A revolution is brewing as premium tea brand introduces tea and food pairing menus nationwide
Tea pairing trend matches unexpected fusions and flavours
• The UK has seen sales in speciality teas increase by £1.9m in the last year
• Our nation of tea enthusiasts drink 2.4% more tea this year compared to 2017
• Pairing tea with food is quickly becoming the latest food trend of 2018
Following a huge growth in sales of speciality teas (£1.9m – or 2.7% in the last 12 months) and an emerging passion for the perfectly brewed cup of tea, Pure Leaf, a new premium range of expertly crafted and sustainably sourced teas, is leading the tea revolution in the UK by launching a series of tea pairing menus with some of the nation’s most progressive restaurants.
The traditional cup of tea has always been at the heart of British culture, with Brits consuming an incredible 165 million cups every day. New research reveals the nation is becoming more adventurous when it comes to attitudes towards food and drink – in fact, those aged 25 to 34 years old are keen to seek out new flavours to try, embracing the provenance, craft and quality of what they consume. This new-found curiosity has seen the use of tea within the food world explode, and pairing tea with food is quickly becoming the latest trend on the food scene.
Our curiosity for food doesn’t stop there – two in five (40%) aged between 16 and 34 years old who drink tea or other hot drinks want to know more about how to pair tea with savoury food, up from a UK average of 28%. Because of this, foodies are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the huge array of taste notes that tea can offer and how it can be used as an alternative to wine.
As a response to the trend, Pure Leaf is introducing tea pairing dining to the UK through a series of limited edition tea pairing menus. Championed by one of the capital’s best Indian restaurants, Talli Joe, sustainable and vegetarian focused restaurant Food for Friends (Brighton), and the north’s hottest destination for British haute cuisine, Grafene (Manchester), the three innovative restaurants will offer unique dining experiences rooted in flavour.
Created exclusively for Pure Leaf in collaboration with the restaurants’ chefs and the premium tea brand’s Master Tea Blender, Joyce Muendo, the limited-edition menus will treat food lovers across the nation to ‘teatrical’ serving and allow them to try out exciting new flavour combinations, including:
• Talli Joe: Tea infused Indian desserts such as the Pure Leaf Black Tea with Vanilla-infused brioche millefeuille, perfectly paired with Pure Leaf’s long leaf teas
• Food for Friends: Vegetarian themed pairings including raw beetroot and nut cheese ravioli tasted with Pure Leaf Black Tea with Berries
• Grafene: Exquisitely paired tasting and a la carte menu with lavish dishes including carrot, cardamom, charcoal and orange paired with Pure Leaf Chai
Joyce Muendo, Master Tea Blender at Pure Leaf, comments: “We pride ourselves in how much care we put into crafting our teas, so it’s great to see that as much passion is being put into how they’re served, paired and enjoyed as part of a new gourmet experience that offers a whole range of new taste sensations.
“As a huge foodie myself, I’ve loved working with the three head chefs at our partner restaurants to develop the perfect pairings that truly showcase how tea can create new and exciting dining experiences, and I’m really looking forward to food lovers across the UK trying them out for themselves.”
Sharon Hall, Chief Executive of the UK Tea and Infusions Association, said: “As a nation, we continue to be driven by new foodie experiences, and paired with our increasing passion for the fascinating and versatile flavours tea provides, we predict there will be a huge emergence of tea and food pairings ove