Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tea & Chocolate

Last Saturday we held another favorite shop event: Tea and Chocolate Pairing.  What could be better than that?!
We tasted 6 different teas along side 6 scrumptious chocolates.  I had paired tea and chocolates which I thought would coordinate best, and from previous experience expected to find how each chocolate enhanced each tea.  We were delightfully surprised to find the tea enhanced the chocolate as much as the reverse! 
One of the pairings, an intense orange infused dark was mated with our orange blossom oolong.  The oolong is not exactly a flavored tea, but has subtle hints of orange from orange peel.  When we sipped and nipped these side by side--WOW!  The orange in the tea was so beautifully enhanced that we were all amazed.  And then, upon tasting the chocolate again, the orange flavors positively resonated with each other.  What an eye opener!
I'd experienced a similar reaction at the previous tasting where an intense dark was paired with a Keemun. I tasted the Keemun--yes, the familiar hint of ripe red grape with backrgound hints of cocao.  But after the chocolate, with my next sip of Keemun, it was as if a whole bunch of grapes burst in my mouth!  Simply put: scrumptious. 
If you have never realized what wonderful mates tea and chocolate can be, you simply must try this enlightening experience for yourself.  General rule of thumb: pair lighter chocolates with lighter teas, such as white chocolate with white tea, light milk chocolates with light greens, and darker chocolates with heavier black teas.  You are sure to be pleasantly surprised.
I have to admit, we were all sporting a bit of caffeine buzz after all that chocolate and tea, supporting the idea that it was an eye opening experience in more ways than one!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kimono Event with Japanese Sencha, and Fruit Sushi

Kimono Event with Kimono Expert Kerry Porter
October 3rd was a special day at the shop with our much anticipated kimono event guided by Kimono expert Kerry Porter.  She has studied Kimono and Japanese culture for many years, and shared with us lots of interesting details on both.  She showed off the many beautiful kimonos in her collection, most of which are made of high quality silks.  As gorgeous as the kimonos themselves, were the exquisite obis or the thick sash that ties elaborately at the waist of every kimono.  Guests also enjoyed 3 different Japanese teas: traditional Japanese Sencha, Genmaicha, aka Popcorn Tea because of the toasted rice blended in with sencha, which when it pops open looks like baby popcorns, and Kyoto Cherry Rose Sencha, and Fruit Sushi, aka Fruishi.
Photos below:  Some of our guests enjoying the fruishi and other dessert goodies served with their tea.  Next, Elaine with stunning Japanese fan.  Third photo, this was an opportunity for other ladies to show off their Kimonos.  Fourth photo, Karen modelling a lovely patterned green silk kimono with coordinating orange obi.