Once again I was at a spot where I realized I needed to learn more about tea from a professional. I searched for tea classes in the Seattle area and found a tea store called Experience Tea. Fortunately, the owner, Roberta Fuhr, is a Certified Tea Specialist which means she's taken the STI (Specialty Tea Institute) Level 1 and 2 classes plus all five of the Level 3 classes. The Level 3 classes are 1 or 2 day classes which focus on one or two types of tea (black, green, oolong, puerh, white, plus a cupping class). She has owned her wonderful store for three years and her passion is educating people about tea.
I convinced Will to take the Tea Discovery class with me, and even though I had learned a lot of the material in the STI classes there were still new nuggets of information I learned in Roberta's class. I invited friends to take other classes at her store with me (British Tea Traditions & History, Comparison of Green Teas, and Tea and Food Pairings). It was a treat to attend the Green Tea class with my niece who had recently returned from living in South Korea and taste some Korean teas in the class with her.
The White Tea Blending class was another fun class at Experience Tea which I took with my mom when she visited. We started by tasting four teas and herbs which are common bases for blended teas. Then we picked our favorites and mixed in natural botanicals (coconut, cinnamon, orange peel, cocoa nibs, etc.). We tasted our mixes and then refined them. We left with a nice tin of each of our blends – I called my Chinese Chocolate Orange. I feel so fortunate to have a wonderful local place to continue my tea education and I highly recommend Roberta’s classes if you live in the Seattle area or plan to visit the Pacific Northwest.