277 – On Tea Accompaniments: Triptych 49

Tea has always been a good accompaniment to many meals around the world in more ways than one. It can help in digestion when served hot or provide refreshment when served cold. It is prepared in a myriad of ways depending on the culture – served with ice, mixed with milk and sugar or boiled with spices and aromatics for a fragrant brew.

And who wouldn’t? Tea is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and catechins that reverse the negative effects of oxidative stress and the free radicals that cause it. These same antioxidants have been shown to prevent more serious ailments such as cancer in the long run.

I’ve had the chance to try out three meals with a tea-based beverage accompanying them, amid the ongoing pandemic. What I like about tea is that despite its origins in the East, other countries have adopted it – resulting in different takes on Camellia sinensis. So without further ado, here’s my triptych.

First is this Thai Shrimp Paste Fried Rice with Thai Milk Tea from MyThai Kitchen. The Thai milk tea’s sweetness neutralizes the strong flavor and spice of the rice dish. Thai food is known for its rather liberal use of chilies, which makes the milky cha yen a perfect accompaniment to most dishes from the Land of Smiles.

Next is the Nasi Lemak with Teh Tarik from The Roti Shop. The Malaysian version of milk tea is repeatedly poured from a certain height, resulting in a well-balanced drink. The practice similar to decanting mixes tea, milk, and sugar – giving the drink a lot of body. The milk tea cuts through the spicy sambal and rounds off the savory chicken, peanuts, and anchovies.

Lastly, here is the Beef Ribs Platter with House Iced Tea from Racks. This trademark platter from the Southern United States usually comes with sweet tea – although this one is a commercial version. It cuts the savory taste of the tender ribs and the lemon neutralizes their oiliness. I found it too sweet so I had to add some water to dilute it.

And that wraps up this triptych. How about you: Do you drink tea alongside your meals? Let’s talk about it in the comments section!

Until the next post, bon appetit and stay safe!


19 thoughts on “277 – On Tea Accompaniments: Triptych 49

  1. I drink tea in the early mornings, whenever I need something to fill and warm the stomach but am still too lazy to start preparing breakfast! XD

    It’s great that you got to dine out, too. I haven’t eaten in a restaurant, not even in a fastfood chain, since March 2020.

    • Interesting! That’s actually a good practice, in my opinion. 🙂 If I may ask, what kind of tea do you drink in the morning?

      I’m actually thankful that I manage to go far from my house nowadays! Since being on a WFH setup, I’ve been staying home — and we live in the upper tip of Metro Manila. It doesn’t help that most public transportation routes here have been suspended, so getting out has been a hassle.

      You can only do so much before cabin fever gets the best of you. 😦

      • I alternate between rosebud oolong, plain Assam black, and this TWG Red Christmas Tea na inarbor from my mom! 😁 The Christmas Tea is my favorite of the three; I just drink the others for the caffeine content.

      • Oh my, I suddenly missed TWG Tea! It’s been five years since I last visited its branch here in the Philippines – and four years after I paid the SG location a visit! 😦 Too bad the branch nearest me (Shangri-La Plaza Mall) is closed now. 😦

        Madami pang stock ng Lipton sa bahay, so I can’t refill the tea chest yet. Sayang, was planning to buy the English Breakfast Tea from Marks & Spencer. Di bale, when the opportunity arises! 😀

  2. It’s interesting how tea is consumed in different cultures and how it’s featured in various cuisines across the globe. I usually have hot Chinese tea with dimsum, as it’s meant to get rid of the greasiness after a meal. But I like Cha Yen and of course, teh tarik too.

    • I definitely agree! 🙂 I read somewhere that oolong is the best tea to pair with dim sum – as it also helps digest meats, too!

      Incidentally, I crave teh tarik — but unfortunately, only one boba tea establishment is a stone’s throw away. Nothing beats the real thing! 😀

  3. Ako lang ba? I actually think its a good thing na may kumakain na sa labas during this pandemic. Kawawa kasi ang mga restaurant owners, hirap na hirap na sila. Kailangan lang naman na maging responsible ang mga customer at sumunod sa health protocols.

    Anywayyyyy, my favorite tea is Cheesecake and Pearl Milk Tea sa Macao Imperial 🙂

    • Indeed! Not to mention na masisira ulo mo sa prolonged isolation, so you really need to get out of the house and explore the outside world. 🙂

      Kahit ako ngang introvert, hirap din sa lockdown — at kahit sino namang tao, magka-crack din kapag binartolina mo ng higit isang taon!

      Strict adherence lang talaga sa public health protocols ang sikreto! I mean, if Singapore and our other neighbors managed to keep their case counts within the 5-digit range – I’m definitely sure kaya naman yun dito.

      Now that you mentioned that, I might pay the place a visit sometime. 🙂 Tagal na rin ever since I checked out Macao Imperial, lagi lang maraming tao. 😦

  4. Hi! Triptych? What’s that? I read almost all of your posts’ title has that word triptych on them.
    I really love tea although I love water the most :D. Just water and that’s enough. I prefer room-temperatured water or warm water.
    However you’re right. Tea is fascinating, it is rich of antioxidants and fragrant. I loooooove lavender tea so bad. Lavender tea makes me sleep well at night. Deep sleep, peaceful and no dreams. I also love the sour rosella tea, it is good for the digestive system. So, yeah mostly I love flower tea which is pleasant in fragrance or in the taste. Since I have fresh butterfly pea flower in the yard, I can harvest them whenever I want freshly to make tea. However drinking Butterfly Pea flower tea is really tasteless and sometimes I get bored haha. Oh, yeah I don’t add sugar for any kind of my tea. I like drinking warm greentea too. And Teh Tarik is also nice. Is it exactly taste the same with Thai Tea?
    Sometimes I enjoy sweet iced tea but I dislike when iced tea gets too sweet ;).

    • Hello! To answer your question, a triptych pertains to an art piece with three panels (thus the “tri” in the word.) I use it to name my posts that usually feature three food items that share a common theme. 🙂

      I’ve tried some of the floral teas you mentioned: The roselle tea is reminiscent of cranberry (with a rather tart taste), but refreshing nonetheless! For the butterfly pea one, I usually add lemon to it — because it changes color from ocean blue to a deep midnight violet! (I observed this with lemon and other citrus fruits.)

      For teh tarik and cha yen, they don’t exactly taste the same. There is a pronounced difference when you have cha yen — in the sense that you can still taste the tea and the milk with every sip. Meanwhile, for teh tarik — the repeated pouring and decanting blends tea, milk, and sugar together for a full-bodied taste. It also creates a foam on top of the cup because air is introduced during the pouring process. 😀

  5. I love this: tea & platter pairings! and so very international as well!

    As I write, I am drinking a cup of builder’s tea with a splash of milk with my peanut butter & banana on toast …. one of my favourite brekkies!

    After trying various milk teas in Bangkok several years ago, I had to admit that thai tea is a little strong for me. Hong Kong or Taiwanese milk tea is more my speed.

    Gosh! I love teh tarik … haven’t had one in ages … we still don’t dine out. I guess we could do a takeaway, but I think it just wouldn’t be the same.

    And Southern ice tea! wow! yes! I remember it being super sweet! Even when I lived in Texas, I used to ask for my tea unsweetened.

    • Thank you for the compliment! 🙂 Incidentally, I also prefer my tea — English Breakfast most of the time — with a bit of milk too!

      I see. In all honesty, Hong Kong’s milk tea (silk stocking tea) is also commendable likewise. Sweet enough to neutralize the savory taste of dim sum, and strong enough to clean the palate of the oily and meaty taste.

      Hmm…methinks the next best thing to that is a good ol’ teh ping from the nearby hawker centre! Gotta support local businesses though 😀 (Although I have no idea if hawkers permit tapau for their drinks — if you have a reusable container, that is.)

      • All our hawkers are very good about using customer’s containers – I haven’t had any trouble at all with food or drink.

        Do you have any hawker-centre equivalents in Manila? Food courts? I visited MM decades ago so I’m sure things have changed a lot since.

      • There used to be one, though. If you’re familiar with Makansutra by KF Seetoh (the one at Gluttons Bay – a stone’s throw away from The Durian), there was a branch in one of the main shopping malls here. Unfortunately, it folded up due to low foot traffic. 😦

  6. Pingback: 309 – On Recapping 2021: The Year That Was (Part 1) | The Monching's Guide

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