Hey honey ... lovers

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Just received this press release for a honey tasting tomorrow.

Charlotte, NC (December 8, 2008) – Counter Culture Coffee and Elphene’s Coffee & Arts today announced an upcoming event sure to appeal to Charlotte-area food enthusiasts and epicures.  “A Taste of Honey,” perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime chance to taste some of the world’s rarest and most acclaimed small-batch artisan honeys, will take place on Wednesday, December 10th, at 7 p.m. in Counter Culture’s Charlotte Regional Training Center at 1435 W. Morehead Street.  The event will begin with a visual presentation and talk by Elphene’s Kim O’Shea, an Irish honey enthusiast, on the diverse landscape in which two honeys from County Clare, Ireland, were produced.  Following the talk, Counter Culture’s Brent Hall will lead participants through the actual tasting before a follow-up discussion.

In addition to the two honeys from County Clare, the tasting will include Libby & Gerry Mack’s “Charlotte’s Very Local Honey,” a forest honey from Africa, and a selection of honeys from around the United States: fireweed honey, Tulip poplar tree, orange blossom, gallberry, and buckwheat.  Both Counter Culture and Elphene’s hope the event will not only provide participants with a memorable taste experience, but also an education about the terroir, or taste of place, associated with artisan agricultural products such as honey and coffee.

“It’s particularly exciting for me to offer Americans a taste of these extraordinary honeys produced in County Clare, which is located on Ireland’s southwest coast,” said O’Shea.  “The honeys obtained for this tasting were harvested from hives in Carrigaholt in West Clare, located near the Atlantic’s edge, and an apiary nestled in a low field in The Burren in North Clare.  Part of my talk will focus on how each unique landscape and mix of flora influence the taste of individual honeys.  Like great coffee, great honey is truly a gift from nature.”

The event also will include a general talk about the greater work of bees: how they forage and produce their honey, the work of beekeepers, and the harvesting of honey.   Unfortunately, populations of native Irish Black Honeybees have been severely depleted in recent years by the Varroa mite and Colony Collapse Disorder, which resulted in an 80% drop in the number of wild and housed honeybees worldwide.  Beekeepers have proven vital for the survival of the native Black Honeybee by providing clean and well-managed hives during this difficult period.  Irish Seed Savers Association, the Banner Beekeepers, The Burren Perfumery, and Fin tan Ryan, Ramona Roots, are all active in maintaining local bee hives of County Clare, Ireland.

Counter Culture Coffee’s Charlotte Regional Training Center is located at 1435 W. Morehead St, Charlotte, NC 28208.  Parking is located on Bryant Pl. and can be accessed from Freedom Dr, or Summit Dr.