Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NW Tea Festival

The third NW Tea Festival in Seattle, Washington took place this past weekend.
It was my first opportunity to attend.
I was checking it out with the possibility of exhibiting next year.
There were 23 tea related vendors and I had fun visiting each of their booths.
What I enjoyed the most were the speakers and also reconnecting with tea friends.
The top picture was taken in the first tea tasting I attended, which was given by
the owners of Silk Road tea company.  We had the opportunity to taste 3 Rare
Chinese teas, white, green, and oolong.
The second picture was a tasting of the same oolong tea, but the one on the left
was picked in winter and the right was picked in spring.  Can you see the difference in color?
In all I attended five different tastings and realized I gravitated toward oolongs from
Taiwan, which I love.

For those of you that are not heavily into tea, you will not know the people in the above pictures; so I will try to tell you a little about these lovely people.
The keynote speaker was James Norwood Pratt, the one in the bottom middle holding the book.
Norwood is a dear man who I have had the opportunity to meet many times.
He has written some of the best tea educational books in the market.
To his right is Babette Donaldson, she has written a series of Emma Lea tea books for children.
Finishing off the bottom row to the left of Norwood is Earlene Grey and husband.
Earlene writes lovely tea poetry and has published several books.
To the far left on the bottom is Robert Wemischner, the author of Cooking with Tea.
Top left is Bill Waddington, owner of Tea Source in Michigan on sells online.  He was leading a tea tasting on Dark tea, which is new to the US and I had not heard of.
In the upper middle is Lindsey Goodwin, a food writer who often writes about tea.
With Lindsey is Michael Coffey, the Tea Geek, a tea blogger and speaker at the festival. The final picture I am sorry to say his name has not stuck with me, but I know I will be hearing and seeing him more.
He presented the last tea tasting I attended and James Norwood Pratt assisted him in sharing his
wonderful Jade Oolong and Phoenix Oolong.  He has developed a new teapot for oolongs that actually decants the tea at the proper time (you can see the top of the pot in the picture).  He is a tea grower in China and Taiwan and has recently written a book
on oolong tea.

For those of you that just drink a cup of tea and don't really think much about it, there is a whole world out there of amazing tea development, growing, and sipping.  And amazing people that have a passion for tea.
Did you know, tea is the second most drunk liquid next to water in the world?