The World of Tea
By Pam Knepper
Whether it’s a delicate green tea or a bolder black, a cup of tea is a complex thing. And with its recent surge in the United States, more people are drinking tea not only for its health benefits, but also for its distinct taste. In answer to its popularity, Bellevue Club member and tea expert Roberta Fuhr will offer a Tea Education Class focusing on what tea is, where it comes from and the different types of tea, as well as taking the time to have students taste and compare a variety of teas.
“As a student of the Specialty Tea Institute and a tea drinker for the past 20 years, I am very excited to have the opportunity to educate members of the Bellevue Club about tea,” said Roberta. “For 80 percent of Americans, their experience has been limited to consuming iced tea or steeping a bag of dried leaves in boiling water. But there is so much more to this complex beverage than meets the eye. It is my hope that this class enlightens people’s senses to the taste, variety and breadth of tea.”
As the world’s most widely consumed beverage, all tea comes from the tropical plant known as Camellia Senensis. Discovered in China around 2750 B.C. by Emperor Shen Nung, the tea plant was found to have a number of medicinal properties, as well as a pleasing flavor. Seen as a way to benefit his entire nation, Emperor Nung urged his people to cultivate the plant and, in time, became known as the legendary Father of Tea. Although the first tea was discovered in China, several other areas of the world have and continue to contribute to the overall tea harvest, including India, Japan, Sri Lanka and Taiwan.
“Aside from learning the history of tea, I believe most people are not familiar with the fact that there are actually several classes of tea,” said Roberta. “In my class, students will drink exceptional black, white, green and oolong tea and explore the differences in flavor, aroma, production methods and brewing skills of each. Much like exploring premium coffee, wine, beer or cheese, the learning curve for premium tea is infinitely pleasurable.”
Roberta said that as she has become more knowledgeable about tea, her curiosity to try many different types has peaked. It is her hope that this class will create the same kind of curiosity in her students. So, come, sit and sip for an evening and learn all there is to know about the world of tea. You might be surprised by what your taste buds teach you!
The Tea Education Class is Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person. For additional information or to sign up, contact Kaarin Keil at 425-688-3384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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