After haphazardly attending last year's NY Coffee and Tea Festival, this year at least I knew what to be excited for. In preparation, I went hungry and definitely decaffeinated.
First stop, the classroom for a lesson in entertaining with afternoon tea with expert Ellen Easton. To be honest, these breakout sessions last year were the gold mine for food samples and since this seminar was sponsored by Walker's shortbread, I was sold. I learned a couple of neat factoids in this session. Namely, did you know that when serving scones, you should put the cream on first and then the jam to best prevent everything from sliding off? Also, black tea is black because the leaves are oxidized! Ok, maybe not so exciting to everyone, but when the event volunteers brought out trays of desserts, I'm pretty sure the room was at full attention. We were each given a cute and colorful little petit fours, a Walker's shortbread cookie and an Almondina biscuit.
|Ellen Easton leading the seminar|
|Our plate of goodies!|
When the seminar ended, I decided it was time to find some caffeine! As I toured the show, I found Harney & Sons. I discovered this brand for myself last year at this show and fell in love. Unfortunately they weren't giving away samples to take home this time, but if I were you, I'd go out and try some of their Pomegranate Oolong.
Next I tried something a bit unusual. A bright green elixir, Matcha sort of reminded me at first of Naked Juice's Green Machine. I was told that it's made from ground up tea leaves, but it's strained so you don't get any chalky-ness or grit. I'm not sure I'd want to drink it all day, but it's refreshing and with such a verdigree, how could it not be healthy?
Other highlights included Turkish coffee from the Turkish Cultural Center, mini lemon meringue pies from Bite Size Pies, Peet's coffee courtesy of the Ing Direct Cafe and catching a performance from some of the cast of Coffee the Musical - yes it actually exists!
By far the most popular place to be was at the Aroma Cafe booth. The brand new cafe with outposts in Soho and the Upper West Side was one smart cookie to book this show. People were flocking to the Aroma booth like New Yorkers in the morning to bodegas. It was mobbed. I took some time browsing their tea selection and nibbling on some chocolates before convincing myself to join the down-the-hall line for a fresh made cappuccino, latte, mocha or espresso. Even though I waited probably a good twenty minutes, I'm glad I did because that cappuccino was the best thing I had to drink throughout the entire event.
|The Aroma Cafe Booth|
|Aroma's tea selection|
|The barista making my drink|
|Doesn't the design make you enjoy drinking it that much more?|
Did you go? What did you like best about the festival?