Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tea and Chocolate - A Perfect Pairing

Tea and chocolate are two of my favorites things and combining them together for a pairing is so delicious.  I had the privilege a few weeks ago to present a mini Tea and Chocolate Pairing Workshop at America's Mart International Gift Show in their new Gourmet Kitchen with Beth Johnston from Teas Etc

 There were many celebrity chefs there and in fact, Alton Brown from the Food Network was our opening act as my husband likes to jokingly tell people.  It is true that Alton Brown was there just before us signing his books, but I am sure he didn't schedule himself to be our opening act. 

If you own a business, you might have attended the America's Mart in Atlanta before for their gift show either in January or July.  If don't own a business and not familiar it, it is three high-rise buildings packed full with everything a store owner needs to sell such as rugs, apparel, gifts, gourmet food, and books to name a few.  I am told that is is the largest gift mart in the country and is the place to purchase products for your store.  Every time I go, I am overwhelmed with the amount of things available and wonder how in the world businesses narrow down their list to buy products. 

I have used Teas Etc teas for several of my events and the quality is always top-notch.  This was the first time that Beth and I have presented something together and it was quite fun to have her professional input on each tea I chose for the pairing and her personal insight into each growing region. 

We paired three different types of chocolate with 2 teas each and asked the audience which pairing they preferred.  It was also fun to see some familiar faces in the audience of tea business owners that I knew!  For the dark chocolate pairing, I made up a batch of my Easy Chocolate Truffle Recipe from my first book, Tea with a Twist, and it was a hit. 

Following the event, Beth Johnston offered further tea and chocolate pairings at her showroom just a few steps away from the gourmet kitchen.  Beth was also gracious to invite me to her booth after our presentation for a book signing.

If you are a tea business and are interested in attending one of my Tea and Chocolate Pairing Seminars, I will presenting an extended workshop at the World Tea Expo in June.  It will be an extensive workshop on learning how to taste and pair and I will be using Teas Etc teas again for the event.   If you are interested in having me come speak at an event please contact me.  If you are interested in coming to one of my events, please be sure to check out my schedule as I am adding events all the time. 

Happy Sipping and Tasting!

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