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We are happy to say that our first official tea tasting event was a great success! The tasting was conducted on Wednesday, November 6th of 2013, at the Beaver Falls Coffee and Tea Company in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

The room that the tasting was conducted in was literally packed with guests, some who had to stand while enjoying the entire presentation. There was a nice distribution of age groups, with guests ranging in age from late teens to mid sixties. We also had a nearly equal mix of both men and women, with a slight edge to men. There is a tea for every taste, regardless of age or gender. The guests at this tasting proved it!

Tea Lineup and Display Front

Tea Lineup and Display Front

The tasting began with an introduction by the founder, Kevin Craig. Kevin told the Hē Chá Tea story, then elaborated on his feelings in regard to the meaning of tea. In contrast to coffee, Kevin suggested that tea is meant to be slowly prepared, slowly infused, and slowly enjoyed. Tea is intended to help calm and sharpen the mind and balance the body, not to be chugged down while rushing to work or school.

Information on sourcing, production techniques, and basic characteristics of each of our teas was then provided to the guests. Kevin asked the guests what the most basic difference between black tea and green tea is (oxidation). When none of the guests spoke up, Kevin took a bite of an apple, and placed in on a plate while the teas were prepared and served. This was intended to give guests a hands on science lesson on the chemical process of oxidation. By the end of the tasting, the apple displayed very little oxidation, but enough to get the point across.

Earl Grey Canister & Display Plate

Earl Grey Canister & Display Plate

As the teas were served, the guests were asked what they smelled and tasted, and what their opinion of each tea was. We were very satisfied with the results. Each of our six teas had different people who expressed their preference for that specific taste, in some cases expressing that it was the best tasting tea of that blend that they had ever tasted. The overall feel of the room was that everyone enjoyed what they were served. All we can say for certain is that every cup was empty! Our purpose and goal with our initial six tea products was to provide options that will satisfy as many tastes and preferences as possible, and we are happy to report that this first tasting gave us a sense of success in that purpose.

Throughout the tasting, guests were encouraged to touch and play with the dry teas provided on a sample plate. Many of the guests were surprised and interested by the large leaves, fruits, and other herbs used in the blends. We think most of the guests quickly understood the difference between what was being served at this tasting, and what they would find in their tea bags at home.

Event Room with Guests and Founder, Kevin Craig, shown on left.

Event Room with Guests and Founder, Kevin Craig, shown on left.

After the teas had all been served, the infused leaves were put on a display plate to be observed by the guests. Again, most were surprised by the size of the leaves, especially of the Mount Ali Milk Oolong and the Jasmine Pearls. Some guests even ate a few of the pieces of fruit from the infused Taste of Paradise Fruit Tisane.

This tasting event was not only fun for the guests as well as the hosts, but it was very encouraging to the founders of our new brand of teas. With no dissenting opinions (quite the opposite, in fact), and smiles on the faces of every guest as they observed and participated in the event, there could be no better result from a first tasting. All we can say now is that we cannot wait to do more of these events.

We would like to thank the owners and employees of Beaver Falls Coffee and Tea Company for hosting this event. We would also like to thank all of the guests for attending and participating. We sincerely hope that you enjoyed your experience, and we welcome your opinions and suggestions on all of our tea products, as well as suggestions on how future tasting events may be improved. If you have any comments, please email Kevin Craig at kevin.craig@hechatea.com, or kevin@teajourneyman.com.