In het first post Cortilia introduced the TeaTalk Academy Taiwan as an institute that brings tea knowledge to the world. Read her new contribution to Stories About Tea about Tea Cocktails that can be experienced in real life, starting June 19 in Amsterdam. ” Any tea can make good cocktails, with or without alcohol.”
When did you start with tea-based cocktails?
Chester Liao, one of the TeaTalk academy instructors, started tea cocktail around 10 years ago for Universal Studios and the businesses surround it.
The young man made his living by selling natural, tea-based beverages at a farmer’s market outside Universal Studio in Los Angeles, California. To spread his product around more, he made friends with farmers by making ice cold tea beverages for them in the hot Californian summer. Many farmers would offer ways to bring his beverages to the next level. “Hey Chester, we love your drinks and we would like to contribute. How about mixing your drinks with our organic fruits for a whole new generation of recipes?” He’s never turned back since.
With the advent of Chester’s natural, organic tea cocktails, Universal Studios invited him to provide both beverage making services and staff training as well. For about ten years, Chester accumulated a trove of tea cocktail recipes with the support from the local farmers.
After Chester became a tea grower in Taiwan and an instructor at TeaTalk Academy, he systemized the knowledge and the selection of ingredients into a replicable curriculum for other young men like him in his early years, helping them to acquire skills and add creativity to tea cocktails. Bars and restaurants with a focus on healthy cuisine started collaborating with Chester to innovate new recipes to pair with their signature dishes. Tea Cocktails (sans alcohol) works well as a healthy alternative for dinners and party celebrations. Furthermore, in some cultures where alcohol is discouraged, tea cocktails can also replicate classic tastes like an Old fashioned or bloody marry
Why is tea a good ingredient to make cocktails with?
The incredible variety of tea flavor is defined by the categories of tea, oxidation level, degree of roasting, the hardness of water as well as the brewing time. With well thought, and sometimes playful explorations, alongside tea growing and manufacturing knowledge, teas can be brewed to cover the full spectrum of our taste buds. For example, a blending a couple of medium roasted oolong tea varieties produced by TeaTalk instructors allowed us to recreate the smoky flavor of Dutch gouda cheese, astounding and intriguing drinkers.
Being able to combine green tea and black, or yellow tea with oolong tea, a good tea sommelier would be able to stimulate the taste buds with the similar effect to spirits. Likewise, a professional bar tender could also add additional flavor to alcohol based cocktails with a clever choice of tea flavors. Blending, stirring and other techniques also enrich the texture of the drinks.
Any specific teas that make the best cocktails?
In our philosophy, any tea can make good cocktails, with or without alcohol. The key is to understand your portfolio knowledge of tea flavors to match with alcohol or other ingredients. However, cocktails require fine-tuned tastes and strong presentation. In our workshops, we bring in elements like various types of “sweet sources” like honey, brown sugar, rock sugar and so on, as well as milk/soy milk to help create high contrast, ombre effects in the coloring. A great drink brings happiness not just through the taste, but through its look as well.
What do you offer in your workshop?
We currently plan two workshops, one is for tea lovers and tea sommeliers (June 19th).
In the workshop, we offer knowledge on how to match different teas with various cocktails, techniques like stirring, blending, shaking, layering, texture manipulation, as well as the understanding the relationship between elements such as sugar, fat and protein for different cocktails. Since you get to actually make tea cocktails at the workshop, you will bring home the knowledge to make two tea cocktails for your own enjoyment at home or for your work place.
Te Oolong high tea set would be available in May. Come and enjoy a tea cocktail, great cake set and healthily roasted oolong tea, which contains much less caffeine through various level of roasting techniques. Oolong high tea set will launch at Sunny Side IJburg, Amsterdam (IJburglaan 1501, 1087 KM Amsterdam, Netherlands).
Read more from Cortilia:
Meet Cortilia from TeaTalk Academy Taiwan!