Thanksgiving Tea Pairing Guide

Thanksgiving dinner centers around warm flavors, nostalgic aromas, comforting textures and beloved traditions. Tea ticks all of these boxes, making it a natural addition to a traditional Thanksgiving menu. Hot tea is warming and comforting without being filling, which means you can sip to your heart’s delight while enjoying your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. 

Much like wine, tea offers a wide range of aromas and flavor profiles that are well suited to pairing with various foods. Teas are highly dependent on their terroir, and changes in topography, climate and post-harvest processing can dramatically alter the complexity, richness and astringency of the final cup.

When pairing tea with food—especially a heavy meal like Thanksgiving—it is important to select the right teas that will complement the flavors and textures of your dishes. Below, we have offered our suggestions for the best teas to sip before, during and after your meal.

Best Teas to Serve Before Your Thanksgiving Meal

For many families, the Thanksgiving festivities begin long before the meal itself. Whether you are watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, cheering on your favorite football team or whipping up tasty dishes in the kitchen, start your holiday on the right note with a cheery cuppa.

HiCAF® Cinnamon Toast Black Tea is an energizing and aromatic tea with an enhanced caffeine content—perfect for sipping early in the morning when you need a boost. If you prefer a naturally caffeine-free tea, Cinnamon Vanilla Red Tea is a flavorful and festive alternative. Cinnamon is believed to aid digestion*, which makes these teas an ideal choice on a holiday that centers around eating.

As the day continues, consider serving a pot of Sonoma Mulled Zin Hot Tea. This herbal holiday tea features Sonoma Zinfandel fine wine grape skins infused with the warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and orange zest.

Best Teas to Serve During Your Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving meals tend to be comprised of strong, rich flavors and creamy textures. When searching for a tea to pair with your feast, select one that will not be overpowered by the savory roast turkey with gravy, buttery mashed potatoes and tart cranberry sauce.

A strong, full-bodied black tea will pair beautifully with these traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Much like a heavy red wine, black teas are high in tannins and tend to have the boldest, most robust flavors of any tea varietal. This allows them to stand up against heavy textures and flavors without losing their own unique aromas. The mild caffeine content will also act as a buffer against the tryptophan in the turkey.

We recommend our Celebration Tea—which features premium Ceylon black tea leaves, full tea blossoms and white wine grapes from South Africa—or a smooth Darjeeling tea, which is often called “the Champagne of teas.” Both of these best-selling teas are worthy of a festive affair such as Thanksgiving.

Alternatively, you may prefer to serve an oolong tea with your meal. Aromatic and fruit-forward, this pleasant tea will pair wonderfully with roast turkey, green beans, sweet potatoes and other Thanksgiving dishes. Be sure to take a moment during the meal to express gratitude as you sip.

Best Teas for Serve After Your Thanksgiving Meal

While the turkey may be the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving table displays, dessert is often the true highlight. Instead of serving coffee or alcohol, try sipping a soothing cup of hot tea while you enjoy dessert.

The smoky, earthy flavor of pu-erh tea will beautifully complement a creamy slice of pumpkin pie. Alternatively, our dandelion tea features a hint of French vanilla—perfect for pairing with a nutty pecan pie or a sweet apple crumble. 

A probiotic tea is the ideal choice for sipping at the very end of your meal. Soothe your belly and give your digestive system a boost* as you wind down the evening and relax with your loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!


*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.