The Most Authentic Sweet and Savory Treats for Tea Time

You cannot possibly enjoy tea without a snack. And shame on you if you do! 

Tea is never complete without a snack. And while biscuits and scones might be traditional for the English tea scene, people in other continents enjoy a wide variety of tasty treats that you’ve probably never heard of. 

In case you missed it, we recently explored the most popular tea treats enjoyed all around England, Scotland, and Ireland. Today, we are diving into some tea time snacks that span from all across Asia to Africa, and South America. 

What do people around the world enjoy eating with their tea? Let’s find out! 


You can’t go wrong with a traditional chai when it comes to any of these delectable tea time snacks. The milky sweetness of the chai mixed with herbs and spices of savory and sweet treats is a fantastic combination.


Samosas are deep-fried pastries that are filled with a variety of spiced ingredients like potatoes, peas, lentils, and occasionally meats. The flaky and crispy outer shell and savory flavors balance the sweetness of a typical teacup of chai, which is strong and sweet. Sometimes samosas are dipped in sweet, savory, or spicey sauces.


Pakora can be served with tea, as an appetizer, or as a casual street food item. This treat is an Indian-style fritter made by coating ingredients like vegetables and paneer with a spice-blended gram flour batter. Common ingredients include potatoes, onions, cauliflower, and even paneer — a type of Indian cottage cheese.

Khari Biscuits

Khari biscuits are light and airy crispy biscuits with a buttery flavor. The dough is rolled and folded many times to make flaky layers that are separated by butter or ghee. Khari biscuits are a delicious contrast in texture and sweet flavor compared to savory and heavier treats like samosas and pakora. 


In much of the world, black tea is the most popular kind of tea. But in China, green tea is the most widely consumed kind of tea. Seek out a floral jasmine pearl tea or another quality green tea that balances with the flavors of these tea time snacks.

Peanuts and Sunflower Seeds

Peanuts or sunflower seeds are common snacks to enjoy in a casual tea setting or even at tea houses across China. The savory and salty crunch of the nuts is a nice contrast that doesn’t compete with the delicate flavors of the tea. 

Seasonal Sweets and Candies

For tea ceremonies or more formal settings, sweets and candies are made to reflect the seasons. Stronger flavors and more robust textures are used in the fall and winter months. In the springtime and summer, cakes, cookies, and sweets are made with delicate textures, colors, and flavors. 

Tea Eggs

Tea eggs are a popular hard-boiled snack that’s enjoyed with tea across China. The hard-boiled eggs are cracked and simmered in soy sauce, tea leaves, and spices to give the eggs a savory umami flavor. The cracks also create a spiderweb-like design on the surface. 


Japan is known for its very popular ceremonial grade matcha tea. But they are also widely known for their sencha tea which has delicate floral notes. These tea time snacks are commonly paired with both green and matcha teas at Japanese tea ceremonies and casually in the home.


Wagashi are Japanese sweets and confections that are usually served during tea ceremonies or special occasions. They are meticulously crafted and made to compliment matcha tea and a lot of the time they reflect the current season with their flavor and color. 


Yokan is a type of wagashi that has the texture of a firm jelly. It comes in various colors and shapes. It’s made of azuki beans, sugar, and seaweed gelatin. It’s often served in thin slices alongside tea. 


Dorayaki is another kind of wagashi that’s made of two fluffy pancakes and a sweet filling. A typical filling is anko — or a sweet red bean paste made from azuki beans. The pancakes look a lot like American pancakes and are slightly sweet. Fillers can also include custard, chocolate, or even ice cream.


Maghreb tea is a combination of roasted gunpowder green tea mixed with sugar and spearmint and it’s served all over Morocco alongside delicious tea time snacks. This tea is traditionally served to guests in three stages with the first cup being the weakest and the third cup being the strongest steep.

Kaab el Ghazal 

Kaab el ghazal is known as gazelle horns or gazelle’s ears and is usually served as a sweet treat for special occasions and weddings. They are made from almond paste, flavored with orange blossom, and topped with powdered sugar. These pastries are shaped into crescent horns that look like gazelle horns.


Chebakia is made from dough flavored with decadent spices like sesame seeds, anise, and cinnamon. The dough is formed into a flower or rose-like shape before deep fried until golden brown. Chebakia is usually dipped in honey or syrup after it’s fried which gives it a beautiful balance of sweetness and spice. 


M’hanncha is also called snake cake and is enjoyed with tea all around Morocco. The tea time snack is made of many layers of dough — similar to phyllo dough — that’s wrapped around a filling made of almonds, sugar, and spices. The coiled snakelike appearance is where the name comes from and is a perfect balance of both sweet and nutty flavors that compliment Morocco’s signature maghreb tea. 

Middle East

Strong black tea blends are enjoyed across the Middle East and accompanied by both savory and sweet snacks. This tea is close to a breakfast blend and commonly flavored with cardamom or mint and milk. 


Baklava is a much-loved tea time snack that’s enjoyed across Middle Eastern countries. Many sheets of thin phyllo dough are brushed with butter and oil and layered with chopped nuts. After it’s baked, a syrup made of sugar water, honey, or rosewater is poured over the pastry. Its sticky rich flavor is incredibly sweet and the crunch of the delicate layers is incredible. 


Ma-amoul This tea time snack is made with a combination of flour, semolina, butter, and sometimes orange blossom or a hint of rose water. It has a delicate and crumbly texture and a sweet nut or date-filled center. 


Lokma is made of little bite-sized treats that are crispy on the outside and soft and airy on the inside. After they are fried, lokma is soaked in a fragrant sugar syrup that makes the dough sweet and sticky. It’s often infused with rose water or orange blossom. 


Strong black tea is a staple in Russia especially the smoky Russian caravan tea. Jam, syrup, and berries are sipped and eaten with the tea itself. A spoon of jam is placed on the tongue and as the tea hits it, the jam warms and melts to sweeten the tea. The tea itself is almost like a tea time snack, but Russians are also fond of tea treats when they take tea.


Pryaniki Is a spiced honey cake that is made in various sizes and shapes. It’s known for its aromatic blend of spices and its sweet comforting flavors. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and honey are mixed into the dough and shaped into round cakes, rectangles, or other shapes. Sometimes they are intricately decorated and filled with jam, condensed milk, or nuts.


Blini Are thin Russian pancakes that can be enjoyed with both sweet and savory flavors. Sweet blinis are served with sour cream, fruit preserves, honey, condensed milk, or even fresh berries with a dusting of powdered sugar. Savory blini is topped or filled with caviar, smoked salmon, sour cream, or other savory spreads. 


Chak-chak is small pieces of fried dough coated in a sticky syrup made of honey or sugar. Once the crispy golden pieces are fried, they are drenched in hot honey or sugar syrup which gives them a chewy interior. The outside is nice and crispy.

South America

Black tea is incredibly popular in South America, but so is an herbal tea called yerba mate. It’s made from the leaves of the holly plant and is enjoyed throughout the day alongside tea time snacks. This particular leaf only grows in certain parts of South America and has about as much caffeine as coffee.


Empanadas are enjoyed as a common snack in between meals and are perfect to pair with tea. They can be sweet or savory. These turnover pastries are filled with ground meats, cheese, vegetables, or even sweet fillings like apple or dulce de leche. 


Alfajores are made of two soft and crumbly biscuits that have a filling sandwiched between them. The dough might be flavored with citrus zest and the cookie sandwich filled with dulce de leche. The sandwich cookies can be rolled in powdered sugar or grated coconut or sometimes the cookie is even dipped in chocolate. 

Tapioca Crepes 

Tapioca crepes are also very popular, especially in places like Brazil. This pancake is made from tapioca flour and is usually filled with fruits, coconut, chocolate, or condensed milk. Savory options might include meats and cheeses.

Teas and Teaware to Pair With Your Tea Time Snacks

Which tea time snack from around the world would you love to try? No matter your preference for savory or sweet you want your tea to taste spectacular. 

Sourcing quality tea from a reputable supplier is a good first step. But, did you know your teaware can affect the flavor and quality of your tea

A lot of ceramic teaware and stone teaware are glazed with paints that can leach chemicals like lead and cadmium into your tea. Teabloom has created a collection of sustainable and healthy teaware so you can enjoy your tea with peace of mind. 

Explore the hand-crafted selection of Teabloom’s teaware collection today and instantly elevate your tea’s flavor and quality.