Some of the most beautiful things may come in the simplest pours of joy and pearls (paru) of life…
In other words, it may come from a joyful Paru Tea Bar pour during a tea mixing workshop from founder and owner, Amy Truong. At a young age, Amy always had a passion for business and growing up she obtained an interest in tea and the various health benefits provided by it. About exactly a year ago this month in May 2017, she launched her dream business offering beautiful organic, hand crafted premium whole leaf teas that would put an edge on the entire meaning of loose leaf tea blends.
Walking into Paru Tea Bar’s Tea Workshop hosted for now at the Little Black House venue in Little Italy, San Diego, I did not know what to expect as this was my first tea mixing experience ever. Although I am an avid tea drinker and love to constantly try any type of tea or tea experience I can possibly get my hands, Amy’s workshop honestly gave me a type of insight and knowledge into the tea world I honestly was not aware of before.
The venue it is hosted at and the tea workshop table setup was absolutely goregous dressed with custom name tags for each attendee calligraphed by Laarni Francia from Serenity Calligraphy (email her for inquiries at email@example.com) paired with a bowl, empty tea bags to put each attendee’s custom tea blend into and a mason jar to put the remainder of each attendee’s custom tea blend.
I loved the personal touches from all the sponsors that partnered with Paru Tea Bar for the workshop and their business cards placed at each individual place setting to keep in touch. The lovely vegan baked goodies that paired perfectly with each tea base during the workshop was provided by Camille from Flora Bake Shop.
As shown above, Camille baked blueberry lemon scones, orange zest spice cookies and some chocolate truffles that were all VEGAN. I’ll go into more detail in regards to which treat I felt paired best with each tea base.
Once everyone sat down in their seats at the table for the workshop, Amy, informed that she will be using 3 tea leaf bases for our custom tea blends we will make later, but wanted to go a bit into the background history for each one.
She described that Rooibos has an earthy undertone yet is much lighter in flavor in comparison to the green or black tea. Amy steeped the tea leaves in her glass tea infusers as she recommended glass is much better to use versus plastic. Once she was done describing the tea base and steeping the tea leaves, she came around to pour a sample for each workshop guest. This tea was personally my favorite of the three as this tea base is very commonly used in chai tea, which is one of my absolute favorite types of drinks. The baked goodie that paired best with rooibos were the berry lemon scones! Since the rooibos had a lighter taste to it, it made sense to eat the fruity goodie.
The 2nd tea leaf base she discussed was green tea. Prior to starting the workshop, everyone at the table went around to mention their favorite type of tea. Initially, mine was green tea.
However, after tasting the difference of rooibos in comparison to the green tea, my favorite had quickly changed by the end of the workshop. Amy mentioned that as common as green tea is in our country and to our palette, not many realize green tea does have a more bitter, stronger taste in comparison to most other tea bases despite its pale, light color. So, yes green tea still definitely does have a lot of health benefits. However, its not always the best in flavor by itself. The treat that paired with the green tea to counteract the bitterness of it were the orange zest spice cookies.
Finally, the last tea base she discussed was black tea. With black tea’s somewhat similar color to rooibos after steeping, one might mistake it for rooibos as you compare the two side by side. However, I would have to say black tea’s taste in my opinion is definitely a bit lighter than green tea, but has an earthier flavor in comparison to rooibos or green tea. The chocolate truffles paired nicely with the black tea just like how a dark black coffee would pair great just the same.
If I were to describe or put in order the tea leaf bases from light to dark (also in order of my favorites as well), it would be like so:
So, I guess one could say colors of tea leaf bases can definitely deceive you. Honestly, I don’t think I would have known about this or really paid much attention to detail about this unless I had attended Paru Tea Bar’s workshop regarding each of these bases. So, Amy, thank you for explaining and for educating on the background for each of these one of these tea bases. Your effort and work is truly appreciated.
After she explained each tea base, the background and asked us to taste the differences between all three separately, we moved onto the process in creating our own individual custom teas. See below for a picture of all the different types of spices she provided.
Amy provided mini brown bags filled with different types of spices, dried fruits, and florals. Now, going into this class, I was not sure what to expect. However, once we got into the custom tea flavor creation part of class and I saw all the colorful spice options before me, (in the most selfless way possible) I honestly low key wanted to incorporate ALL of the spices in some way.
So, I started experimenting by combining different ingredients into my bowl until it had a nice balance of settle nodes of sweet & fruity with a hint of floral and clove in it. Once I was done, I placed about a tablespoon of my custom tea blend into an empty tea bag and poured some hot water over it into my tea cup to let it steep.
During experimentation of each spice, one could say mine definitely turned out a tad bit colorful in a savvy sort of way. My tea blend included a rooibos base, dried hibiscus, marigold, orange zest, cranberries, and cloves. I absolutely love cloves and fruity nodes. So, I wanted to try to incorporate them some how together with rooibos since that was the lightest in flavor in my opinion in comparison to the green or black tea bases.
After we all made our custom individual tea blends, we all named our tea mixes. With all the different flavors and rainbow nodes in mine, I ended up naming mine Savvy’s Paradise since I used different ingredients to resemble almost a tropical place yet homey and comforting at the same time! I honestly had so much fun chatting over different types of tea with everyone there and sharing different life experiences.
I also wanted to mention that the beautiful floral arrangements that were provided by AHR Florals were absolutely gorgeous and if you need flowers for any special events or occasions this summer, I highly recommend hitting them up ASAP! Also, I heard they have a special Mother’s Day Special going on! So, you might be able to sneak in a last minute bouquet for that special mom, wife, or mom to be in your life!
Overall, my parents and I truly enjoyed the experience of attending a tea workshop for the first time. I do not believe there is anything else like this in San Diego so far and I’m honestly so grateful I was able to attend this on behalf of Amy from Paru Tea Bar. She is doing such amazingly innovative things in the tea world and cannot wait to possibly bring in some more San Diego visitors in the future to try this out again. She has these once every few months when she can as Paru is currently run as a pop-up shop for now.
Also, PLEASE be sure to check out her custom gourmet loose leaf tea blends that come in bags like so. She also happens to have a special mother’s day blend called “FLEUR” on sale right now on her website and highly recommend you to go buy some if you can!
IN ADDITION, EVERYYYYY FRIDAY Paru Tea Bar is having a pop-up shop at the Art Produce in North Park from 11am-4pm to serve different premium cold brew teas and shaken iced tea mocktails.
Honestly, you guys have no excuse not to visit her or go wrong as she will be here every friday until future notice! Also, I believe she will be selling some of her custom tea blend bags at her pop-ups as well, so please feel free to visit her, say HI and SAVVYSWEETS sent you in and follow Paru on social media as well @ParuTeaBar.
If you guys would like to see more articles on different tea experiences in San Diego or have any recommendations on different topics for me to cover, please feel free to DM me on instagram or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I always love to receive constructive feedback and recommendations at any time. So, let me know!
As always, REMEMBER GUYS….keep it SAVVY!
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