When daughter Lex told me that the 1st Annual Texas Tea Festival was to take place at the historic Saengerrunde Hall in central Austin, I had no idea where or what that was. Turns out it's connected to the old Scholz Beer Garden. Now that is a place I'm familiar with -- as is pretty much anyone who graduated from UT.
What I didn't know was that, back in the late 1800s, a German singing society was established here in Austin, called Saengerrunde, and one of their favorite places to hang out was Scholz -- a beer garden/restaurant/dance hall/bowling alley owned by a St. Louis brewery. At some point they started leasing the property from the brewery, and then eventually purchased the entire place! Under the stewardship of today's Austin Saengerrunde, these facilities continue to encourage members and guests to enjoy German heritage. Kinda cool, don't ya think?
So, back to the Tea Festival. Hubby and I couldn't make it this year, as we had other plans, but these guys went in our place -- with instructions to take lots of pictures and give me a full accounting!
Here is a brief glimpse of all they saw and did...
and this is what Lexi had to say about it...
"So the whole thing was in an old men's lodge right next to shultz beer garten. While waiting in line there was a tea bus having a tea party sampling a whole bunch of teas bought directly from the farmers. I tried a cup of Indonesain tea and it was great. Nate tried one made mostly from the stems of the tea plant, which tasted really green and interesting.
Inside, once you check in, you are given a cup, and they had a whole bunch of vendors (including Ruckus Tea House from downtown) all brewing up sample cups for you to try, and selling yummy stuff. Nate had a Macha Tea Cupcake. There were lots of Chinese teas, Turkish tea, and the classics like Earl Gray.
There were also talks going on, which were super crowded. We got to watch a tea ceremony where they put a lump of rock sugar in the bottom of your cup, then pour strong black tea over the top, then add a tiny bit of heavy cream. But you don't stir. As you drink it the cream on top represents clouds, the middle tea is earth, and I think the sugar at the bottom is water.
One lady was giving out tea eggs, which are hard boiled eggs cooked in Oolong tea, which gives them a very strong smoky flavor and marbles the egg inside the shell. Very cool looking, but very strange tasting."
|Can't believe she got Nate to try this, as he never eats eggs of any kind!|