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Robert Wemischner presents tea pairing with chocolate and cheese at WTE

Assorted cheeses labeled for pairing with teas.
Assorted cheeses labeled for pairing with teas.
Margaret Studer

The 2014 World Tea Expo in Long Beach, California opening is literally a few days away. Some of you who are attending the Education Conference portion of the WTE might consider Chef Robert Wemischner's guided tasting on teas paired with chocolates and cheeses.

The Tea Examiner attended these tastings during the Los Angeles International Tea Festival and found them fascinating. Wemischner presented a variety of teas each paired with a different chocolate from white chocolate to one high in cocoa content. Attendees were asked to taste first the tea and then the chocolate separately, then try them taking a bit of chocolate followed by a sip of the tea. It was amazing how the combination changed the flavors of both the chocolate and the tea, creating one flavor in the mouth.

In the second session, Wemischner presented various teas with a variety of cheeses. This was even more interesting than pairing the teas with chocolate. Some of the cheeses were types few people would consider as something to eat with tea. However the tea and cheese pairing was an exceptional experience. To give more detail would be to spoil the pleasure of discovery for those attending the class.

Possibly the most enjoyable aspect of the class is Wemishner's teaching teaching style. He does not tell the participates what flavor they should find in the pairings. Instead he teaches them how to taste it ane encourages them to make their own findings.

Wemischner is culinary educator and a pastry chef. He is also the author of four books including "Cooking with Tea" (with Diana Rosen), "The Dessert Architect," "Vivid Flavors" and "Gourmet to Go."

Pairing Teas with Chocolate and Cheese will be held Saturday , May 31, 11:00 a.m.--12:30 p.m. Since it is a guided tasting it costs $20 in addition to the price of attending the Education Conference. For information on registering for this class, go to the World Tea Expo website and follow the link to the Education Conference.