Tuesday, April 9, 2013


At last, the food, the teas, and the people were all set.  The guests have arrived and so begins our tale.

Every year since its inception, the Tea Guild of Canada has featured a tea and food pairing event.  This is a great way to open the general public's minds to the endless possibilities of tea.  This year's theme was "Tea and Tales".  There are many legends and stories associated with tea.  The four course event took place in different rooms of Montgomery's Inn on Saturday, April 6th.

The guests were split into four groups and rotated to a new room or tasting station for each course.  One or two teas were paired with each course.  A new tale about tea was told at each sitting.

 The worksheet for guests to take notes and the menu
Tales about Tea History took place in the dining room.  Certified Tea Sommelier, Jim Nicholson and "Tea Snob", Karen Bergman told the guests of the tales of Afternoon Tea.

Some of the tales included:
"Economics: Rule Britannia & Capitalism" - Industrial Revolution, East India Company, the Clipper Ships and India tea trade.

"Politics: Liberalism & Monarchy" - the pomp and ceremony of Queen Victorian times, Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, Whigs vs Tories, Liberal Ideology, Gunboat Diplomacy and the Opium War.

"Social: Rising Middle Class" - Wealth, Emerging Middle Class, Temperance Movement and Embracing foreign cultures.
The first course of chicken consomme was paired with Dragonwell tea in all the rooms, except for this one.  Jim and Karen decided to serve a White butterfly (white tea) and Buckingham Palace (Earl Grey, Chinese Jasmine, Malty Assam, and Kenyan blend) tea for all four courses.
 Guest examining the leaves of the White Butterfly tea
In the ballroom, Certified Tea Sommelier, Carol Savage and Tea Sommelier student, Katherine Bellman told tales about Chinese and Japanese Tea Folklore.
They told of the legends of Sheng Nong, TieguanyinBodhidharma, Dragon Well, and origins of Chinese black tea.

Dao Hong Pao (Chinese Oolong tea) and Jing Ping Gong Fu Black tea (Chinese fully oxidized black tea) were paired with the sandwiches and savories.  
Carol and Katherine served Jin Jiang Mi Lan Xiang (honey orchid oolong) and Jin Guan Yin (an oolong from Anxi province) with the scones.  Golden needle and iced matcha passionfruit lemonade with the sweets.

I think this is the room I should have stayed in, the pairings sound amazing!
Using a Chinese Gaiwan to steep the teas
In the tavern bar, Tea Sommelier instructor, Bill Kamula, told the tale of Sir Thomas Lipton.
Certified Tea Sommelier, Debbie Chang assisted with preparing the Dragonwell to be served with the soup and a Ceylon tea was served with the rest of the courses.  How fitting since this is the room talking about Thomas Lipton!
Package of the world famous Lipton Yellow Label tea in the background
In the historical kitchen, Certified Tea Sommeliers, Linda Gordon and Linda Gaylard spoke about Form, Function and Style in Teaware.  
The sweets were paired with a tasty iced Matcha Passionfruit Lemonade, Darjeeling and Assam teas
All in all, Tea and Tales was a fun and informative event!  A blend of stories, people, delicious foods and fine teas.  Montgomery's Inn provided a beautiful and historical setting for all the offerings.

Stay tuned for more tea adventures and my preparations for all the tea in China...!

No comments:

Post a Comment