Hosting a Tea Tasting

From: Pamela E D.
Sent on: Sunday, February 19, 2012 10:53 PM

Hola, Steepsters!

We haven't had a tasting meetup in a while, and I'm eager to serve you some tasting flights in the Chinese gongfu style. I have a collection of top-notch teas (some of which I've personally imported direct from China) to share with you ... particularly fine blacks and oolongs, which tend to be the most popular. We could do a separate tasting at another date for greens, yellows and whites ... and even a flight of yan cha, dan cong, and puerh at yet a third occasion. And then there's Darjeelings ... I can present a half-dozen of them at one sitting for your comparison. Or how about six different Yunnan blacks? Yes, there is that much to experience, and more. 

However ... I've given up trying to fit a dining table into my efficiency apartment, and I need help in order to serve tea elsewhere. So ... I'm seeking a member to host the meetup and a second member to assist with setup. Volunteers will be entitled to copious samples from my extensive collection of loose teas (and 5-gal bucket of teabags). Come over and browse in person, or check out my Steepster cupboard here online:

I'll bring all the gongfu tasting stuff (which even has its own specialized tiny cups). All the host needs to provide is table, chairs, and electric outlet. I can serve 6-7 members (not counting myself) at a dining table ( 2' X 6'). OR 4-5 members besides me at a 2' X 4' table. I'll have a tasting log sheet for each attendee, with tea info and a place to jot their notes. Gongfu entails small pots and precise measurements. The maximum is eight gongfu tasters, unless I can grow my arms longer. If there are extra attendees, they'll have to be content as onlookers and discussion participants. 

Food isn't served during gongfu session, but we can eat before and/or afterwards.  The actual tasting would take an hour segment of the meetup time.  If someone other than myself wants to offer Western-style tea or other beverages at the same event, that's fine. Plus,  I'll gladly leave any food or snacks entirely up to the host and other members.

To sum up, what I would do is pack up my gongfu teaware and deliver it, along with myself, to the venue. I use my own kettle and filtered water for consistent results in the tea.  I can do the tea service myself, as long as I have a helper. The helper would be able to fully participate in the tasting, etc. I just need help schlepping water bottles and loaded-up boxes, and a trip or two to the kitchen so I don't have to keep getting up and down. (I enjoy the steeping and pouring, as long as I'm not dizzy or short of breath.)

I'd sure like to do a tasting for the group ... and do another every couple of months if the group wants it. Please contact me if you have ideas on how to make this possible ... or to offer to host or help. Let's sip some gongfu tea together!

Dax, Organizer
San Antonio Tea & Herb Enthusiasts 

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