There is always a New Tea Experience Awaiting
During a walk in The Rosemary House/Sweet Remembrance Tea Room garden, one can experience men in top hats, live music, fairy gardens, a giant tea cup, miniature cupcakes galore, a sundial, a fish pond inhabited by a tea enjoying frog as well as teapot tree. And this, my dear friends was just a mere sip of the marvelous tea experience available to those who attended the PA Tea Festival this past Friday and Saturday (September 28-29, 2018) in quaint downtown Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. The gardens behind The Rosemary House/Sweet Remembrance Tea Room are magical.
The beauty of a truly magical garden . . . Every corner holds a magical surprise!
I had the honor of steeping tea for those presenting workshops on tea pairings, cooking with tea, tea lattes, and various ways to enjoy tea outside the teacup. Being emerged in the world of tea usually brings one a mindful appreciation for peace; unless one is steeping three-four different types of tea for fifteen plus people within a limited time. Fortunately, tea people (in general) are very cooperative and willing to help whenever and wherever needed.
The workshop on brewing kombucha turned out to be very interesting. Although I pride myself on being somewhat knowledgeable on most aspects and uses of tea, kombucha was one that I had never experienced. Yes, definitely I was aware of its existence and consumption but it just never had interested me. First of all, I had not taken the time to learn what Kombucha is, how it is made, and what the enjoyment of Kombucha can do for ones wellness.
A sampling of the many steps in brewing kombucha.
Just in case you are a kombucha novice, as I am, basically . . .
To make kombucha, tea is brewed, sugar is added to the tea, and then a microbial community is added to the tea. This community is either a liquid culture, a rubbery disc usually called a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) or a combination of both is added. . . Yeasts living in the biofilm use the sugars in the tea to produce alcohol. This alcohol is then consumed by neighboring bacteria to produce acetic acid (vinegar), lactic acid and a variety of other organic acids. The resulting kombucha tea is an earthy, tart and slightly sweet (depending on the length of fermentation) beverage with hints of vinegar.
The above is in no way a complete description of kombucha or how to prepare the beverage for fermentation. I definitely recommend additional research and knowledge before attempting to brew your own kombucha.
Having participated in the PA Tea Festival 2018 and having been bit by the kombucha tea bug will be a “good news/bad news” scenario. The good news is that I am certain that after having enjoyed the kombucha beverage I will feel better . . . The sorta bad news is that I have a living SCOBY in the refrigerator. The later is reminiscent of science fair days with my kids. . . NEVER EAT ANYTHING IN THE FRIG WITHOUT ASKING WHAT IT IS!!!
The Tea And Hat Lady