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? about a tea tasting

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Hi Hounds. I've got a question for you.

I usually organize happy hours and other little events for my alumni group in town, and I recently received a suggestion to have a tea tasting. A little mini-seminar with the history of tea, differences amongst varieties, sampling different ones and enjoying yummy tea-friendly hors d'oeuvres. Like a beer/wine tasting.

Any suggestions for this? I called the Teaism north of Dupont Circle, and they said they usually don't do such things. I would love to come up with some other options. I knew this would be a great group to consult.

Thanks for your help!

Genesee

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  1. The Freer/Sackler used to demonstrate formal Chinese tea ceremonies with one of their exhibits, but that ended last summer. You had to reserve in advance (free) but at most you'd get a little sip of tea.

    The closest I can think of for you would be a tour with tea at the National Cathedral every Tues. & Wed. at 1:30 for $18. This is very popular I hear - fills in advance. If you time your tea from Oct. to May, you might be able to hear the Cathedral's Evensong which starts at 4. Tables are set up in the observation tower. Nice gardens too.

    Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria offers a botanical lecture or a garden tour with tea Sundays at 1 for $18.

    I've not actually been to either tea tho.

    Some of the historic homes in PG County offer teas in lovely surroundings, tho the service is of course by volunteers instead of well-trained hotel staff. The savories will be nice but nothing like the $25 tea at the 4 Seasons! My girl & I have reservations for a "Nutcracker tea" at the Marietta Mansion in Glenn Dale Jan. 19 ($12/$8). Marietta also does an "Alice in Wonderland tea" in March & a Mothers Day tea. Occasional teas are also held at Montpelier in Laurel, Riversdale in Riverdale, some mansion in Columbia (sorry, forget which), Belair Mansion in Bowie, Billingsley Mansion in Upper Marlboro, & Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg. And the cafe at Hillwood in NW DC offers lunches & teas most days, the gardens beckoning for a stroll afterwards.

    At least with these locations, you can tour or at least peek into a historic house & manicured gardens.

    One more thing - for tea with an authentic Chinese "feel", check out Ching Ching Cha in Georgetown.

    Hope this info helps!

    1. A long time ago they offered a class that sounded like
      this at First Class (www.takeaclass.org). I don't
      see it on their schedule anymore, but maybe they can
      put you in touch with the person who taught it?