Tea Training at Blue Hill at Stone Barns

IMG_1305I was invited to train the Staff at Blue Hill at Stone Barns on Tea which I did this afternoon.  They have an exclusive Tea menu comprising Black, Green, Oolong & White teas as well as several herbal infusions.  Their presentation of tea at the table is well executed.  Each tea is brought to the table in a small glass teapot on a wooden tray with a cup.  The first infusion is poured for the customer and, as needed,the pot is re-filled to allow a second infusion.  About 25 staff members were present at the training, among them Captains, Front Waiters, Servers and even the Service and General Manager.  Their interest was obvious, the questions were pertinent - what is the difference between organic and biodynamic farming, what does fermentation mean in tea, how do seasonal variations affect tea and several others.  I believe their next tea recommendation to the customer will be from a context of more knowledge about their Tea menu.  We tasted Ti Kwan Yin and Wu Yi Oolong to point out the differences in cup and character.  I promised to send them a quiz for their staff which I will do next week.  I hear they are big on quizzes!  It was a rainy day but the charm of Blue Hill did not fail me - it was pastoral and peaceful.
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