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FARMHOUSE COMTÉ WITH CHINESE BLUE-GREEN ROASTED TEA
Lydia Gautier

ingredients

Chinese blue-green (or oolong) roasted tea (e.g. Shui Xian)
Comté PDO cheese (Protected Designation of Origin)
Green apple, lemon and cinnamon pâtes de fruits (candied fruit jellies) by Francis Miot

method

Chinese roasted blue-green (or oolong) tea such as Shui Xian from the Wuyi Shan mountainous region in the Fujian Province of Southeast China.

Preparation
10 g tea per 50 cl water (90 °C), steeped for 5 min – perhaps prepared in a Gongfu cha tea ceremony* to concentrate the flavours, served like sake in little bowls.

Serving temperature
Hot tea to complement the heavy texture of the cheese.

Cheese
A hard cheese from the Franche-Comté region: Comté PDO. Choose a Comté from the mountains in the summer. Two types tasted by the chef make a perfect accompaniment for the tea: a special Comté from 2008 and a younger cheese from 2010.

Sweet accompaniment
Green apple, lemon and cinnamon jellies by Francis Miot for Marie Quatrehomme.

Textures and flavours
The heavier, grainer texture and pronounced dried fruit flavours of the 2008 Comté or the softer texture with buttery notes of the 2010 Comté merge with the woody flavour and mineral, dried fruit notes of the tea, while the fruit jellies bring a fresh, slightly acidic and gently spiced fruit flavour.


* This is a Chinese tea-making method used to concentrate and bring out the flavours of some high-quality oolong or pu’er teas. A mini teapot (about 15 cl) is used, with a high ratio of tea to water. The tea is steeped briefly (about 1 min) and the tealeaves are used several times until all their flavour has been spent.