Tea to the table

Now that you have mastered the terminology of tea tasting, it is time to pair your tea with some food.

It’s been a while now that we as a family are enjoying an exciting new eating experience: we discovered tea, specifically rooibos tea is delicious when enjoyed at the table with your food. It’s no longer only good for having just for breakfast or late afternoon tea with something sweet, but to enjoy with your main meals too.

We call it tea to the table – a journey of tea and food tasting and pairing where a variety of the Carmién tea blends are served in cute teapots, each on its own burner on the table, standing side to side with the food and wine. You sip small cups of the perfectly brewed teas, experimenting with what works best with what type of food.

The different tea blends not only revealed a new world of flavours when combining it with a mouthful of food and a sip of wine but also serve as a palate cleanser, specifically when you have a variety of wines. It also helps for better digestion of food and is hydrating and not dehydrating as wine and coffee tend to be.


  • Make your favourite tea blend or a variety (2—3 different ones are ideal) in glass pots and keep it warm at the table on a burner over a tea light.
  • Leave the tea to cool to at most 60°C. Served at this temperature it brings out best the flavour of both the tea and the food.
  • Pour the tea into small glasses or cups and serve black and unsweetened with the food.
  • Take a bite of food, then a sip of tea, then a sip of wine and discover how the flavours come to light.
  • Experimenting is key.


There are no rules, but a few guidelines can make your tasting experience an unforgettable experience.


  • The same principle used for pairing wine and food applies: flavours can be COMPLEMENTARY or CONTRASTING.
  • If the tea COMPLEMENTS the food they will have the same full-flavour intensity, e.g. the sweetness of vanilla with the sweetness of the cake.
  • CONTRASTING flavours could be when for example serving SWEET with SAVOURY eg the sweetness of a berry rooibos tea with the grassy, spicy flavour of a pulled leg of lamb.


These are only suggestions!

DELIGHT (rooibos, honeybush, hoodia & buchu) – meat like fatty lamb, casseroles or bredies or vegetables
FOCUS (rooibos & chai spices) – match with almost any food, but specifically spicy food eg curries, Moroccan dishes, cakes and sweet treats
RESTORE (rooibos, lemongrass & ginger) – Oriental flavours, curries, fish, green vegetables and salads
RESCUE (rooibos & buchu) – fatty meats specifically lamb, pork neck, meat casseroles with dried fruit, offal
BLACKCURRANT ROOIBOS – the fruitiness in the tea pairs well with creamy desserts eg ice cream, panna cotta, cakes as well as a contrasting flavour with meat like lamb, pork or chicken
EARL GREY ROOIBOS & VANILLA ROOIBOS – the smooth almost neutral taste of both teas will match well with almost any kind of food, specifically sweet stuff. A safe choice to start your tea pairing experience with.

Also, see the pairing sheet of the exiting Carmién Tea and chocolate tasting experience as well as the pairing sheet of the unique De Tol Tasting Experience where Carmién Tea and Piekenierskloof wines are paired with various food nibbles.

All these experiences are available at The De Tol Deli on the N7, near Citrusdal. For further info, visit the Carmién website and book through the De Tol website.

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