With the onset of the rainy season, don’t you sometimes feel the need to just snuggle up somewhere with a nice, hot cup of tea?
Well, why not?
For centuries, tea has long been known to give comfort to its drinkers, with stimulating mental alertness, increasing resistance to disease, cleansing and reinvigorating skin, assisting in proper digestion and easing joint and muscle discomfort.
But did you know that there is a proper way to enjoy your cup of tea?
Together with my friends from #WeLoveToEatPH, I discovered that there’s more to tea than meets the eye at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s recent #DiscoverTea event held at the 26th Street Bistro in Bonifacio Global City.
One of these discoveries is the process of tea cupping, which involves using multiple senses to appreciate and evaluate tea.
With your sense of sight, visually examine the dry and unfurled tea leaves. Whole leaves with good color indicate tea of good quality.
With your sense of smell, take in the aroma of tea and try to distinguish the unique smell of each variant from the others.
With your sense of taste and touch, take in the flavor and mouthfeel of the brew as you slurp it using a stainless steel spoon.
Many things enter into the equation when it comes to enjoying a perfect cup of tea. Those that are stored in airtight containers and placed in a cool, dry and dark place will be able to keep their potency of flavor much longer. Those made of full and loose tea leaves would provide the finest taste, especially when steeped in freshly boiled water, and in the right proportion (8oz of hot water per 1 tsp of tea: or 12-16oz of hot water per tea bag).
Steeping time also plays an important role in producing your perfect cup. Steep it too briefly and you won’t maximize the tea’s flavor; steep it for too long and you scald the leaves, giving the tea a bitter taste.
Green teas require the shortest steeping time at 3 minutes, while black and oolong teas require a bit longer steeping time at 5 minutes. Herbal and fruit infusion teas require the longest at 7 minutes.
Also, be sure to pour the hot water over the tea, instead of dropping the tea bad into the hot water.
The #DiscoverTea event also served as the launch of CBTL’s new tea flavors which we enjoyed with some of the cafe’s pastry offerings.
Food-and-tea pairing is designed to enhance the flavor of the tea and the pastry by finding similar or complementary elements in both, as in the case of:
African Sunrise x Banana Chocolate Muffin. CBTL’s hand-crafted honeybush with a mild and sweet taste, and aromatic vanilla flavoring brought out the light sweetness of the cafe’s chocolate chip-laden classic banana muffin.
Genmaicha x Spicy Tuna Pandesal. The roasted flavor of from the Sencha tea and rice blend complemented the spicy tuna inside the hot pan de sal.
Apricot Ceylon x Blueberry Cheesecake. Definitely my favorite pairing, the light and fruity Ceylon tea is a great foil to the rich blueberry-topped cheesecake.
Pomegranate Blueberry x White Chocolate Berry Cheesecake. The bright and fresh yet exotic tea brought out the richness of the decadent blueberry-filled white chocolate cheesecake.
After our tea pairing experience, our team went on a new foodie adventure: blending our own tea! We mixed Black Ceylon tea leaves with dried mango bits, pieces of orange peel and rose petals. After steeping in hot water, the resulting drink is fragrant and light, with a slight citrusy flavor. Who knew we could be tea masters for a day, eh?
The #DiscoverTea event showed us that there are a million ways to enjoy a classic.
Thanks to Harvard of AlwaysHungry.ph for extending the invitation and to the folks of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for the awesome tea rediscovery experience!
This Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branch (26th Street Bistro) is located at Net Lima Building, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Other CBTL branches in Taguig may be found at:
- Ground Floor, Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Taguig
- B8 Bonifacio High Street, BGC
- 32nd Street corner 11th Avenue, Park Triangle, BGC
- Third Floor, BHS Central Square, BGC
- Third Floor, Uptown Place Mall, BGC
- Every Nation Building, 32nd Avenue corner University Parkway, BGC
- Ground Floor, BGC Stopover Pavilion, BGC
- Burgos Circle, BGC
- Fifth Floor, SM Aura Premier, BGC
- Shell Logcom, CP Garcia Avenue, Greater Taguig
- Ground Floor, Vista Mall, Greater Taguig
Disclosure: Together with fellow foodies, I attended a tea tasting and pairing event held at 26th Street Bistro. Food and drink mentioned here we served as part of the program and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.
Check out my other posts on The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf:
- Matcha Good Time at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, SM East Ortigas
- Matcha Treat at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Tomas Morato
- Tea break at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Crosswinds Tagaytay
- What you can do with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s 2019 Giving Journal
- Work and Hot Chocolate at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Venice Piazza, Taguig
- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf launches summer flavors with its coconut ice-blended drinks