specialty tea company, a tea school and a Director on the Board of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, she has a unique perspective on multiple angles of the tea business. She is the author of THAC’s well known and recognized Tea Sommelier® program and a big driver in both consumer and industry education. Shabnam values the diversity offered by all parts of the tea industry, both in Canada and beyond and focuses always on the bigger picture.