Cookies With Our Tea, Please: A Foodie’s Guide to Indulgent Tea Rituals

Warning: continuing to read this blog may bring on insatiable cravings for snacks and a kettle full of tea.  

Tea Time Rituals

Hands down this has been the most fun we had while researching a blog about tea for our readers. Tea remains our first love, however, delectable snacks that go with our favourite brew is a close second. We easily consume between two to four cups of tea a day (it’s all for research, you see) and at different times, we munch a snack with our cuppa based on our mood and what’s available at our in-house cafe, the neighborhood joints, or inside a colleague’s tiffin box. It’s the case with many chai lovers, whether at home, in an office, or at the roadside tapri: tea times are a treat and an opportunity to catch up with colleagues, family, or just with oneself. We enjoy taking a pause from the hustle and bustle of the day to tune into news, gossip, banter with friends, or getting the lowdown on office politics at the canteen while savouring a hot cup of tea.

 Tea Time Snacks

If you grew up in India drinking milky tea every morning - like 80% of our country - and some more cups of kadak chai, sulaimani or masala chai through the day, then chances are you would have also enjoyed a plate of samosa, onion pakora, potato or mirchi bhajiya, vada, plain Marie biscuit or Parle G with each cup of chai. Tea time isn’t complete without these crunchy, savoury, and sometimes sweet, treats on the side. Who remembers their bun maska slathered with butter while sipping sweet milky tea at an Irani cafe? And how about devouring into piping hot mirchi vadas and kela bhajiyas (green chilli and banana fritters for the GenZ reader) served on a newspaper plate while balancing a glass of ‘cutting’ in your other hand? The monsoons coupled with being at home during the lockdown make us reminisce about these hot and delicious tea time treats.

High Tea Ritual

The English, of course, get credit for starting a revolution in tea time snack rituals with their high tea or afternoon tea. Afternoon tea ritual was introduced in the 1840s by a duchess of Bedford and soon caught the fancy of society ladies and noblewomen. A typical high tea set would feature teas from India or Sri Lanka to be served with dainty cucumber sandwiches, cakes, pastries, clotted cream, and preserves. This tradition has evolved to now include some of the most delectable desserts whipped up, including scones (topped with jam and cream), macarons, tarts, sliders, puff pastry, devilled eggs, pies, and a side of strawberries. There are etiquette rules to follow with your dress code, placement of the knife and fork, and how to break off the crumpet or scone. We are simply glad we get to enjoy our hot pakoras and khatta meetha poha with tea, thank you.

Here are 8 of our favourite tea and snack pairing

Enjoy these tea-and-snack pairings during elevenses - the mid-morning tea ritual - or during afternoon tea aka evening chai.  

  1. Medu Vada or Batata Vada with Masala Chai

This organic masala chai from Karma Kettle is a flavourful explosion of spices and flowers that will transport you to the bustling streets of Benares. What could be better than a crunchy, doughy medu vada or masaledar batata vada to go with this bold black tea? Try the Benares organic black tea blend.

  1. French Fries With Sulaimani Chai

This organic Malabar green tea from Karma Kettle is an unusual melange of spicy, sweet, sharp, and citrusy notes courtesy the cardamom, star anise, spearmint, and lemon peel. Feel your taste buds come alive when you pair our Sulaimani Chai with crisp and spicy french fries. Try the Sulaimani organic green tea blend.

  1. Masala Corn with Paan Chai

Sweet, minty, sharp, and delectable, this black tea blend features a cornucopia of ingredients such as paan leaves, fennel, licorice, betel nut, rose petals, and elaichi. An aromatic brew to go perfectly with your buttered masala corn on the cob. Rainy day indulgence, anyone? Try the Kolkata Series Paan Cha

  1. Chicken Momos With Matcha Tea 

True gourmands would agree that chicken and orange are a match made in culinary heaven. Our Matcha Mandarin Orange tea is crafted using authentic stone ground green tea powder imported from Japan and blended with sweet and tangy mandarin orange. Steamed chicken momos will go perfectly well with this energizing brew. Try the Matcha Mandrain Orange.

  1. Oats Energy Bar With Double Happiness Green Tea 

A double dose of health delivered in a cup full of vitality and your evening snack bar. This green tea is a theatrical joy waiting to come alive in hot water. A low caffeine blend with jasmine, amaranth, and chrysanthemum handcrafted and imported from China. Bite into your oats energy bar and take a sip of this delicate amber-hued floral brew for a blissful tea time treat. Try the Double Happiness Flowering Green Tea.

  1. Donut With Paris Oolong Tea

We have a special place in our heart for this smooth, silky oolong tea blend that’s infused with rose buds and petals. You would think the sweet notes would cancel out the decadent sugary high from the donut? Not at all. Paris is such a subtle blend that it allows the donut to be the star of the evening tea ritual and still make its presence felt with a lingering aftertaste of rose. Try the Paris Rose Oolong Tea.

  1. Macaron With Birdsong White Tea

This tea and snack pairing is French indulgence at its best available right here at home! The sweet meringue-based confection made with almond and sugar is a crunchy, scrumptious piece of heaven that melts in your mouth. Combine this with Birdsong, our exquisite silver tips white tea that’s blended with two decadent flowers, lavender and cockscomb, for a floral and sweet finish to your evening tea ritual. Try Birdsong White Tea With Lavender.

  1. Cup Cakes With Big Ben Earl Grey Tea

Bite-sized pieces of delight is how we describe cupcakes and we are particularly preferential towards the subtle vanilla flavoured ones that provide just the right amount of sweet and comfort. For a perfect foil, take a sip of our Big Ben black tea, a classic Earl Grey brew blended with rose petals and citrusy bergamot. A balance of flavours and aromas is a winning combination. Try the Big Ben Earl Grey Tea.

Do you have a particular evening tea and snack ritual that you absolutely love? Then add the photo to your Instagram Story and tag us @karmakettleteas along with this #teatimetreat. 

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