The Type Of Green Tea You Should Pair With Tuna Sandwiches, According To An Expert

Just like you'd pair wine with cheese, you can also pair teas with different foods for a balanced flavor experience. We asked Tea expert Tony Gebely of Tea Epicure for the perfect pairing to round out a classic American lunch, a tuna salad sandwich. His answer? An earthy, bitter green tea. 

 "A nutty Chinese green tea, such as Long Jing, goes great with fish dishes," says Gebely. Long Jing, also known as Dragon Well, is a popular Chinese tea. It is notable for its vegetal smell and chestnut tasting notes. This medium caffeine tea is said to have a warming effect as you sip. It works for seafood, particularly a spruced-up tuna salad or tuna salad sandwich because it balances the salty, oceanic flavor typically associated with seafood. The tea is light enough to balance the heavier bread and fatty elements of the sandwich and bring a refreshing aspect to the meal. Green teas have astringency, which refers to the bitter or acidic aspect you get from some teas. You can almost think of it like adding lemon to your seafood.

Other ways to pair Long Jing tea

Long Jing tea is an excellent pairing for foods that have a milder flavor. Because of the vegetal aspect, you could easily pair this tea with a salad or a roasted vegetable dish — particularly a salad with some citrusy notes, like a charred citrus salad. You could even experiment with turning it into a salad dressing. Mix a splash of tea with oil and vinegar for an easy and unique dressing. Using the tea in this way really highlights the mellow earthy qualities of Long Jing.

When thinking of other fish dishes to complement Long Jing, you'll want to stay in the realm of milder seafood; think of fish like cod, tilapia, or grouper. These fish have an almost sweet, buttery taste that opposes the astringent notes in the tea. Another mild protein that works with it is chicken. Stick with chicken dishes that use simple ingredients and aren't too decadent for the best flavor pairings. Long Jing is also used as a palate cleanser. You can sip this tea between the courses of your meal or after eating to help remove flavor traces lingering behind.