Miami needs more tea parties. Chances are you've had JoJo Tea at one of their many partners. They pretty much curate a local tea program and act as a "tea sommelier" to our culinary landscape.
And now, the brand whose slogan is to stimulate creativity to energize intellect through seriously good tea is hosting their first pop-up teahouse -- Tea Oh Five -- this weekend. Half tea party, half tea school, there's fun to be had and much to be learned.
Up till now, JoJo Tea hasn't had much direct interaction with their customers. "People know our product through our partners but they don't know us," said Michael Ortiz, founder of JoJo Tea. This is his way of changing that.
Currently, you can sip (and chances are you have) on JoJo Tea at Eating House; Zuma, Yardbird; Whisk; The Federal; 50 Eggs; Panther Coffee; Chocolate Fashion; Atelier Monnier; Black Brick; Basil Park; PB Steak; Bread & Butter; Gigi; Local House; 1826 Restaurant & Lounge; Macchialina, and Joey's. That's a pretty extensive list of Miami's top restaurants all serving a product that's not getting much recognition.
Tomorrow and Saturday, JoJo Tea is taking over Salad Oz to host their very first tea pop up. "We hope this will be the first of many," Ortiz said, who's testing the waters for a teahouse. "I'd love to do more than one a month and in all the different neighborhoods to gage the vibe of each neighborhood while educating people on the practice of tea. Let's see what happens."
If you're wondering how much could possibly to be learned about tea over the course of two days, there's a lot. During Friday's "tea 101," some of the questions Mike will answer are: What is green tea, what is black tea? What is white tea, What is Oolong tea, and what are the differences between them? They all come from the same plant, so how can that be if they are all so different? You'll find out at Tea 101, as well as a background on tea manufacturing. Participants also will learn about the regional contrast between the drink: Teas from Japan taste totally different than teas from China, and teas from Southwest China are a world's away from teas that come from Middle Eastern China due to the differences in growing regions.
Saturday's event is two-fold. The first part of the day consists of a Taiwan Oolong Tour, which has the most artful and developed tea culture in the world. Mike will take seven Taiwanese Oolong teas and dive deep into how they are made and processed.
The evening will end with an open mic night where everyone will have their five minutes of fame to do as they please. And it doesn't have anything to do with tea.
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Of course, there will be tea service through all of this. Guests can either grab the traditional tea -- green, chamomile, and the other really simple stuff everyone's had before. Or you can wait for the special tea that will be brewed in traditional Chinese style using a Gong Fu Tea Pot and flash freezing. Yes, flash freezing tea. You can learn more at the pop up while sipping on some of the best tea Miami has to offer.
Tea Oh Five, a pop up and open mic starts June 20 from 4 to 11 p.m. and Saturday, June 21, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Cost is $5 on Friday and $15 on Saturday, but if you RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org saying you read this on Short Order, Friday is free and Saturday is just $5. For additional questions you can email email@example.com or call 305-322-9521
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha