Very interesting pairing this afternoon – dipped into my stash of this tea to have with some juicy, tender grilled & salted watermelon!! The watermelon is so weird; all it’s made from is watermelon, salt, & the tiniest bit of olive oil but it’s just dripping in its own caramelized juices in a way that really feels like some kind of deep, smoky and almost maple flavoured marinade. It’s perhaps meaningless coming from someone who’s been a vegetarian for more than half their lifetime, but there’s a meaty quality to it on top of the watermelon notes that are still present. Also, salted watermelon is just the best and anyone not salting their watermelon is missing out.
I really like how those char, smoke and “maple” notes work with this heavily roasted oolong. They really exaggerate and bring out the mineral and woody notes of the tea, and all those rich grilled nut flavours. However, the sweetness from the watermelon also lifts caramelized raisin/plum notes from the mix of more savory/umami notes. Plus, credit where credit is due – the salt just makes everything so much more flavorful!! This is really blowing my mind right now!
(I really can’t get over how much that watermelon looks like cubes of bloody meat…)
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMwqAfg_e4s