Earlier this year we were delighted to spend time with the expert tea tasters from Whittard, tasting their fine loose leaf teas and sharing some of our favourite bars. This pairing brings together a green tea from China and a dark chocolate from Vietnam.
For those looking for a more robust taste to their green tea, this famous variety from China’s Hunan Province might be just the ticket.
The elegant blue-grey leaf takes its colour from the silvery buds picked early in the spring, while the infusion itself produces rich, roasted notes and a vibrant nutty complexity. There’s even a floral sweetness to the finish, far from the bitter, tannic taste which you might associate with lesser green teas.
The name itself is a reference to the quality of the leaf: ‘Mao’ refers to the youthful, downy quality of the barely opened buds, while ‘Jian’ refers to the peaked tip of the young leaves, delicately picked and gently rolled by hand.
Ba Ria is a rich and fruity chocolate, made with beans from Ea Kar in Dak Lak province, Vietnam. This is a smooth textured and buttery dark with a bright, fresh flavour. Light green notes reminiscent of sweet peas give way to a menthol freshness and hints of pepper and spice on the finish. Of course, there are no added flavours, and the sweet vegetal notes in this chocolate come entirely from the south Vietnamese Trinitario cacao beans.
When tasted together, they transform the separate flavours in a most unexpected way. Whittard’s tea expert said “We’d always considered our Mao Jian as a typically ‘nutty’ fired green tea, but it transformed into something altogether more floral when set against Marou’s Vietnamese dark chocolate.”
INSIDE THE BOX
- Marou Dak Lak 70% dark chocolate bar
- Mao Jian fine tea