Girl Scout Cookie Tea Pairings from Gail Carriger

In an effort to bridge the great divide between the US and the UK, I present unto you my thoughts concerning pairing Girl Scout Cookies (the great annual American tradition that springs upon us in front of most chain grocery stores at this time of year) with the civilized long-standing UK tradition of afternoon tea.

Shall we begin?

Savannah Smiles

These crispy lemon cookies are dusted with powdered sugar, and thus are not ideal for dunking. (Although, frankly I’ve never been a proponent for dunking in general. You only end up with crummy tea.)

For pairing with the Savannah Smiles, I choose a tea with lots of bright notes to meld well to a citrus cookie: Earl Grey, or if you are feeling adventurous, Lady Grey. These teas will compliment the lemon, rather than trying to battle against it, and yet can can still be served with a little milk, to keep the vital humors under control. 


These peanut butter and chocolate cookies are quintessentially American and as such I bet you think they’d be hard to match to a tea. Not so. Frankly, they are one of the easiest.

The rich salty flavor of a peanut butter cookie can go up against an equally bold tea… or should I say chai? I believe that the spices of cardamon, ginger, pepper, and cinnamon in a good chai match delightfully with this cookie. My favorite chai is a local wholesale brand called Chai Baba Chai. If you ever get the chance, drink this tea. The cookie, under such circumstances would become a mere afterthought, Chai Baba is THAT good.


This is the girl scout version of a shortbread cookie, and frankly, there are better more exciting shortbreads out there. But I’m sticking to a theme here. Since the only real flavor of even the best shortbread is a sugary butter, one must stay relatively safe and tame with the tea that won’t battle such subtlety.

English Breakfast Tea

Shortbread of this nature requires a light touch, nothing too aggressive or brisk. Malty tones are fine, thus I would drink a gentle English Breakfast or even a warm and mellow Yorkshire Gold with the Trefoil.

Thin Mints

By far my favorite of the GS cookie offerings, this little mint chocolate cookie dipped in chocolate is best enjoyed alone right out of the freezer, and is darn near impossible to pair with a black tea. (And I don’t hold with other types of tea.)

If you are opposed to mixing your own black with fresh mint in the Egyptian fashion there is still one alternative: The dubious concept of unsweetened Thai Tea. Now now, give it a chance. Thai tea is born to meld with spicy, herbaceous, and occasionally minty food of Thailand (and surrounding countries) and as such, it’s one of the few that can balance a mint cookie. You simply must be brave enough to make it without sweetener. Otherwise the whole experience is too sugary.


In the pantheon of sweet girl scout cookies, Samoas come in as the most candy-bar of the lot. These caramel and toasted coconut cookies are drizzled with chocolate and pack a full on sugar rush in a tiny ring of power.

They need a robust tea to challenge them without washing away the more subtle notes of toasted coconut. I’d go with my favorite, the 1706 Strong. A bold tea that never gets too brash and never steers me wrong. And, if you will excuse me, I am going to go partake of the combination right now.

{Gail’s monthly read along for February is Terrier: The Legend of Beka Cooper Book 1 by Tamora Pierce.}


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  1. Margaret Pinard said:

    Witty as usual, and great recommendations. And I'm very intrigued by this novella you mention! Your first hybrid, you say? What is paranormal steampunk then?? 😉

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