The Tea and Chocolate Experience was held outside the 31 Degrees chocolate store in a quiet, leafy laneway off 4 Hubert Street, Woolloongabba.
We were welcomed by Chocolate Specialist, Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, who hosted the experience. She tells us that she chose the name because 31 Degrees is the working temperature for tempered couverture, specifically dark couverture. Couverture is a very high-quality chocolate that contains a high percentage of cocoa butter (32–39%).
Tea Specialist, Kym Cooper, founder of The Steepery Tea Co. introduced herself and explained that she and Kaitlyn will invite us to enjoy five pairings of single-origin tea and chocolate.
Pure leaf teas are defined as those produced from a specific variety or cultivar of the Camelia Sinensis tea plant. The micro-climates (terroir) in which the various teas are produced influence the aroma and flavour.
As we taste the teas, Kym explained where each is grown (Country), the elevation at which the plants are grown and the method of harvesting (for example – 2-3 leaves and bud) and the processing of the leaves.
Our first tea is Nepalese Sunrise, a white tea grown at high elevation in Panchthar, Nepal.
Kaitlyn paired the tea with a white chocolate that has molasses notes and a toastiness as the flavour is released on the tongue.
The tea and chocolate complement each other very well and each brings out the flavours of the other to the delight of the taste buds.
We are encouraged to explore and explain the tastes we are experiencing with our experts guiding us regarding the identity of these tastes. Is the tea earthy, fruity, spicy or floral? Is the chocolate sweet, salty, creamy or melting?
There are four more pairings of tea and chocolate and as we taste and process them our palates become more aware of the individual flavours. There is an amazing burst of passionfruit on the tongue as the Itakuja chocolate, Brazil/Valrhona, reacts with the Dan Cong Red, a black tea from Guangdong Province, China.
After an interesting and insightful afternoon of tasting the superior quality teas and chocolates, we all walk away excited that we have the skills to continue the experimentation at home.
Thank you, Kaitlyn and Kym, for an enlightening and extremely tasteful experience!
About 31 Degrees Chocolate
31 Degrees Chocolate
can be found at 4 Hubert St Woolloongabba.
About The Steepery
The Steepery is run by Kym