Thursday, October 15, 2009

East/West Tea Tour: French Broad Chocolate Lounge

During my move across the country, I had the pleasure of visiting a number of tea businesses. I'll be chronicling my visits to six of them in World Tea News. The first visit was French Broad Chocolate Lounge in Asheville, NC. Here's an excerpt from my article:

French Broad Chocolate Lounge is on Asheville’s artsy Lexington Avenue, just south of the vintage clothing stores and eco-chic boutiques. It’s named for the local French Broad River, aptly, since the lounge focuses on the flow of liquid – “liquid truffles” (drinking chocolates), more than a dozen teas and tisanes, and various coffee drinks and local beers. Its specialty is chocolate, which it serves in liquid form and as solid truffles and other confections.

Walking into French Broad Chocolate Lounge from the street, I was struck by how fitting the title “lounge” is. Lush surfaces, low lighting and a laid-back vibe permeated the atmosphere. The shop was crowded even thought it was about 3 p.m. on a weekday; the day after I visited, the Lounge opened a second level to accommodate the burgeoning patronage.

Hand-written chalkboards listed the gourmand-centric food offerings, including local cheese plates and vegan options, but what had drawn me to there was the tea. Like other more adventuresome gourmet chocolatiers, the Lounge’s owners have opted to use “trufflefy” (as the menu put it) tea as a culinary ingredient for chocolate. Its tea truffles are White Jasmine (white chocolate and jasmine green tea ganache covered in dark chocolate), Earl Grey (Earl Grey-infused dark chocolate covered with milk chocolate and topped with Earl Grey tealeaves) and Masala Chai (milk chocolate ganache infused with traditional masala chai spies, vanilla bean and Darjeeling black tea).

It was a really fun visit! You can read the full article on World Tea News.

1 comment:

Steph said...

I'm excited to read about these!