Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tea Presentations and Tastings

The NW Tea Festival had many opportunities for sipping and listening to presentations.
I gave a presentation on the difference between Afternoon Tea and High Tea.
It filled up quickly and then there came more, a full room.
This is definitely out of my comfort zone, but I so much wanted to share the stories.
I am told it went well, but as the presenter it is hard to tell.
Babette Donaldson shared Everything about Healthy Tea, which came
from her new book.  I also purchased her Fun with Tea book,
which I will review on another day.
Elyse Peterson of shared Tea Growing in the US,
which was very informative.  There are more farmers taking up tea growing
and is a viable product for the future, as it will take a few years for the tea
to become established.  With the high cost of labor in the US, Elyse shared
that they must consider alternative ways to support their tea businesses.
Also there is opportunity then for others with expertise in production to
develop businesses in the development of tea.
I also had opportunity to sit in Elyse's tea tasting for three teas from the US.
The first was a green tea Elyse had picked about an hour north of Seattle in
the Bellingham area and had personally processed.  It was quite good.
The second was an oolong from Salem, Oregon, which I loved.
The third tea was a white tea from Hawaii, which was delicate and fresh.
There were several Japanese Tea Ceremony demonstrations.
Smacha, a tea shop in Bellevue, Washington, served some delicious teas.
The group from Portland was able to sit in their shop before the
festival began and enjoy tasting some wonderful teas.
Meeting tea friends is always a delight.
Babette, the speaker mentioned above, and her mother at their booth.
Mike and Emeric Harney sharing the story of Harney & Sons.
Loved sitting behind the red suspenders of James Norwood Pratt and his lovely wife, Valerie.
Tea tasting were a more intimate time around the table with the tea vendor
or tea expert.  This tea tasting was for fresh, high end teas from the Silk Road Tea Co.
At the end of the festival I am so happy I sat and listened to Shuiwen of Floating Leaves
in Seattle.  She is always a delight with her smile and knowledge of tea.
Shuiwen and my friend, Stephanie Wilson, shared the story of oolong teas from Taiwan
and traveling through Taiwan to visit with the farmers.
It brought back so many memories of my time traveling there with Shuiwen and
sipping tea with the farmers of Taiwan.
I have just touched on the highlights for me at the NW Tea Festival.
If you are intrigued, put the first weekend of October 2015 on your calendar
and plan to be there for your own adventures with tea.

Note:  There are links to each of the people or companies mentioned.
Stop by and visit them.
Click on the photo for a closer look.


Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I have enjoyed reading about the tea festival and I'm sure I'd love attending. I believe there was something in Victoria BC last year involving the Empress Hotel but that's way across the country for me.
As gardening is my first passion, like you I give presentations and when the time comes it is nerve wracking setting up the equipment etc. However, once I's smooth sailing when you know what you're talking about. I always involve the audience through participation with questions too which helps take some of the focus off me.
The bonus at the end is there is always tea, coffee and goodies served.

Mary said...

What a fun time for everyone Marilyn - so glad you were able to attend and I just know your presentation was fabulous too. Did someone take your pic for us to see?

Love, Mary

Rosemary said...

This certainly sounds like a great experience - wonderful to have tea enthusiasts and experts together - sharing what they love. I'm sure your presentation was simply perfect - happy to hear you spoke to a full house!

Jeanie said...

That's an interesting topic, Marilyn. I'm not sure I have a clue as to the difference. I think I thought it was a similar name for the same set-up! And I bet it was terrific!

Steph said...

It was a really great year at the NW Tea Fest!