Cupping at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Let’s start off with a little trivia I learned at the event: Tea is the 2nd most consumed beverage, next to water, world wide. And here I thought it was beer!

Moving on.

Cupping is the term used for what a tea taster does as he evaluates the tea. And at the Tea Appreciation Seminar, we got to sample some of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s house blends.

Tea! I think this is the African Sunrise
Trying out Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s bestsellers

The first tea that was served was the Genmaicha Tea, which is a blend of high-quality Sencha tea and partially toasted rice. I got a whiff of the aroma before I took a sip, and it did smell faintly of toasted rice. As I sipped the tea, I noticed how light the tea tasted, and how the flavor of the toasted rice gave it a wonderful finish.

Next to be served was the Fancy Formosa Dragon Oolong which is a medium bodied tea, with a subtle floral aroma and a flavored with a hint of peach. Now this is an instant favorite of mine, simply because it is peach-flavored. I love anything peach-flavored!

A light-bodied tea, the Apricot Ceylon was the third to be served. I liked this one as well because of its fruity flavor and aroma, which is think is a bit stronger than the Fancy Formosa Dragon Oolong. (Even though it is lighter.)

CBTL Tea Bag
CBTL Pyramid Tea Bag

If you want spice, then the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Chai is the tea for you. This full-bodied tea is a special blend of Black Tea, cinnamon, cloves and other spices. These give an exotic aroma and spicy taste to this flavorful tea.

Saving the best for last, our host introduced us to the latest addition to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s roster of house blends– the African Sunrise. This definitely takes the cake–or should i say “tea”?-! A Coffee Bean original blend, it has a very smooth body, complimented with a wonderful flavor and aroma. This is definitely the best tasting tea I had ever had! It has never been released anywhere in the world, and will be first sampled here in the Philippines this June.

Appreciating tea with David DeCandia

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf invited bloggers for a night with tea connoisseur and Master Tea Blender David DeCandia for a session on tea appreciation.

The Coffee Bean and Tea Lead

Unless you count iced tea, tea drinking hasn’t caught on the same way coffee did with the influx of coffee shops all over the Philippines. Tea, however, is starting to get its following. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Marketing Director Paolo del Rosario seized this opportunity to introduce Filipinos to the different range of flavors that tea has to offer.

Teaching bloggers how to properly slurp the tea, Mr. DeCandia proceeded to introduce five different teas for tasting: the Genmaicha Green, a toasty brew with a sweetness provided by rice; the Fancy Formosa Dragon Oolong with a subtle floral aroma and a hint of peach; the Apricot Ceylon, a light tea with the fruity flavor of apricot; the Chai, the full bodied spicy tea, which has long been the favorite of many tea drinkers, and; the African Sunrise, a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf exclusive, which will be available in the Philippine starting June 2008.

Some photos from the Tea Appreciation Seminar:

Spot the bloggers
Can you spot and identify the bloggers?

David DeCandia teaching bloggers how to slurp
David DeCandia teaching the finer points of slurping tea

Lining up the get the first taste of the Genmaicha Green

Hiking buddies AJ and Phoebe
AJ and Phoebe

Noemi and Ajay
Noemi and Ajay

Eric, Arpee and Khursten
Eric, Arpee and Khusten

With Fritz
Nina and Fritz

Khursten, Kaoko and their Pinkies
Khursten and Kaoko with their Pinkies

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