Wondering about tea pairings for afternoon tea? Look no further than my blog where my list of 42 delectable items from some corners of the globe is the perfect solution you need. 

I am a passionate Tea-blogger and also run my own cafe in Kolkata city. I will soon open my own brand to showcase my love for the beverage. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

Tea Pairings For Afternoon Tea- 42 Items That Will Invoke Every Foodie

In the bustling world of tea cafes, keeping your menu fresh and exciting is essential to draw in customers and keep them coming back for more. If you too are a tea cafe owner, you’re probably familiar with the constant challenge of adding new items to your menu while maintaining the essence of your establishment. If you find yourself in this delightful yet perplexing situation, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will explore 42 food combinations that are adored worldwide and are guaranteed to make your customers’ taste buds dance with joy.

Want To Know About Afternoon Tea Pairings That The Brits Enjoy?

Britain’s adoration for tea is an open secret. From the crack of dawn until the darkest hours of the night, they savor this comforting elixir. For the Brits, tea is not merely a morning pick-me-up; it’s a mid-day respite, a soothing afternoon companion, a comforting evening tradition, and even a late-night indulgence

Let’s discuss tea and the items that work best with this delightful beverage.

Earl-Grey Tea Is Quintensially British And The Food Served Is Another Fascinating Treat

No doubt, Earl Grey tea is a beloved and iconic British beverage that has sparked debates over whether it qualifies as a true tisane or herbal infusion. Through my blog, Is Ear Grey Tisane we’ll explore 13 points to help you decide if Earl Grey should be classified as a tisane or if it’s something else entirely.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

1. Egg Salad Will Add The Required Saltiness To The Tea

An egg salad is a versatile dish made with either hard-boiled eggs, which are chopped or mashed, or scrambled eggs. This delightful concoction can be used as a filling for sandwiches, enjoyed as a standalone dish, or used as a delectable topping for a green salad.

I suggest enhancing the salad’s flavor by incorporating spices, salt, mustard, and mayonnaise. Mayonnaise can be included to give the salad a creamy texture. Additionally, I recommend garnishing it with fresh parsley leaves for a delightful touch.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

2. Pair Belgian Waffles With Earl-Grey Tea

Belgian waffles are indeed known for their substantial thickness and generous size, making them a delightful canvas for a variety of toppings and accompaniments.

One popular way to enjoy Belgian waffles is to drizzle them with honey and top them with an array of seasonal fruits, along with a dollop of whipped cream. This combination creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.


Tea pairings for afternoon tea

3. Pair Pancakes With The Tea When A Light Snack Is What You Want

One remarkable characteristic of pancakes is their subtle sweetness, which makes them an ideal companion for a cup of tea.

The mild sweetness of pancakes perfectly balances the earthy and aromatic notes of tea, creating a harmonious and comforting combination that’s cherished by many. 

Pairing Assam tea with the right foods can enhance your tea-drinking experience, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. Here are some food pairings that can make your Assam tea moments more special:

What Makes Assam Black Tea The Preferred Variety As An Afternoon Tea?

Assam tea has a malty taste that resembles “Muscatel Wine” and this has earned it the title of Champagne Of Teas. Want to know what sets it apart from black tea? Read my blog about 31 budding facts that will set the bar of comparison between Assam tea v/s Black tea. 

Let us see what foods can be paired with the tea that will complement its taste.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

4. Sandwiches Are My Preferred Choice When Mini-Bites Of Goodness Is What I Seek

Sandwiches are a versatile food item that allows for customization in terms of ingredients, choice of bread, toppings, and more. This makes them a popular choice when you’re looking for a quick yet satisfying meal.

I recommend a coleslaw or a cheese sandwich with salt and black pepper powder. The mild heat from the spices will help balance the sweetness of the tea. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

5. Add Croissants On The List For A Flaky Item To Be Paired With The Tea

Croissants are flaky baked confectionery items that are best enjoyed with tea. Nowadays, they come in many flavors like strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate.

I suggest applying some butter and warming it in an oven for about 30 seconds. The melted butter will make them softer. Trust me snacking with the tea will be more pleasurable from now on as the flaky taste will bring about the required crunchiness against the smooth texture of the beverage. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

6. Pair Assam Tea With Corn

Maize, also known as corn is popular for its seeds that are roasted on heat or the kernels are taken out and eaten.

I suggest taking the kernels out and with very little oil mix in salt, pepper, and a dash of lemon juice for a powerful snack with the drink. 

Decaffeinated tea has indeed gained popularity in recent years as more people are looking for alternatives to traditional caffeinated beverages. Let us then see some food items that will justify the drink.

Herbal Tea And Their Amazing Food Pairings

Herbal tea is a decaffeinated beverage enjoyed without any milk or sugar. This delightful range of teas is derived from various parts of plants or flowers, each offering a unique and soothing flavor profile. Want to know how a tisane differs from tea? My blog on Tea vs. Tisane is all about the 31 comparable aspects of both teas.  Do give it a read. Let us now see some food items that work best with this variety of the drink.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

7. Scones Will Make A Great Pair With Any Variety Of Tisane

Scones are baked items and are light yet fluffy to eat. What makes them more befitting an item is their attribute of not being overly sweet.

I however would just dash it with melted butter for a salty texture that will balance the sweet taste of a tisane variety.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

8. Pair Lemon Meringue Pies With A Herbal Infusion

Lemon meringue pies are sweet and sour pastries filled with lemon curd.

The citrus from the lemon when combined with the smoothness of the meringue will want to make you pair it with your tea every time. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

9. Salads Will Strike The Perfect Flavor Balance When Paired With A Herbal Concoction

Salads can be a great source of energy, and when you incorporate a citrus or sour element, they become even more flavorful and enjoyable.

I recommend tossing oranges or berries. You can however add any citric fruit you prefer to add zest with the tea.

Let us cover another non-caffeinated tea variety and see what food items will add that oomph! factor to the tea.

Fruit Tea Is Another Variety That Can Be Found In An Afternoon Tea In The UK

Simply put fruit teas are made by using fresh fruits like oranges, strawberries, mangoes, apples, etc. These teas are caffeine-free and provide instant refreshment. Enjoy a cup during the summer to stay hydrated

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

10. Avocado Toast Will Strike The Flavor Balance Of The Tea

Avocado is a green-seeded fruit that is quite versatile. The versatility includes avocado paste and oil to name some usages.

The fruit has a nutty flavor and when combined with the tea adds a nutty texture that helps balance the sweet taste of the tea. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

11. Pair Hot Potato Wedges With Cold Fruit Tea

Potato wedges are unpeeled slices of potatoes that can be baked or fried. Now, when paired with a cold variety, it will tingle your taste buds.

Top potato wedges with cheese to further add an element of crunch to the smooth beverage.  

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

12. Cookies Are Another Considerable Pairing With The Tea

Cookies are baked goodies that can be made with a number of ingredients. No matter the flavor they make for an amazing tea-time snack.

I prefer blueberry as the tart from the fruit will strike a balance if the drink is sweet. 

The next section covers a tea variety that deals with the health and calorie-conscious section. Let us explore and learn.

Green Tea Is The Last But Not The Least Variety That Can Be Found In An Afternoon Tea Affair In The UK

Green tea is indeed a popular choice for those who are calorie-conscious or looking to manage their weight. Its unique flavor profile, featuring bitter and earthy notes, makes it a versatile beverage that can be paired with various food items. Here are some food pairings that complement green tea well:

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

13. Rice Cakes Will Make A Great Treat With Green Tea

Rice cakes are flat hard food made with puffed rice. These cakes are light and this attribute makes them a perfect food with pearl tea. Some flavors include buttered cakes, cheese, sweet chili, caramel, etc.

Cheese rice cake adds just the right amount of sweetness against the bitter taste of green tea.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

14. Appetizing Flans Can Taste Heavenly with Your Tea

Flans are baked food that can be sweet or savory. Fill them up with ham or bacon, fruits like strawberries or bananas, or any stuffing you would want to fill it with.

I suggest opting for the sweet version that will add some sweetness to the spicy and bland tea.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

15. Consider Creme Brulee For A Sweet & Custard Flavor With Green Tea

Creme brulee is a sweet dish that has a custard base and a burnt sugar top.

You can also try passionfruit or strawberry creme brulee. The combination will lend a sweet and tart taste to the spicy and bland tea. 

Want To Know How Americans Take Their Afternoon Tea?

Americans prefer calling afternoon tea as high tea for they believe this sounds more regal and happening. Let us take a closer look at how America got its stint at afternoon tea. We all know that the tea plant was first discovered in China as a medicinal plant. As trade routes started developing it opened new ways for the crop to grow. This is how tea became a part of the lives of Americans. Afternoon tea is observed from 1 PM to 4 PM. 

So, what varieties of beverages can I expect at an afternoon tea in America?

Iced-Tea Is The Preferred Drink That Forms An Important Afternoon Tea Beverage

The greatest gift from America to the world is iced tea. Yes, the drink was discovered in this country as early as 1904 during World Trade Fair in St.Louis. Now, another theory claims that the drink was mentioned in cookbooks way before the time. It might also intrigue you that the drink is very easy to make and offers high levels of customization.

Let us see some accompaniments that works well with the tea.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

16. Pasta With Tangy Sauces Will Balance The Sweet Taste Of The Tea

Pasta is a much-loved Italian food that’s available in a variety of shapes. They can be boiled or baked.

I recommend a bowl of hot pasta with tangy sauces like white & red sauce that will add some spiciness and balance the sweet flavor of the tea. Further seasoning your pasta with a sprinkle of oregano and chili flakes will make your taste buds go wow!

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

17. Cheese Makes A DelightFul Pair With Iced Tea

Cheese is a versatile and beloved food that pairs wonderfully with various beverages, including tea. Choosing the right tea to complement your cheese can enhance the overall tasting experience. To find out about the correct pairings, read my blog Do Cheese and tea go together where my 37 amazeballs brews and their cheese pairings promise an interesting read.

The saltiness in the cheese will balance the sweet or citric flavor of the tea. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

18. Pair Iced Tea With Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are deep-fried items that people love to eat all the time. The nugget makes a great accompaniment with rice, as a snack, with burgers, noodles, etc.

I suggest hot nuggets with the tea. The contrast of the hot food against the cold tea is sure to tingle your taste buds. 

Let’s move to the next variety of tea and see some food items that goes well.

Black Tea Is Another Inseparable Variety

Black tea is by far and large the most oxidized variety of tea, which gives it its characteristic robust flavor and dark color. Whether you should enjoy it with milk, sugar, or any other pairings is a matter of personal preference.

However, we will see some food items that pair exceptionally well with the elixir and enhance the taste at the same time. So, let’s go exploring.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

19. Pair Black Tea With Chocolate Cake

Cakes are sweet baked confectionery that comes in a variety of flavors and toppings.

I recommend a chocolate cake as the sweetness from the cake will tone down the bitter taste of the tea. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

20. Mashed Potatoes Will Add Some Creaminess To The Tea

Mashed potatoes are a form of potatoes that have been boiled and made into a semi-liquid consistency by stirring it with milk, salt, butter, and added spices.

The spices help by not only balancing the sweetness but, also uplifting the bitter taste of the tea. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

21. Enjoy Popcorn With Your Tea

Popcorn is made by popping corn kernels and it is a popular item with people of all ages. As a child, I loved to see the way fresh popcorn was made in a movie hall, and the popping sound only adding to the charm.

I suggest sprinkling caramel sauce. This will add some sweetness that will make black tea enjoyable by toning its bitter taste. 

The next segment that deserves a mention is the alcoholic section and which is dedicated to tea lovers who love just a hint of alcohol to their tea.

Tea- Infused With Alcohol & Their Erstwhile Accompaniments

Tea is a highly customizable drink and its pairing with alcohol is no surprise. Some classic examples of this variety include but are not limited to Long Island Iced Tea,(LIIT) Toddy, etc. Let us see what items we can pair with the drink. Want to know some amazing brews? Read my blog on alcohol and iced tea pairings to find out 37 drinkable options. Let us now see what items can be paired with the tea.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

22. Onions Rings Are A Perfect Treat With The Tea

Onion rings are deep-fried snack items. Their round shape has earned them the name. Onion rings are traditionally served with ketchup.

I recommend a sour cream cheese dip with rock salt sprinkled on top right before eating. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

23. Eclairs Make A Delectable Treat When Combined With The Tea

Eclairs are oblong pastries that aren’t too sweet. This makes it a preferred choice to be paired with the drink.

Eclairs are served cold and I would love to pair one with my drink so I am able to balance the sugar level. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

24. Fruits Works Best With The Tea

Fruits are juicy powerhouses of goodness and are the perfect accompaniment with tea. They can be eaten raw(depending on the fruit), sliced, grilled, or toasted too.

I would pair my tea with fruits that are known to be zesty. Want to know some varieties? Read my blog do fruits and tea go together to find out some fruity options. 

The next section is close to home as it is where I have my roots and have grown up eating the dishes with my tea. Yes, you guessed it! It id indeed snack items that we Indians love with our tea. Let us see what they are. Ready?

What Accompaniments Are Served At Afternoon Tea In India

Being an Indian blogger I am very excited to share a part of my culture with my esteemed readers. India is known as the Largest Tea Society of the World and rightly so. For many Indians tea is a one-stop cure for all ailments. Want to know why tea is a much-loved beverage in the Indian continent? Read my blog about 27 practical reasons to love tea. Having said this, let us consider some varieties and the food that it can be paired with.

Indian Spiced Milk Tea and the Items It Should Be Paired

Indian masala chai or Indian spiced tea is made by using black or green tea leaves to which sugar, milk, and common spices like cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom are added to make it an amazing drink. Let us find out some delectable food items that are a treat for sore buds.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

25. Hot Dogs As Accompaniments With Milk Tea

Hot dogs are savory food items that are available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Being a savory item they work great when paired with the tea as the excess sweetness is cut down. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

26. Pair The Tea With Brie Cheese

Brie cheese is an unripened, soft cheese traditionally made from cow’s milk. It has a mild buttery and creamy taste; making it an idle choice to be used in sandwiches, as pizza toppings, with fruits, etc amongst many other usages. Also, if you are looking for some erstwhile tea that you can pair with the cheese, do read my blog about What tea goes with Brie cheese and be guided through 13 Ace Of Base Varieties

I would add the rind for some earthy texture against the sweet taste of the tea. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

27. Vegetable Fritters Is Another Food Item To Pair With Milk Tea

Vegetable fritters are deep-fried snacks that are made by mashing potatoes along with vegetables. This is then seasoned with spices and salt.

These deep-fried tidbits when eaten with the tea will make your taste buds jingle with the differentiating flavor. 

Ever thought of chocolate tea and its pairings? Let us explore this in the next section.

Chocolate Tea Is Another Desired Variety

Chocolate tea according to me is the best way to enjoy milk and delectable chocolate. I make my version by mixing hot or cold milk with melted chocolate and giving it a good stir. You can also use chocolate syrups though cocoa powder works the best. Let us see the items that should be considered pairing with the tea.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

28. Hot & Spicy Spring Rolls With Chocolate Tea Will Balance The Taste Of The Beverage

As the name suggests Spring rolls are food items that are filled with stuffings like meat, vegetables, cheese, or any stuffings that you would want to incorporate and then rolled before they are deep-fried.

Chocolate tea is a sweet tea and hence, the spiciness will balance the sweet taste of the drink so you can relish it further. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

29. Try Dumplings With Chocolate Tea

Dumplings are cute little doughy pockets stuffed with various fillings like meat, corn, vegetables, and cheese.

Steamed or pan-fried(shallow fry) they taste great either way. I recommend a spicy sauce to help you balance the sweet flavor of the tea. 

When talking about tea, Japan cannot be ruled out and my next section celebrates Japanese tea with their finger licking food items.

Drink Tea Like A Japanese With The Right Tea & Food Pairing

The Japanese enjoy their afternoon or mid-day tea at 3 PM. Now, they are very conscious about the food they eat, and light snacks will be found on their menu. The culture is deeply rooted and follows the teachings of Zen Buddhists. This is an appealing way to welcome guests. Let us see some tea varieties that are served along with their food pairings.

Genmaicha Tea & The Food That Compliments The Tea

Genmaicha or Japanese brown rice green tea consists of green tea that is mixed with roasted brown rice. The tea is known for its toasty and nutty flavor. So, what food will balance the flavor profile of the tea?

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

30. Tarts Will Add An Element Of Crunch When Paired With The Tea

A tart is a baked dish that consists of a pastry base and fillings are added to it. The fillings range from sweet to savory.

I suggest pairing it with a sweet element or sauce that will make the tea likable. You can also add some fruits for an even great taste. 

Matcha Tea & Its Food Pairing(s)

Matcha tea is a high-quality green tea powder that over the years has become very popular. Let us see what can be paired with the tea that will complement its taste.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

31. Mochis Will Add Just The Required Sweetness To The Tea

These traditional Japanese desserts aren’t overly sweet making them a perfect accompaniment.

The tea can be bitter especially if you’re drinking it for the first time. or developing a taste. Mochis offers just the right amount of sweetness against the bitter taste of the beverage. 


Sobacha or Buckwheat Tea & The Recommended Food

Sobacha is a herbal infusion that is made by roasting buckwheat kernels and caramelizes the sugar. This gives it a nutty sweet taste.  Let us see the food we can pair the infusion with.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

32. Fruits Are The Ideal Combination

In Japan whenever Sobacha is offered, you will find it being accompanied by fruits. I have already discussed why fruits make for a great pairing with tea.

I would suggest tarty fruits like blueberry, strawberries, melons, lemons, etc as these will help you add a citrusy element against the unique flavor profile of the infusion. 

Let us now travel further and check some more countries where afternoon tea is a thing.

What To Expect At An Afternoon Tea In Malaysia

Tea was brought to the country by Indian Muslim immigrants who worked in rubber plantations during World War 2. Let us see some popular blends and snacks that go well together.

Teh Tarik Or Pulled Tea & The Items That Are Best Paired With The Tea

Teh Tarik is the unofficial national drink Of Malaysia. This tea is known for its frothiness. This is a blend of Indian, Chinese & British influences. It offers a sweet and soothing taste and thus pairing it with the right food will elevate the drink.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

33. Nasi Lamak Makes The Perfect Accompaniment with The Tea

Literally talking the dish is Fatty Rice. It is prepared in coconut milk and Pandan leaves add a fragrant texture.

The coconut milk lends a nutty element to the dish and balances the sweet notes of the drink.

Jasmine Tea & The Food That Pairs Well With The Tea

Jasmine tea is a herbal infusion or tisane that is prepared by boiling the leaves or the petals in hot water. Expect a sweet and floral aroma that will instantly refresh you. Let us consider the snacks that we can pair with the drink for a flavor upliftment.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

34. Opt-In For Tea Time Crackers  With The Herbal Infusion

Crackers are crunchy baked food items that come in many shapes and sizes and are enjoyed with tea across the world.

The crackers will add the required crunch and sweetness when paired with the tea. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

35. Pineapples Make For A Great Combination With Jasmine Tea

Pineapple is a tropical plant that is quite sweet.

Jasmine tea has a bitter base with a floral aroma. Thus, I highly recommend pineapple as this will add some sweetness to the infusion. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

36. Sushis Make For A Great Pairing With Jasmine Tea

Originating in Japan sushis are small pieces of raw fish wrapped in rice and seaweed. You can have them with assorted dips.

Sushi is a gently seasoned food and when plunged in soy sauce adds a sweet and pungent taste. This perfectly balances the tea’s flavor.

If Denmark’s Afternoon Tea Culture Has You Fascinated This Surely Is A Promising Read

The natives prefer sipping on their tea between 12 afternoons till 4 PM. Now, if we talk about how Denmark got acquainted with the drink, let me tell you that it shares the same history as that of the UK when the then 7th Duchess Anna, felt hungry at 4 PM in the evening and preferred a light snack before dinner(serves at 8 PM)in her house. So, let us see the tea varieties and their pairings.

Earl-Grey Rules The List Of Tea Varieties In A Typical Afternoon Tea Menu

Earl-Grey is a type of black tea but owing to its way of production, this variety is less astringent. The tea is mixed with the oil of Bergamont Orange which makes the tea sweet and tart at the same time. It is also best had without milk and sugar. Let us see some food pairings that works well with the beverage.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

37. Pretzels Are Slowly Climbing The Ladder As A Pairing With Earl-Grey Tea

Pretzels are exquisite bread. What gives them a cut above other bread varieties is their unique knot shape.

Join jalapenos for an ideal flavor balance that will balance the sweet and tart flavor of the drink. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

38. Opt-In For Sweet Potato Chips With The Tea

Sweet potato chips are quite easy to make and are a perfect accompaniment with any tea. What makes it a treat with tea is its natural sweetness.

I highly recommend it with the beverage for that added sweetness that it will lend. Sprinkle some salt for myriad flavors. Tea pairings for afternoon tea

39. Cinnamon Rolls For A Spicy Element With Earl-Grey

Cinnamon rolls are baked confectionaries that have a woody, sweet and hot flavor.

I highly recommend them for their spicy attribute which is a welcoming change against the sweet & zesty taste of Earl-Grey. 

Chamomile Tea Is Another Preferred Variety That Can Be Expected At An Afternoon Tea

Chamomile is another herbal infusion and I love to sip on it during the afternoons for its soothing effects. The tea has a sweet taste and floral aroma. Let us see what food we can pair this infusion with.

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

40. Croquettes Are Another Pick-Me-Up Item With The Tisane

Croquettes are deep-fried snack items that can be made with any filling.

I love the corn croquettes that my mon makes with cheese and vegetables. I pair it with a sweet and spicy sauce. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

41. Pair Chamomile Tea With Sauteed Vegetables

Sauteed vegetables are prepared in a wok using very little oil with the aim to retain their green color.

I suggest garnishing it with some nuts and rock salt that will add some crunchiness and I can enjoy the tea more. 

Tea pairings for afternoon tea

42. Nachos Are Cute Little Snacks To Much With The Herbal Infusion

Nachos or tortilla chips are cute little triangles or circular snacks. They are eaten with salsa and cheese sauce.

I would avoid the cheese and be more inclined toward the salsa for the hotness or the zestiness. This will create a perfect flavor balance and I get to enjoy the tea more. 

This concludes my blog and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved writing it. I also hope I was able to give you an idea of what to pair with your afternoon tea. My blog also focuses on some lip-smacking food items that are often served with afternoon tea. If you think you need to ask me any questions or have something that you would like to share, do drop them in the comments section below and I will be happy to answer them. I keep publishing new blogs every week and to stay updated with newly published content, all you have to do is sign-up for my newsletter. Click on my website and go to the About tab. You will find Sign Up when you scroll to the bottom of the page. 

Happy Sipping!