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In the world of fine wines, professional sommeliers will suggest food pairings to complement and enhance the flavor of both the wine you are drinking, and the dish you are eating. In the same way, tea can be paired with certain sweet confections that will wonderfully balance the astringent flavor of the tea, leaving you with a greater appreciation for the refined experience that only tea can offer.
Chocolate is the ideal pairing with the slight bitterness that comes with tea. If that's what holds you back from really enjoying tea, you should try these combinations, especially if you're a chocolate lover. If you want to take in the full flavor of your teas, drink them without sweeteners when pairing with chocolate.
1. Black Tea & Dark Chocolate
  Try this if you're in the mood for something bold. The robust body of black tea meets its match with the semi-sweet taste of dark chocolate; a truly adult taste combination.
2. Oolong Tea & Milk Chocolate
  The fragrant aroma of oolong tea is paired here with sweet milk chocolate. Oolong can range from flowery to earthy in taste, a favorable pairing with the light sweetness of milk chocolate.
3. Green Tea & White Chocolate
  This is an excellent combination of the astringent but full flavor of green tea, and the milky qualities of white chocolate. Both are full bodied yet fleeting to the palate, neither leaving any aftertaste to diminish the experience.
Talk about everybody's favorite pairings; melted butter and lobster is a classic. How about on a bed of buttered rice with a kick of cayenne pepper? Next time you have a reason to celebrate an occasion at home, you're going to need this easy recipe!
See this recipe
To help you in your Life With Tea, Zojirushi makes water boilers that will ensure that you're brewing your tea correctly for the best flavor. Tea leaves are delicate, and not meant to be scorched or made overly bitter from overheating. Zojirushi Water Boilers have precise temperature settings that keep the hot water at optimum temperatures for your tea; and dispensable at the touch of a button!
This Tea Guide shows you the temperatures required for the type of tea you might be drinking throughout your day. Get into a Life With Tea!
Eye openers to start your day. Brew SENCHA at 175°F, and ENGLISH BREAKFAST at 208°F.
Invite your friends to high tea. Delicate finger sandwiches require delicate teas. Brew DARJEELING at 208°F, GYOKURO GREEN TEA at 140°F. May we suggest MATCHA at 175°F or MILK TEA for an afternoon tea party?
After a flavorful meal, the earth tones of a cup of Oolong can be very refreshing and cleanse the palate. Brew OOLONG at 195°F for the best flavor. For a bedtime tea, relax with a non-caffeinated herbal tea like Camomile, Hibiscus or Rose Hips before retiring. HERBAL TEAS brew best at 208°F.
So are you ready to join the ranks of the thousands of tea aficionados around the world? If you are, why not enjoy your tea at the highest level, by brewing your tea at its optimum best with a temperature controlled Zojirushi Water Boiler?
Although tea purists will probably tell you that to really appreciate tea, you must brew it from loose tea leaves, there's nothing like the Tea Bag as a modern convenience. Even though tea has existed as a beverage since 2000 B.C. when it was discovered in China, the tea bag is a 20th Century invention. In 1904, when an enterprising merchant named Thomas Sullivan would ship his tea to customers wrapped in silk bags, he found that they were dipping the bags directly into boiling water to brew the tea. It didn't take him long to see the potential in the idea.
The silk bags later gave way to paper fiber, and pouch shapes gave way to rectangular packets. Thomas Lipton invented a four-sided, "flow through" tea bag with folds in it in 1952, and these days there are pyramid shaped, nylon bags that allow more water to come into contact with the leaves inside.
Modern tea bags are made through a process by which tea leaves are prepped before loading into the filter paper. They first have to be "withered" by exposing them to hot air. This oxidation reduces their moisture content and develops the flavor and aroma of the leaves. They are then crushed by rollers, dried and milled into smaller leaf particles.
During blending, up to 10 or 20 varieties of leaves might be mixed together to create the perfect taste that the tea company wants. This is also the stage when flavorings are added like orange peels, flowers, nutmeg, peppermint, etc.
The final mix is measured and loaded into the filter paper and sealed into bags; but before the bags go to market, they're of course tested by professional tasters for color, flavor, aroma, etc. In 2014, over 77% of the tea brewed in the U.S. was prepared using tea bags.*
*Source: Tea Association of the U.S.A.
Our new Panorama Window® Micom Water Boiler & Warmer uses advanced heating technology to get water directly to your desired temperature without reaching a boil first. This means a quicker heating process, better use of energy, and less steam.
Interchangeable melody or beep signal alerts completion of boiling process or to inform you that the timer has been set
Swivel base for serving convenience
Auto shut-off when there is not enough water
Automatic dispense-lock to prevent accidental dispensing
In-spout spill protection when tilted
In-lid spill protection when tipped over
Magnetic power cord
Displays actual water
temperature at all times
  One-touch electric dispensing system
  Panorama Window®
water level gauge
This mode heats the water directly to the selected keep warm temperature without reaching a boil. The water will reach the selected keep warm temperature quicker than regular mode. Other benefits include reduced steam and reduced energy use. This mode should be used when dechlorination is not necessary, such as when using bottled or purified water.
(At a room temperature of 73°F with the Inner Container filled to the Maximum Water Level Line.)
See Panorama Window® Micom Water Boiler & Warmer (CD-LFC30/40/50)
Next month we feature our Zojirushi Breadmaker and talk about the proper way to cook and serve Japanese udon and soba.