My blog is decidedly becoming a real lab for various – always enriching – experiences. The invitation I got for September 6th was clearly among them.
I got to take part in a master class with the great tea expert Kurush Barusha, and an expert (I mean THE expert) for pastries (named “2016 World’s Best Pastry Chef”), Pierre Hermé.
An exceptional masterclass
I wasn’t the only one invited in Pierre Hermé’s workshop, I was with culinary bloggers and other tea aficionados.
An engraved tasting spoon with the name of my blog on it !
I love eating (you know this only too well), and talking about food. However, finding myself amongst all these experts and connoisseurs was kind of intimidating.
My apprehension flew out the window when I started talking with said food/tea lovers : simplicity and conviviality right from the beginning. Yay! It was all about learning and enjoying, no elitist and convoluted speeches.
Tea for TO… by Lipton
Sat around a big table, we discovered the TO by Lipton machine, devised by Kurush to make tea tasting available to neophytes (of which I am!).
Indeed, the world of tea is just as complex as the world of wine : Few people truly know in detail the different types of tea, their origin, the type of teapot you’re supposed to use, the temperature or the ideal steeping time.
I must admit I never wonder about all these parameters when I make tea, and I’m certainly missing out on optimal enjoyment. Here, the machine is programmed to do all that thinking for you.
It’s with a lot of curiosity that we sample a number of teas : oolong, darjeeling, fruity infusions. The tea bloggers that were a bit sceptical about the encapsulated tea seem to be enjoying it.
Pierre Hermé is also all about enjoyment. According to him, tea is the most appropriate beverage to compliment his pastries and macaroons. We are only just too willing to verify this ourselves, hehe!
“Tea pairing” and tasting
“Wild flower” darjeeling, oolong tea and “Banoffee delight” green tea
After a little game of “Tea pairing” (or which macaroon flavor goes with which tea?), it’s time to try 3 “pastry-tea” pairings.
“Why so serious?”
A “Sortilège de fraise” (Strawberry spell) black tea is perfect to bring out the flavors in “Émotion orientale” (Oriental Emotion) (gingerbread crème brûlée, fruits and tea dates and lemon jelly).
Émotion orientale and “Sortilège de Fraise” N°34 black tea
Then, refreshing and crisp (yes!) with the “Miss Gla’Gla jardin oriental” (Oriental garden Miss Gla’Gla) (rose petal icecream, orange blossom and candied ginger, macaroon biscuits) with some sips of the “Cosmo Chic” red berries infusion.
Miss Gla’Gla Jardin Oriental and Cosmo Chic N°11 infusion
And then, the best pairing of all : the lime and mint flavoured green tea – Cuban style, and the “Jardin oriental” (oriental garden) macaroon (orange blossom, rose, ginger). This pairing is the result of long hours of olfactory and tasting work by both masters in May.
Lime green tea Cuban Style N°29 and “Jardin oriental” macaron
After a great number of tries, they agreed that the green tea adds to the macaroon’s tastiness and vice versa. Quite obvious in this pairing.
All during this day, I also learn that Pierre Hermé decided to make the macaroon the focus of his pastry work because he couldn’t find anything to his taste on the market.
“At the very beginning, I wasn’t such a huge fan of macaroons, but maybe that’s also why I wanted to experiment with new textures and flavors” he said. And look where we are today!
Then comes the time of the souvenir picture.
A couple joking moments later, and it’s time to leave. Such a sweet time of sharing and warmth that I got to partake in : on top of all the tea-macaroon harmony, I met a great bunch of people. (English translation by Marine)
Kurush Bharusha, Pierre Hermé… and me (!)
PS: Today and until tomorrow morning (Tuesday 13rd September), I’m organizing an Instagram giveaway so that 5 of you can get a collector box of Oriental Garden macaroons (that will be sold in October, exclusively in the Pierre Hermé shops). TO by Lipton team reminds me that they should really be enjoyed with some Cuban style lime green tea, hehe!
Crédit photos: ©TO by Lipton & ©Tokyobanhbao