I just got back from my first DIY blend your own tea class at Workshop SF and it will most definitely not be the last. It’s amazing how fast time goes by when I am doing anything craft/DIY related. Chris, the tea specialist and teacher was just adorable and obviously has a crazy passion for tea. I love tea as well, but he is well trained and knows his stuff.
We started out learning about the history of tea and about all of the different kinds of tea there are. I learned that unless is has a base tea, like green, black, white, oolong, etc. then it is not technically a tea. The teas that just have herbs or flowers are usually called tea, but actually are mostly just hot water infusions. Some of the stories he had about the origin of tea reminded me of the stories I hear in yoga as to why we do the poses we do. One of the Buddhist myths about tea is that Dharma came to China and in order to serve the gods he planned to deny all rest and recreation to dedicate his body to the gods. One night, he fell asleep on accident and in order to give penance for this sin, he cut off his eyelids and threw them on the ground. Shortly after, shrubs grew where they had been on the ground, which later became known as tea. Dharma added hot water to the tea leaves, drank it, and felt that his soul was renewed. And the rest is history.
After learning the fun facts of tea, the excitement began. We each had a mixing bowl, a scoop, and special tea cups with strainers to test our creations. Being a chai lover, I went straight to make my own chai spicy blend. The first batch was ok but a little flavorless with just black tea, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorn. For my second attempt, I added orange peel, fennel, and coriander. This was better but the fennel gave it a weird taste. Ditched the fennel, added more orange and cinnamon, and it was just right. Next I tried a white tea with hibiscus and rose hips. It was ok, but not good enough. I played with a couple variations of it but it just wasn’t working. I settled on a spearmint tea with chocolate and coconut as my second tea and named it “Thin MinTea”. I giggled a little giggle at my cleverness as I made my label. Though the guy next to me named his “Sexy Biotch” and commented that she was definitely a “loose” tea. He won the name game. The class ended after 2 hours, though I wish we had a little more time to test teas. But, I am not opposed to getting some tea and spices and try this ‘lil fun event at home! Overall, I would highly recommend this class to anyone who likes tea because it’s fun, interactive, and you get some great homemade tea to take home 🙂
p.s. I am new to this whole blogging thing so of course, I forgot my camera. Pictures to come in the near future!