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Pairing Two Friends: Tea and Music

Posted on 12/01/2023

Tea is to the body as music is to the soul.

-Earlene Grey

The song “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison may conjure a favorite memory, whether it's from the 1971 album version of the same name or from the live version on “The Night in San Francisco” album. Often, rifts of music evoke emotions of joy, maybe sorrow, but often contentment. I was enjoying a cup of tea on a recent Sunday morning, listening to some of my favorite tunes, when it occurred to me that pairing teas with music would be fun.

Imagine yourself in the indulgence of comfort paired with the emotion of a cozy memory.  What tea would you choose? What tea would you pair with my daughter’s favorite bedtime song, “She’s a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones? What about a specific tea for a symphony by John Williams, or a sonata by Beethoven, or the cool guitar licks of Jimi Hendrix?

Let’s have some fun, take it to the next taste level, and venture together down this path.

I suggest starting your day with our English Breakfast Blend Organic, TB01. This eye-opening breakfast blend pairs nicely with the classic song, “Good Day Sunshine,” by the Beatles. The combination will have you start your day feeling good.

For those who prefer our C.T.C Irish Breakfast Blend, TB12, the song “Beautiful Day” by the Irish band, U2, is another way to make you feel great starting any day.

Our custom Indian-spiced Traditional Masala Chai, TE30, with its warm and robust character, makes an excellent tea for special times with friends and family. One song that matches this tea is a favorite of both adults and children. Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” echoes one of my core values, loyalty. My favorite line of the song is, “You got troubles, I've got 'em too, there isn't anything I wouldn't do for you.”

Speaking of family, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my other daughter. I think of snowstorms and hot cocoa when I think of her. For her song, I chose Darius Rucker’s “It Won’t Be Like This for Long.” I’d pair this song with our Cacao Kisses Columbian Black Tea, TSA5. This Darius Rucker song speaks of how fast time goes by with your children. This tea's rich cocoa flavor reminds me of the hot cocoa we would share after a day of sledding or building a snowman.

Every individual has their own tea preferences. I drink all kinds of tea yet, typically, I prefer black teas. When I drink green tea, I enjoy our First Grade Gunpowder Green, ZG20. I find this superior-grade tea enjoyable with its light smoky profile. It also makes excellent iced tea. For fun, I would pair Kermit the Frog's song, “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” sung by the great baritone, Ray Charles. Listening to this song will have you drinking more green tea, too.

My favorite tea, and one of our most underrated teas, is Yunnan Black Snail, ZY07. This tea is a tightly rolled, bold-leaf black tea from Yunnan province, China. The flavors of cocoa and carob are the reason why this tea is my favorite. The natural song selection for this tea is “RESPECT” by the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin.

Our Lapsang Souchong Imperial, ZS80, is a delicious, very smoky tea. Even though many loyal customers drink this daily, this tea is not for everyone.  The song I chose for this tea is also not for everyone.  The song pairing is by Tom Waits, “On the Nickel.” Tom Waits’ deep, smoky voice is in perfect harmony with this tea’s flavor profile.

Music has always been a big part of movies, especially James Bond theme songs. Twenty-five artists have sung the theme songs since 1962. Examples of those artists include Tom Jones, Carly Simon, Tina Turner, Lulu, Duran Duran, and Adele. My favorite James Bond theme song is “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney & Wings. The opening 30 seconds of the music sets the tone for the movie. This time, the tea selection was easier than the song. The pairing is our Bond Street English Breakfast Blend, TB10.  The combination of Ceylon and Assam teas, with a splash of milk, makes it the perfect cup of tea in the traditional English style. This tea should be stirred and not shaken.

Every year, the highlight for tea connoisseurs is looking forward to drinking first flush Darjeeling tea. My favorite 2023 first flush Darjeeling is from Victoria’s Peak Estate, our TD223. This tea is well balanced with notes of pineapple and tropical fruit.  “Happy” by Pharrell Williams is the song selection for this tea because it is precisely how we feel when spring arrives and we receive our very first Darjeeling tea from the first flush season.

The first song I reference is the classic, “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison.  This easy-listening song is one that everyone enjoys. We also sell Tupelo Honey, HONEY3, a buttery smooth honey produced from the nectar of the southern tupelo tree flower, which you can enjoy with any of our teas. I suggest you enjoy some honey in your tea while listening to Van Morrison sing about his happiness.

My last tea pairing is personal and will seem a little cliché.  My wife doesn’t drink caffeine but enjoys our Ginger Root Superior Organic, BH15. She enjoys this tea both hot & iced. The song selection is easy for me: "Stand by Me” by Ben E. King, our wedding song.

I hope you had fun reading this article. And the next time you turn on some tunes and are having a cuppa, drop us a line to tell us what song you pair with your favorite tea. There are no wrong answers, only good stories, and great tea.

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