Raiding local trees and throwing their leaves in boiling water cuts down on aphid infestations, but it won't make a good cup of tea. Enjoy leaf water made from ingestion-appropriate plants with today's Groupon to Kimicha. Choose between the following options:
- For $19, you get a tea and chocolate pairing for two (a $40 value), which includes:
- $10 worth of tea to take home
- For $40, you get a Japanese tea tasting for two (an $80 value), which includes:
- Light fare
- Tea brewing guide to take home
Certified tea sommelier and New York Tea Institute–recommended speaker Kimiko Uriu leads Kimicha’s tea-tasting events, which acquaint participants with hard-to-find and organic teas. One-hour tea and chocolate pairings tangle tongues in free-for-all Twister matches with five chocolates and accompanying teas. As teas brew, Kimiko educates her students on each variety's unique history as well as how to appreciate teas' aromas, textures, and refusal to return coffee's phone calls. Mouths ruminate over houjicha green tea paired with fleur de sel chocolate, and witness genmaicha's roasted leaves and popped rice waltz with 80 per cent chocolate. High mountain oolong draws on experience courting affectionate cumulus clouds to greet Manjary chocolate's malty advances. Guests depart with $10 worth of tea to take home.
Pairs can also convene for an evening of tea tasting, in which Kimiko introduces blends such as genmaicha, sencha, gyokuro, and matcha. After learning each tea's historical and comic-book origins, significance, health benefits, and prime regions of production, guests allow noses to court each variety before sipping. As participants taste five to six cups, Kimiko doles out advice for preparing a well-executed cup and educates on proper tea storage. During the tasting, participants may soak up herbal tributaries with light fare such as green-tea muffins. As a parting gift, Kimiko outstretches a hand to help guests re-create their sensory experiences at home with a guide to tea brewing.
Kimicha founder and professional tea taster Kimiko Uriu sources her selection of teas directly from small farms, helping promote fair trade and sustainable growing practices around the world. Customers can browse teas by origin, from India to Japan or home in on staples such as Earl Grey, the fruity Bouquet Royal, or the award-winning Jin Jun Mei which can be steeped seven times without bitterness. A handsome collection of teaware provides various brewing methods and vessels, and various tea books steep sippers in information about tea's history, its health benefits, and the proper angle at which one's pinky should salute the queen.