Now here’s a diet I can stick to.

Just a few hours after gorging on Baileys-filled chocolate shooter cups, and the new salted caramel chocolates at Chocolatas, I found myself headed up the freeway to Chilliwack, with my foodie buddy Detta, to the home of Kim and Karen, owners of Aromatica Fine Teas. They were convening a ‘cooking with tea’ class for eleven people lucky enough to sign up for this $20 foodfest.

All attendees were women. What the HECK were the men doing that could have been as interesting as this?!?!

After serving crudite nibbles with a green tea dip, Karen prepared prawns sautéed in a Lapsang Souchong tea. Light soy sauce and orange zest set the smoke off nicely.

The atmosphere was relaxed as we all stood in the kitchen while the couple cooked, and taught us about the best ways to infuse teas and herbs in honey.

While Karen attended to finishing the main course, we joined Kim in the living room, where he delivered a more general background on tea, and a helpful decision tree on which treatments to use when cooking with tea.

The meat eaters noshed on tea-scented pork and chicken, plus chai-infused meatballs, while I enjoyed the sunrise rooibos basmati and nut crunch quinoa, pacing myself for the mammoth dessert course!

Detta and I were a bit like the Sprats, with her taking the meat while I fell upon the sweets. A veritable platter of tea-kissed desserts was placed in front of me: soft angel dreams (mint) shortbread cookies, hearty gluten-free banana walnut tea bread, green tea and pecan chiffon cake (made with Aromatica’s signature Treasures of Japan tea blend), and a no-bake lemon myrtle cheesecake.

As if this wasn’t a cool enough experience, Kim offered to open up the tea shop (9pm on a Friday!), just a few blocks away.

Sweet, excruciating choices: as people trundled over to Aromatica, chocolatier Monica began to roll chai-infused chocolate ganache in expensive flavoured sugars that Karen brought out.

Detta and I tore ourselves away, heading over to the shop to pick up some Kenyan and Chinese black teas, two of over 100 teas on offer.

And the calorie gawds smiled upon me this day: zero weight gain!

Woot! Woot! Bring on the dessert platters, chocolate, and Baileys! Now THAT’S a diet I can stick to.

And thanks to new friend Cora for taking these photos!

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