When you say, “let’s grab a brew,” you might be talking about beer … but maybe you’re referring to a cup of hot tea, instead. Certainly Kyle Stewart usually is. Stewart and his partner Phil Krampetz own TheCulturedCup.com, a Dallas-based company that for nearly 20 years has sold and supplied coffees, teas and more to restaurants and individuals.
But Stewart, who holds the designation “certified tea specialist,” says fine teas and craft beers are “a lot more similar than people think.” In fact, he’s teamed with James Tidwell, master sommelier at Dallas’ Four Seasons, to prove just that. (They presented their analysis at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas last year.)
“Both have similar color palettes and textures,” Stewart points out, and, notwithstanding their alcohol content, both have similar flavor profiles. “We describe them both as citrusy, floral, grassy, spicy,” Stewart says. Indeed, “fruit and spice beers naturally invite comparisons with similarly flavored teas.” And as with beer, proper storage and preparation are essential to preserve the aromas and flavors.
But what many people may not realize is, both can be paired well with food. (It’s not just wine anymore)
“We encourage [people] to move from ‘drinking’ to ‘tasting,’” Stewart says.
For more information on teas and coffees, visit TheCulturedCup.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 7, 2014.