Chinese Food / Tea / Tea Guides

Moon Cakes & Tea Pairing Guide

Previously, we’ve published a post introducing the different types of moon cakes. In this follow up post, we’ll offer a guide on pairing the best Chinese teas with individual moon cakes based on their fillings used.

Note: mooncakes are considered the ultimate food to enjoy during the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival.

Sweet Paste Only Mooncakes

Moon cake with really sweet bean, lotus seed, or jujube paste, should be paired with strong black teas such as a Keemun black tea or Lapsang Souchong (Zhengshan Xiao Zhong).

If sweet cakes are often too sweet for you, then go for a more grassy, floral or vegetal tea in order to balance out the sweetness. Great choices are for example a toasty, nutty green tea like Dragon Well, a floral fresh Silver Needle white tea, or a lightly oxidised oolong tea like Tie Guan Yin. Avoid green teas that are too light, such as Anji Bai.

The addition of salty egg yolk, meat, and nuts tends to make the cakes more savory, tarty and salty. Read further, to see what tea pairings work well with these kind of fillings.

Mooncakes with Meat

If the cake contains meat, then go for a more robust Da Hong Pao oolong tea. This more heavily oxidized oolong teas pairs really well with meaty cakes due to it’s mineral and roast character.

Mooncakes with Egg Yolk

egg yolk moon cake tea pairing
Egg Yolk Moon Cakes

If it’s a combination of a sweet paste with egg yolk, then go for a delicate black tea, such as Dian Hong or Jin Jun Mei. These subtle black teas have nice caramel and honey notes that really complement the egg yolk flavor.

Mooncakes that are too greasy for you

If you feel that some mooncakes are too greasy for you, go for teas that aid digestion. Ripe pu erh teas are generally the best option. If you love flowery notes, then add some Chrysanthemum flowers to the tea, to create a classic blend that’s serviced during Chinese dim sum lunches. Osmanthus flowers are another great alternative, especially if you like a tarty dessert aroma.

Pairing mooncake with pu erh tea pairing
Moon Cake with Pu Erh Tea

At last, aged white teas are also great for digestion. These are often available in pressed cakes like pu erh. Aged white tea have gradually transformed the more floral notes when they’re fresh into their aged flavours of spices, herbs, and ripe fruit.

Mooncake History

At last, while enjoying mooncakes with tea, don’t forget to enjoy this reading about the history of mooncakes and the story of Chang’e.

Have you enjoyed mooncakes with tea before? What are your experiences? Do you also have great pairing suggestions? Feel free to share them in the below comment section.

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