Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Discover Teas: Sparkling Tea Workshop

Tea what sparkles!
This past weekend, Discover Teas did another workshop showing that tea can be made in ways other than straight-up hot or iced. And even though my general consumption tends to be hot and straight out the French press, I'm always game for something new.

This time, Mai-Anh conducted an hour-long workshop on how to make sparkling teas -- that is, cold-brewed teas using sparkling water. While the method is fairly simple, there's a lot to be discussed concerning blends used, types of sparkling water used, and how to make sure it stays good and fizzy for as long as possible.

Mai-Anh demonstrates making sparkling tea in one of the steeping tumblers sold at the shop.
So why sparkling tea? Well, besides the fact that it's cold and really nice for this time of year when everything is hot and melty and terrible outside?

Sparkling tea is actually a good alternative to sodas. Many teas are sweet by themselves without adding sugar, and certain blends can be close matches for existing commercial drinks. It's a great way to cut sugar and calories without actually sacrificing flavour, and you can get pretty creative with them. And even if you're not looking to give up soda, it's a fun variant for party drinks and ice cream floats.

Some prepared earlier for us to sample.
The class was $15 per person, or two for $25, and included both the full session and a starter bag for us to go straight home and start experimenting ourselves. The bag had an info pack covering what was gone over in the class, a tea sample, and some Perrier. Right now I'm making a fizzy vanilla tea in my fridge. Looking forward to giving it a go when I get home.

Do it yourself!
Unlike the previous workshop, this one was held during shop hours -- meaning that afterwards, people had a chance to do a bit of shopping and expand their tea stock.

And there was a great turnout!
Incidentally, if the shop or teaware looks familiar to my Patreon supporters, that's likely because you remember my behind-the-scenes video filming with Mai-Anh! Some of the content from this workshop will be available to view on YouTube soon. For now, since the workshop is over, I'm opening up the video to everyone for viewing.

If you're in the Hampton Roads are, check in at Discover Teas for one of their classes. Tea appreciation classes are weekly at the Williamsburg location and monthly in Newport News, and they're looking to run more workshops like this one in future. And be sure to like their Facebook page to get the latest news on classes and workshops at both locations!