Tea Alchemy, Travelling Samovar, 412 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

For people (like me) who designate themselves as a tea drinker rather coffee drinker, Travelling Samovar is your one-stop shop for all things tea.

So I was intrigued to see that they were hosting an afternoon tea exploring different brewing techniques with matched savoury and sweet treats. And it was one of the rare events that was under $50 so I convinced Gourmet Chick to go with me.

Tea Alchemy, Travelling Samovar, 412 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

The balmy weather meant that the session was held in the secluded courtyard at the back of the teahouse, a really charming area decked out with garlands and fake grass. Tables were set up with little tea tasting bowls and glasses. Little did I realise that those tiny vessels would hold a cold and hot infusion of eight (!) teas over a course of two hours.

It was really interesting comparing the different colours and flavours drawn out from the same tea leaves simply by cold brewing, cold dripping or chilling a hot tea. I didn’t even realise that you could infuse a cold tea in more than one way. Cold tea is a different beast to ice tea too, in case you’re wondering.

Tea Alchemy, Travelling Samovar, 412 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

As for the food, it varied in quality. While the inventiveness in using tea to flavour the food was admirable, sometimes it just didn’t come off. Mostly it was about textures – the very pretty pannacotta was too firm and the marshmallow lacked the jelly-like softness.

Tea Alchemy, Travelling Samovar, 412 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

Tea Alchemy, Travelling Samovar, 412 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

I enjoyed learning a little bit more about tea through Tea Alchemy and it was a lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon. The owners of Travelling Samovar are obviously really passionate about tea education and while the food could be improved overall it was an enjoyable experience.

Tea Alchemy, Travelling Samovar, 412 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

Tea Alchemy, Travelling Samovar, 412 Rathdowne street, Carlton North

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