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Friday 2 July 2010

Sluttery Skill: Tea and Biscuit tasting

The cupcake is dead. Long live the biscuit!

Or, at least, let it live as long as we're too hot and sticky to contemplate eating anything so rich and covered in icing. Biscuits provide a good all-year-round sugar rush to complement your caffeine fix, and for those of us who've been dunking as long as we've been drinking, it's good to know that someone is finally taking seriously the art of tea and biscuit matching.

Fox's biscuits recently arranged a tasting masterclass at the Covent Garden Hotel (an excellent venue for taking afternoon afternoon tea), with tea expert Tim Clifton and their own biscuit connoisseur Simon Pope. Together, the two combined their expertise to match biscuits and tea for the perfect taste sensations.

I took part in the session, and was delighted to have the chance to pick up this new skill. I'm looking very serious in this picture above, as I treated the occasion with the gravity it deserves. Be warned though: just as wine-tasters who don't spit can end up extremely drunk, tea-tasters who swallow can quickly become horribly hyper!

Tim and Simon came up with some delicious combinations, which included the pairing of Viennese shortbread biscuits with freshly brewed Darjeeling tea (the 'champagne' of teas), lemon whipped creams with Earl Grey, and my personal weakness: caramel-filled biscuits with Keemum; a complex, smoky China tea that kept the caramel taste in the mouth long after the biscuit had been scoffed. I left happy, buzzing with caffeine and sugar, and keen to come up with some pairings of my own.

Now, over to you: which biscuits do you most enjoy dunking, and does it work better with a particular type of tea?


  1. It's serious stuff indeed! How about a lavender biscuit with Earl Grey? Both light and work together really well...

  2. Oh, this sounds fabulous - two of my favourite things. I am a real sucker for the old favourites; builders tea with a dark chocolate digestive to dunk.

    But I am open to the endless possibilities of biscuit/tea combinations and look forward to experimenting some more.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


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