Pipe tobacco offers many complex flavours and aromas that surprisingly pair perfectly with tea! It is not a well-known pairing such as whiskey and cigars, but it is a great alternative to try.
Firstly, let’s summarize how tea is made. Tea is generally grown and harvested and then goes through the processes of withering, rolling, oxidising and firing. Some teas are made using oxidisation (the process of allowing oxygen to contact tea) whereas others are instead sun-dried or steamed. The different methods used have an impact on the tea flavour and therefore the type of pipe tobacco it is best paired with.
There are several types of tea that can be enjoyed with pipe smoking, including black tea, green tea and oolong tea. Read on to find out more about these pairings, and the types of pipe tobacco that will work best with them.
- Black Tea
This is a common type of tea in the Western world and includes English Breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea. Black tea is made using the oxidation process which creates a stronger flavour of tea.
Black Tea without milk pairs nicely with dark Virginia tobacco and with milk and sugar added to the tea, it pairs extremely well with English blends of tobacco.
Pairing: For Earl Grey tea, opt for tobacco that offers citrus notes.
- Green Tea
With Green tea, the process of oxidisation is not used which creates a complex flavour with herbal notes.
Pairing: It pairs well with bold Virginia tobacco which creates a smooth smoking experience that compliments the bold flavour and thin texture of green tea.
- White Tea
White tea is an unprocessed form of tea so it is basically raw tea that’s been plucked and withered. It has a sweet flavour and pale yellow colour when brewed. It is less common than other types of tea.
Pairing: White tea goes nicely with mild pipe tobacco such a Navy flake or a mild Oriental blend.
- Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is rolled and oxidised repeatedly to create a range of complex flavours. Try a cup and you’ll likely pick up floral notes, smokey flavours and even a creaminess. It can also present some bitter notes.
Pairing: Due to its complexity of flavours, Oolong tea pairs well with a matured and dusty Virginia tobacco. The two together make a rich and dark drinking and smoking experience.
- Rooibos and Pipe Tobacco
Rooibos tea originates from a different plant to other types of tea – the South African plant Aspalathus Linearis. It produces a red tea that is high in antioxidants but free from caffeine.
Pairing: It pairs particularly well with aromatic tobacco.
If you’d like to try one of the tea and pipe tobacco pairing combinations, Regal stocks a full range of pipe tobacco.