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Winter Renovation Brings Exciting New Changes to Jasmine

STONY BROOK, NY, February 4, 2015  – Over intersession, student employees began training to become tea sommeliers, learning how to steep teas and prepare recipes for the new food and beverages available at the new Jasmine Tea House, in the Charles B. Wang Center. Students learned what the teas taste like and what they are made from so that beverages could be handcrafted for each customer.

The Jasmine Tea House was constructed in the north dining alcove, bringing a variety of traditional loose leaf teas along with tea lattes, bubble teas and iced tea infusions. The menu also includes authentic Asian and Asian-inspired foods, such as Vietnamese pressed sandwiches, Asian salads, frozen yogurt, tea infused scones, muffins, cupcakes and tea cookies.

Jenny Wong, Student Tea Sommelier preparing beverages for a Jasmine Tea Bar customer Jenny Wong, Student Tea Sommelier preparing beverages for a Jasmine Tea Bar customer

The old Jasmine beverage station was converted to a sushi bar, which accommodates service from inside the servery or from the side facing the dining room to be used for special events and dining needs when the servery is closed. This gives customers more room on the main serving line to expand the variety of authentic Asian entrees.

The students are really empowered to run the tea house from the hands-on training they experienced. Students were able to smell and taste each of the twenty-eight tea varieties as well as sampled each of the pastries offered. “When customers ask them what they like, the student employees all have their favorites and can assist in finding the flavor that they are looking for,” stated Bari Marchfeld, Campus Dining Director of Training. The student tea sommeliers recommend a four-minute steep time for teas to ensure you get the best quality and flavor in your tea.

According to The Tea Association of the USA, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. Tea trends are on the rise around the world and at Stony Brook University. Last academic year, about 300,000 cups of tea were sold across campus.

These new options have proven very popular with students, according to employees. “It’s been busy all day, nonstop,” said Jenny Wong. “Every time I turn around there’s a new cup ready to make.”

Before the tea house was constructed, the FSA conducted student surveys which indicated that additional healthy food choices and faster service were two areas where Jasmine could be improved. This renovation project expanded the tea and sushi menu options as well as increased the points of sale for those in a hurry.

According to Campus Dining Dietitian, Tina Tiernan, “There are many health benefits to drinking tea regularly. Tea can be a great source of antioxidants that promote overall health, tea drinkers appear to have lower risks for developing certain diseases and illnesses and tea is also a great alternative to soda, juice and other sweetened, non-nutritious options.”

The cost of the project was $800,000 which included project design and construction, equipment, fixtures and furnishings for the new tea bar, the new sushi bar, the expanded platform for additional Asian entrees, a new condiment area and new seating for both the tea bar and sushi bar areas.

The Jasmine Tea House is open Monday through Friday from 11:00am-8:00pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00pm-8:00pm.

For additional information about the Jasmine Tea House project, go to:  www.stonybrook.edu/jasmine

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