I dig beverage in food tastings. I am sure that is overly evident by the amount of tastings I attend. It really makes no difference whether it is peppery olive oil, jammy red wine, rich South American coffee, unique honey or, in this case, a tea tasting. I don’t discriminate.
It was pure luck that right next door to Portland’s meaty Olympic Provisions restaurant was a tiny tea house. Even more lucky, they serve a Fez tea. And also have a Fez hat on hand to boot. What a fezzy coincidence.
Steven Smith Teamaker is a quaint shop in Portland, Oregon that produces hand-crafted, fine tea using interesting ingredients from around the World.
Along with individual cups of tea, the teaworks also offers a tea tasting of their impressive selection. And you can wear a Fez while doing it. Bonus.
We sat at the table height bar and ordered the a tea flight. Just like at a wine bar. Sort of. Unsure about the flavors, we let the knowledgeable staff choose the flavors of our four tastings. One was the Fez No. 39.
In a tea tasting, the tea is steeped stronger than normal and just like in a coffee cupping, you are supposed to slurp your tea so you can truly taste it. Finally, an excuse for bad manners.
As I was expertly slurping my yellow Fez tea, a red Fez hat sat discreetly on the corner of the bar, staring at me. What do you want?
Even after much thought, the Fez and tea connection eluded me. So, I asked.