Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Food Pairings – Lotus Seed Mooncake w/ Shui Hsien Tea

The packaging of Chinese mooncake gets more surreal with each passing year as the business becomes more and more competitive and each brand competes to standout. The above is from the Shangri La Restaurant, a remaining pack from last month’s Mooncake Festival.

Chinese mooncake and tea have always been a classic pairing. However trying to settle on the best mooncake and tea combination will often trigger an endless discussion that can very well continue till the next Mooncake Festival. People’s opinion on the best mooncake and tea pairing varies greatly. It is often shaped by tradition, taste preference, childhood memories and perhaps because your significant other said so! The many new and innovative fillings in modern mooncakes and the vast array of teas available can make for a fun session with friends to try and experiment with new combinations.

On a personal level my favorite mooncake and tea pairing has always consistently been lotus seed mooncake with shui hsien tea. It is a combination that has brought me enjoyment since childhood. I find the classic smoke and dark floral aroma of shui hsien to complement the mild flavor of the lotus seed filling very well. Ensure that the tea is strong enough so that the brew does not get overpowered by the richness of the mooncake.

The key to brewing shui hsien is in drawing out the tea's fragrance. My brewing tip is to pack the teapot full of leaves and use boiling hot water together with short steeps. The resulting brew will capture the intensity of the aroma and allow shui hsien to truly shine.


  1. Lotus seed mooncakes really go very well with tea. 😋 I can't recall which teas we drank it with during my childhood, but nowadays, I love it with Dancong or Sheng. Thanks for a lovely post!

    1. Hello EmbersofAmber,

      I tend to enjoy the more aromatic teas more so you would definitely have my vote for the Dancong. Excellent choice!

      Best, VP