The Spirit of Tea Tour keeps on rolling! After journeys through the west and east, the latest edition runs through the center of the country, this time with a twist. Instead of a matcha latte throwdown, we're introducing a pair of new competitions: a Tea Triangulation and a Dial-In Competition. The former is for individuals and the latter for shops. Through these events we hope to share and celebrate our love of tea and its many tastes, providing the practical knowledge and skills for tea that is presented with the same expertise, passion and care as your coffee.
What is the cost of the event?
There is no cost for this event and, while it is intended for baristas and cafe owners, it is open to the general public.
Do I need to register?
Registration is not necessary for this event, though it is appreciated if you would RSVP via our respective Eventbrite pages, below:
How long is the event?
Each event is two hours long. It begins with a triangulation, bridged with a talk on tea, then onto the main competition.
What is a Triangulation?
Triangulation is a palate exercise. Brewed cups of tea are placed in trios. Two of the teas are identical, one is similar. A taster's job is to identify the outlier. Tasters goes down the line tasting each of the trios and marking in their note which in each trio is different. The more correct guesses, the higher the taster's score. In the event of a tie, the competitor who completes their tasting in the shorter amount of time wins. Though a great and classical palate training exercise, ours will be more fun-spirited and informal—with prizes to boot.
What is the Dial-In Contest?
Some time before the contest, we will be sending invitations to shops in each of the participating cities to compete in the Tea Dial-In Competition. This invitation includes a sample of tea and a teapot, along with the rules and some basic tea brewing tips. If the shop accepts, they will compete as a team at our tour stop. The goal is to brew the best cup of tea possible in ten minutes. More specific rules are included with each invitation. A special guest, who is neither a member of the local scene nor a Spirit representative, will judge the competition in each of the cities. Each of the three cities will be compete with a different tea. At this time, only invitees are eligible to compete.
What topics specifically will be covered in the Talk?
- Chemistry of the Tea Leaf: Primary chemical compounds of the tea leaf and their role in flavor
- How to Dial-In Tea: How to unlock tastes from your tea
- Barista Best Practices: Making your tea workflow intentional and presentable.
- Seasonal Tea and Its Importance: A tasting highlighting a broad range of terroirs and varieties
9/21 6-8PM @ Merit Coffee 222 West Ave suite 120, Austin, TX 78701
10/16 6-8PM @ Messenger Coffee 1624 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108
11/8 6-8PM @ Spirit Tea 3431 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647