Cape Town’s Table Bay Hotel, Pastry Chef Anita Van Tonder, and Nigiro Tea Merchants have come together to introduce a tea and pastry pairing menu designed to indulge and awaken the senses. A new practice for High Tea, each flavor of tea is paired to compliment a dessert or pastry, making a very unique experience for guests. The flavorful loose leaf imported teas are opening doors to a new tea culture.
“I love experimenting with new flavors and ideas to express my creativity when creating novel desserts. The concept started when we hosted several international groups at The Table Bay Hotel. In order to differentiate ourselves we linked the Nigiro loose teas with dessert and pastry pairings,” says Anita. “Tea naturally complements food by rounding off its flavors.” Nigiro Tea Merchants introduced real loose leaf tea to South Africa in March 2009 with a mission to generate a culture of tea appreciation in the country.
The pairing menu includes four to six of the most unique Nigiro teas. Anita creates each duo by imagining which ingredients compliment each tea, every one having very distinctive flavors, smells and tastes. Many of the Nigiro teas have inspired her to create new desserts ideas for this menu. She says, “Often individual teas have very subtle flavors and so it’s important that the dessert or pastry doesn’t overpower the taste of the tea.” Private tea pairing sessions can also be organized for guests in conjunction with Mingwei Tsai, a tea connoisseur from Nigiro.