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Celebrating International Tea Day on 21 May, Emirates and their esteemed tea partner of three decades- Dilmah, share expert insights into the art of food and tea pairing onboard, in Emirates Lounges across the world, and at home.

Tea pairing is a sensory experience that explores the dynamic between the aromas and flavours found in both tea varieties and food. A well-matched tea can balance and even accentuate the culinary flavours of a dish or can be used to create an interesting contrast on the palate. Emirates serves a selection of 12 gourmet tea blends, brewing more than 33 million cups of tea onboard each year and offering plenty of opportunities to experiment with tea and food pairing.

Emirates invites customers to elevate their inflight experience by pairing a delicious tea with their meals or try a tempting Emirates & Dilmah recipe at home, served with a complementary tea or tea-infused cocktail to impress guests.

Dilmah’s Breakfast Tea is a single region Ceylon tea, grown at 4000-feet above sea level. Its flavour profile is bright, brisk and full bodied with a rich, natural taste. It pairs ideally with cheese and egg dishes, like Emirates inflight breakfasts’ of scrambled eggs with chicken chipolatas, beans and crushed chive potatoes in First Class, or kale and spinach frittatas with roasted potato wedges, spinach and portobello mushroom in Business Class. The charcuterie plate of grilled chicken, air-dried beef, cheddar, gouda and feta cheese and crudités also works well with the Dilmah Ceylon Black Tea served in Premium Economy Class, or the fluffy cheese omelette with grilled chicken sausage, hash brown and sautéed mushrooms in Economy Class.

Natural Green Tea from Dilmah is a gently steamed green tea with a mild astringency and sweet finish, which lends itself as the perfect companion to green salads or seafood. Dishes to try onboard that pair well include the poached lobster tail and masala prawns served with kachumber and coriander chilli dressing in First Class, pan-seared salmon trout with mashed sweet potatoes, sautéed kai-lan, and beurre blanc with roasted macadamia nuts in Business Class, or the antipasti salad with asparagus and olives, lettuce, parmesan, and pine nuts in a balsamic glaze in Premium Economy and Economy Class. First and Business Class customers can also sample Dilmah’s Moroccan Mint Green Tea which works well with the complimentary First Class caviar, citrus and raspberry tarts, or the Emirates regional favourite dessert – sticky date pudding.

Dilmah’s Pure Chamomile Flowers is a caffeine-free tea, with an uplifting aroma reminiscent of apples and a delicate flavour that pairs ideally with apple pie, roast turkey and chicken dishes, and nuts. This tea works well with Emirates dishes such as vegan zucchini tart in First Class and chicken kebab in saffron sauce and zereshk rice in Business Class.

Earl Grey Tea by Dilmah is a rich and full-bodied Ceylon single origin tea, enhanced with the flavour of bergamot. It is finely scented with a pronounced character and complex floral, marzipan and sweet spice aromas and makes a perfect pair with green curries, samosas, curry puffs, spicy meat and dark chocolate. Emirates customers can choose dishes like anda masala in First Class, a spiced egg curry served with beetroot patties and sautéed potatoes with cumin, or peshawari kebab in Business Class – minced lamb patties served with spiced scrambled eggs and chickpeas in a tangy gravy, finishing off with another match of chocolate mango tart layered with dark chocolate ganache.

Emirates Signature Tea by Dilmah, available onboard in First Class and First Class lounges, as well as in Emirates retail stores is a bespoke blend for Emirates with rose and almond aromas, balanced by spicy ginger and a sprinkling of marigold and safflower. This signature tea marries perfectly with savoury dishes that feature nuts or leafy vegetables, or desserts with chocolate and caramel. First Class customers will enjoy the Emirates Signature Tea paired with decadent desserts and complimentary artisan chocolates from the world’s best chocolatiers.

Emirates Cabin Crew are also introduced to tea and food pairing, to offer the best recommendations to customers through their specialised Dilmah school of tea training, where they also discover the sustainable origins of Dilmah tea, sample the unique flavours, learn how to brew the perfect cup, and further enhance flavour with an array of accoutrements- from fresh mint, to honey and lemon.

For more than three decades, Emirates has chosen to partner with passionate, family-owned Dilmah Tea, the Sri Lankan tea company launched in 1985 and first producer-owned ethical tea brand globally whereby the tea is cultivated, handpicked and packed at origin – perfectly preserving its natural goodness and ensuring an unrivalled position as one of the finest teas in the world.