What is the Mid-autumn festival?
The Mid-autumn festival, or Mooncake Festival, is one of the most prominent celebrations in the Chinese calendar. You may have heard many stories and legends revolving around this festival. The most popular one says that an archer named Hou Yi would visit his wife, the Moon Goddess, on the 15th every month. This causes a full moon, and this day is thus celebrated. It is a tradition to enjoy mooncakes, named after Moon Goddess, every Mid-autumn festival with loved ones under the bright full moon. This year, the Mid-autumn festival falls on 1st October.
Introduction to Mooncakes
Mooncakes are said to be a type of cake made by the Moon Goddess in ancient days. They are meant to be offerings to the moon and are popularly consumed during Mid-autumn festival. Round and complete, this sophisticated pastry symbolises a complete family’s reunion and brings them love and prosperity. Mooncakes have a pastry skin, and are filled with sweet and very dense filling of various flavours. Because of their strong taste, they are usually eaten in small wedges and accompanied with tea.
Mooncakes and Tea – A Match Made in Heaven?
Another Mid-autumn festival essential is loose tea leaves. Mooncakes have a heavy and sweet flavour, which can be balanced out perfectly by tea. At the same time, tea also helps to digest the mooncake and reduce greasiness. Hence, mooncake and tea come hand in hand to bring families maximum enjoyment as they celebrate this festival.
Types of Mooncake and Tea Pairings
Lotus flavoured mooncake and Oolong Tea
If you have a sweet tooth, lotus seed paste mooncake is the one for you. This fan favourite is known to be very luxurious, and the paste feels silky smooth in your mouth. However, due to how strong mooncakes are, this flavour may come off and greasy and slightly cloying after several wedges. The toasty notes of semi-fermented oolong tea will lighten your palate, and balance the flavours out elegantly. This is perfect for drinking with lotus flavoured mooncakes!
Mooncakes with yolk and Pu’Er Tea
Yolks in mooncakes have a beautiful meaning – it represents the full moon on the night of Mid-autumn festival. The yolks are salted duck egg yolks, and they give an extra flavour to mooncakes, adding to its richness. Although delicious, this pastry is packed with high fat and sugar content and is also high in cholesterol. That being said, your health may not be left in its best condition with yolk mooncakes, let alone double yolk mooncakes. On the other hand, pu’er tea aids in reducing cholesterol, breaking down fat content and promoting blood circulation. Additionally, it decreases the internal heat effect which yolks tend to leave in your body. This combination has a wonderful balance, and thus allows you to appreciate the mooncake and the oolong tea individually.
Five-kernel mooncake and Black Tea
Like its name suggests, the five-kernel mooncake contains five different kinds of nuts. The type and combination of nuts varies, but some common ones include peanuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Combined with the thick, sticky and sweet filling of maltose syrup, this flavour definitely has a lot going on! Such an intense mooncake needs a heavier type of tea to balance it out. Black tea is generally stronger than other teas, making it a suitable choice to be paired with the five-kernel mooncake.
Bean paste mooncake and Jasmine Green Tea
Bean paste mooncakes include fillings like rose bean paste and red bean paste. These mooncakes are sweet and can be rather heavy on the palate. Jasmine green tea is a good choice to pair with bean paste mooncakes because they speed up glucose metabolism, which prevents glucose from staying in your body for too long. This will reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sweetness of the bean paste. If the mooncake includes nuts, jasmine green tea will also lift the nutty flavours, making your experience more robust.
We hope that this has prepared you for your Mid-autumn festival shopping! Our mooncake and tea pairings will surely give you and your loved ones an enjoyable time reuniting under the bright full moon. We wish you a joyous Mid-autumn festival!