2017 Festival Program

The 2017 NW Tea Festival will be open:

10 AM - 6 PM Saturday, September 30th
10 AM - 4 PM Sunday, October 1st

Entry is open to the public, with an admission fee of $15 per person.
Admission allows entry to both days - Saturday & Sunday.
Purchase two or more tickets and receive a discount of $5 off of the total fee.
Children under twelve are admitted free.

A porcelain tasting cup will be provided as part the admission fee. This tasting cup allows sampling of tea at the free tea-tasting sessions and at the exhibiting vendor booths.

There is no additional cost for stage presentations, tea tasting sessions or entry to the exhibiting vendor area.

Workshops do have additional fees.

The Northwest Tea Festival Tea Bar - Returns again this year
The Tea Bar is free and can be found in the east side of the Exhibition Hall. It will be open throughout the afternoon and will be serving dozens of different kinds of tea in a variety of quick and fun themes.  Similar teas will be compared.  Unusual teas will be explored.  Rare teas will be savored. 
The tea bar is an opportunity for a couple of quick cups of tea with a educational bonus!
Be sure to visit it, we are sure you will be glad you did..

See the complete 2017 program descriptions below for specific details.

SATURDAY, September 30, 2017

Walking Through Five Genres of Loose Leaf Tea

Presenter: Jeffrey McIntosh
Sep 30 2017 -
10:30am to 11:30pm
Location: Workshop Booth 3

While blended teas have become increasingly popular in recent years, it’s essential to understand the exact differentiations between pure loose leaf varieties. In this workshop we will explore the flavor palettes, liquors, origins, and more characteristics of the six basic classifications of tea. By the end of the session, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of tea production and origin and be able to clearly differentiate all six genres of tea and their qualities.

$10 fee

Max 30 Attendees


New World Teas

Presenter: Elyse Petersen
Sep 30 2017 -
10:30am to 11:30am
Location: Stage

China is the original home of tea-making, while Japan and Taiwan have developed their own rich tea heritage in modern history. New tea producing regions such as India, Sri Lanka, Malawi, and Nepal have satisfied the low-priced, commodity tea demand of the world, but certain economic and environmental conditions have encouraged tea-makers to hone their craft and introduce higher quality teas to the global market. In this presentation, Global Tea Ambassador, Elyse Petersen, will apply the concept of New World Teas, adopted from the wine world. Learn about the diverse potential of these teas.

FREE


The Language of Tea

Presenter: Jennifer Sauer
Sep 30 2017 -
10:45am to 11:45am
Location: Workshop Booth 1

What is the Language of Tea? We will discuss professional tea terms and their meanings, learning how to discuss and appreciate teas the way tea professionals do. A short video of GS Haley Tea Buyer Aaron Vick (“The Language of Taste”) will be shown, and two audio interviews (“What Can We Learn from The Leaves?” and “Does Your Tea Have Good Rhythm?” ) of Brett Hinsch, author of The Ultimate Guide to Chinese Teas will be shared. We will then taste a couple of special teas, and, within small groups, discuss what we taste, practicing the use of the terms we just learned.

Max 25 Attendees

$15 fee


Exploring Ceylon Tea

Presenter: Nathan Graham H Wakeford
Sep 30 2017 -
11:00am to 12:00pm
Location: Workshop Booth 1

Exploring Ceylon Tea provides an opportunity to learn about Sri Lankan black tea production, gain insights into how to best brew the tea and taste a variety of black teas from Sri Lanka.

Max 20 Attendees

$10 fee


Ten Years of Tea Festivals

Presenter: James Norwood Pratt
Sep 30 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Location: Stage

Description to come

FREE


Tools For Tea Blending Working with Herbs

Presenter: Heather Agosta
Sep 30 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Location: Large Workshop Booth

Herbs and spices are used in many tea and tisane blends. In this class we will focus on how to effectively blend with aromatic herbs and spices. We will discuss which herbs are good ingredients for blending and how to evaluate herb for quality. Then we will do a focused comparative cupping for a better understanding of flavor profiles of single herbs.

Max 15 attendees

$15 fee


Informal Introduction to Puer Tea

Presenter: Anton Kadtsin
Sep 30 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Location: Tasting Booth 2

Puer tea is gaining popularity in the U.S. but what is in it if you put away hype made by the "tea masters" and marketing by the merchants? Price versus flavor versus brand versus opportunity to feel special. Do you want to talk about it?

Max 12 Attendees

Free


The Tea Color Spectrum

Presenter: Christopher Gronbeck
Sep 30 2017 -
12:15pm to 1:15pm
Location: Workshop Booth 1

One of the miracles and surprises of tea is that all of the diverse styles (green, black, oolong, white, etc.) come from the same leaf, and differ primarily in how they're processed. In this workshop, we'll follow the journey from plant to cup, learning how tea is grown, harvested, and processed to create the diversity we enjoy. You'll gain a deeper understanding of different tea traditions around the world, and be able to look into your cup and appreciate how it came to be.

Max 15 Attendees

$10 fee


Etiquette of Tea

Presenter: Bernadette Petrotta
Sep 30 2017 -
12:30pm to 1:30pm
Location: Workshop Booth 2

This session will cover:

  • Brief history of tea which will include how tea began in China and spread to Europe and America, The Boston Tea Party, Anna Maria Stanhope (The Duchess of Bedford), Queen Victoria's role in taking tea, and more.
  • Styles of tea service such as High Tea, Afternoon Tea, Low Tea, The "Elevenses" and more.
  • Discussion as to the "proper tea time".
  • Demonstrate enjoying an afternoon at a teahouse which would include making an entrance, introducing yourself and others, information on wearing gloves, how to handshake properly, how to take your seat at the table, and knowledge of where to place your purse, briefcase, eyeglasses and eyeglass case.
  • Show the proper way to set a tea table and what to do once seated.
  • Demonstrate napkin usage and placement.
  • Demonstrate the proper way to enjoy eating scones and sipping tea.

Max 30 participants

$10 fee


Taiwan Formal Small Pot Ceremony

Presenter: Betsy Meyer
Sep 30 2017 -
1:00pm to 1:30pm
Location: Tasting Booth 3

This ceremony is based on traditional Chinese Gong-Fu (literally “making tea with skill”) dating back over 400 years to the Ming Dynasty. 40 years ago Grand Master Tsai of the Lu-Yu Tea Culture Institute realized that Gong-Fu brewing was headed for extinction as Taiwan society modernized. In response, Master Tsai modified traditional Gong-Fu service to create a formal ceremony that was not only elegant and relaxed but also neat and practical. This demonstration will include an explanation of the basic procedure and equipment used in this skillful brewing method.

Note this same session is repeated at 1:30pm - 2:00pm in this same Tasting Workshop booth #3

Max 12 Attendance

Free


Bowl-Style Brewing

Presenter: Stephanie Wilson
Sep 30 2017 -
1:00pm to 2:00pm
Location: Tasting Booth 2

Bowl Style Brewing: A simple and intimate way of enjoying tea. All that’s needed is a bowl, hot water and tea leaf. Come to this tasting and explore tea with all of your senses. (Bowls provided)

FREE


Introduction to Japanese Green Teas

Presenter: Rona Tison
Sep 30 2017 -
1:30pm to 2:30pm
Location: Stage

Experience the expansive world of Japanese teas and its intrinsic taste profiles and complexities. From the centuries old tradition to the modern use of trendy Matcha green teas, learn the proper preparations and why Japanese teas are gaining global recognition in the culinary world and its celebrated umami tastes.

FREE


Intro to Professional Cupping

Presenter: Suzette Hammond
Sep 30 2017 -
1:30pm to 3:00pm
Location: Workshop Booth 3

What's it like to be a professional tea taster? In this hands-on class, get up close and personal with a challenging variety of teas and origins, while learning professional standards for brewing, tasting and describing tea. You'll gain a deeper understanding behind the complexity of tea sourcing, and what a professional taster looks for at the cupping table in terms of quality. Always one of our most popular sessions at the NWTF, our cupping workshops sell out each year - so book early! Session includes a cupping set and tasting spoon for each attendee to take home to continue to practice their new cupping skills.

Max 20 attendees

$30 fee includes cupping set and tasting spoon


Taiwan Formal Small Pot Ceremony

Presenter: Betsy Meyer
Sep 30 2017 -
1:30pm to 2:00pm
Location: Tasting Booth 3

This ceremony is based on traditional Chinese Gong-Fu (literally “making tea with skill”) dating back over 400 years to the Ming Dynasty. 40 years ago Grand Master Tsai of the Lu-Yu Tea Culture Institute realized that Gong-Fu brewing was headed for extinction as Taiwan society modernized. In response, Master Tsai modified traditional Gong-Fu service to create a formal ceremony that was not only elegant and relaxed but also neat and practical. This demonstration will include an explanation of the basic procedure and equipment used in this skillful brewing method.

Max 12 Attendance

Free


Historical Teas

Presenter: Nicole Dawn Smith
Sep 30 2017 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
Location: Workshop Booth 2

Join me for a tea tasting journey around the world as we explore the exciting origins of tea as we know it today! Our journey will begin with the world's oldest known tea in China and stories of how it traveled on the ancient tea horse road. Our journey will continue to the shores of Europe when tea first arrived by ship in the 17th century only to be followed by the riveting tale of British spies heading to China to discover its mysterious secrets. The adventure will continue on American soils with stories of how tea was woven into the very historical fabric of the America's independence. Finally, we will touch upon how tea influenced the culture of British High Society. You'll conclude our adventure amazed by how much of our world history has been influenced by tea and how much it continues to influence our evolving culture today.

Max 30 Attendance

$15 fee


Puer Tea - Rich In Favors & History

Presenter: Xue-Qiao Zhao ("Qiao")
Sep 30 2017 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
Location: Tasting Booth 2

Introducing the different varieties of Puer - the proper ways to make the tea and to enjoy.

Max 12 Attendance

Free


Oolongs with Brett

Presenter: Brett Boynton
Sep 30 2017 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
Location: Tasting Booth 1

Participants will taste three different oolong teas from China and Taiwan. We will learn how oolong teas are produced and discuss different brewing methods.

Max 12 Attendees

Free


TBA

Presenter: Katharine Burnett
Sep 30 2017 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm
Location: Stage

Description coming soon

FREE


The Language of Tea and Wine

Presenter: James Norwood Pratt
Sep 30 2017 -
3:15pm to 4:15pm
Location: Workshop Booth 1

I was perfectly prepared for a life in tea because I had previously written a book about wine. Wine and tea are both agricultural products  which at their best become works of art yet may be enjoyed even at their humblest. To come into existence, both of them require the hand of man, his understanding and skill, to join with the hand of God, His plant, weather and terroir. The only reason to produce either is that we humans like the way they make us feel: Felicitous Phenomena!

You will discover the parallels between wine and tea—in names, tastes, history, religious origins and symbolisms, and in human culture and use over the centuries. I wish to delineate the unexpected ways each beverage sheds light on the other, quite beyond Lord Byron’s contrast
“Tis a pity wine should be so deleterious
For tea and coffee leave us much more serious".

Max 30 participants

$25


Experience the Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony

Presenter: NW Wu-Wo Tea Association
Sep 30 2017 -
3:30pm to 4:30pm
Location: Workshop Booth 3
Grab your tea pot and come play with us! Everybody brews and everybody drinks tea! Or you are always welcome to just watch and drink tea.
Wu-Wo tea ceremony allows many participants to brew and share tea together at the same time. No experience necessary.
If you would like to participate as a brewer, please watch the below video on the basics of the Wu-Wo ceremony and what to bring.
Hot water will be provided.

Video: Basics of Wu-Wo | Northwest Wu-Wo Tea Association

Max 15 brewers – 20 observers

$10 for brewers


Tea & Chocolate Pairing

Presenter: Nicole Dawn Smith
Sep 30 2017 -
3:30pm to 4:30pm
Location: Workshop Booth 2

Of all the most revered foods and drinks around the world, tea and chocolate rank among the very top. They also pair extraordinarily well together. In this hands-on tasting workshop, you will learn about the different types of chocolate and cacao levels and gain experience in pairing them with some of the world's finest teas.

You will learn to decipher flavor notes of both tea and chocolate to effectively learn how to pair them to further enhance the tasting experience. Various tea types such as green, white, oolong, black, and pu-ehr will be explored and savored in surprising, unique ways.

Max 30 attendees

$20 fee


How to Organize a Trip to the Himalayas of India and Nepal

Presenter: Raj Vable
Sep 30 2017 -
4:30pm to 5:30pm
Location: Stage

All tea is processed immediately after being harvested, so t if you want to learn the art of tea making, you need to travel to origin. However planning an international trip can be daunting - visas, immunizations, foreign languages and beyond can intimate us all. And yet the joy of travel cannot be missed! In this session, we'll cover the basics of organizing a 2-3 week tea trip to India and Nepal. Come thirsty, because tea will be served!

FREE


A Date with Tea!

Presenter: Roberta Fuhr
Sep 30 2017 -
5:00pm to 6:00pm
Location: Workshop Booth 3

This is a fun and unusual twist on tea and food pairing. Dates pair fabulously with tea—all types of tea—and for many they make the perfect vegan and/or gluten-free accompaniment. There are many different varieties of dates and in this workshop we’ll taste four of them paired with each of four different teas. We’ll also try one with chocolate and for those who choose to participate, we’ll add some blue cheese.

As in all my classes, this will be about discovering your personal preference in pairing teas with foods. We'll be using some unusual teas so discovering more dimension with white, green, oolong, and black teas is always a plus.

Max 12 Attendees

$20 fee


A Journey Through Pu-erh Varieties

Presenter: Jeffrey McIntosh
Sep 30 2017 -
5:00pm to 6:00pm
Location: Workshop Booth 2

Dive into the world of Pu-erh tea, an often-misunderstood variety of dark tea exclusively grown in Yunnan Province, China. Pu-erh expert Jeffrey McIntosh will help you uncover what makes Pu-erh seem so mystical, including differentiating between raw and ripe variations, properly brewing and storing pu-erh, exploring tea fermentation, possible health benefits, and tasting notes unique to both ripe and raw pu-erh teas. Savor some decadent pu-erh teas and walk away feeling confident in your newfound knowledge.

$25 fee

Max 12 Attendees


SUNDAY October 1, 2017

Tea Chemistry: Reactions in Leaf and Cup

Oct 1 2017 -
10:30am to 11:30am
Presenter:
Location:

The chemistry involved in making a cup of tea is fascinating. From environmental impacts on the amount of caffeine in a fresh leaf, to the more than 600 compounds that can be found in the smell of a cup of freshly brewed tea, there's a lot going on! This workshop will give you an overview of the major compounds and reactions that give different teas their characteristic colors, aromas, and flavors. You'll also learn how the chemistry of the fresh leaf determines whether it will make a better green or black tea, and why drinking tea for health may very well decrease your enjoyment of it.

MAX 30 Attendees

$10 fee


Pu-erh For Beginners

Oct 1 2017 -
10:30am to 11:30am
Location:

The pu-erh family of tea is broad and complex, frequently intimidating for those new to aged teas. This workshop will be a practical tasting session on the basics of pu-erh, including how to tell raw sheng pu-erh from ripened shou pu-erh, how to tell young from aged pu-erh, and guidance on buying and aging your own pu-erh. A take-home sampler will be provided to start one's own pu-erh collection.

Max 18 Attendees

$20 fee


What is tea?

Oct 1 2017 -
11:00am to 11:30am
Presenter:
Location:

Find out what tea is and what it's not.
Where does tea come from from the origins of the Camellia Sinensis and where it comes from in today's market.
What the difference is between the varieties of teas from black, green, and oolong to the herbal tisanes that are not tea at all.
And what is so special about tea where we look at the scientific factors of tea and how it's make up contributes to it's wonderful benefits.

Note; This tea tasting will be repeated in thsi tea tasting booth #2 at 11:30am - 12:00pm.

Max 12 attendees

FREE


Tea Sommelier

Oct 1 2017 -
11:00am to 12:30pm
Presenter:
Location:

Description coming soon

Max 40 attendees

$75 fee


What is tea?

Oct 1 2017 -
11:30am to 12:00pm
Presenter:
Location:

Find out what tea is and what it's not.
Where does tea come from from the origins of the Camellia Sinensis and where it comes from in today's market.
What the difference is between the varieties of teas from black, green, and oolong to the herbal tisanes that are not tea at all.
And what is so special about tea where we look at the scientific factors of tea and how it's make up contributes to it's wonderful benefits.

Max 12 attendees

FREE


Famous Oolongs

Oct 1 2017 -
11:45am to 12:45pm
Presenter:
Location:

Experience the most famous Oolongs of China and Taiwan. Oolongs are highly revered, and the most intricate and complex teas to manufacture. This class of tea is partially oxidized and offers a wide range of styles, aromas, and flavors.
Taste the light, creamy, floral essence of Taiwan's high mountain Alishan teas, to the dark, earthy roast of China's highly prized Da Hong Pao. Understand the manufacturing process, oxidation levels, and the legends behind these famous teas.

Max 12 attendees

$15 fee


The Ins and Outs of Organic and Fairtrade Certifications

Oct 1 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Presenter:
Location:

Clean, ethical food is in high demand. People want to know from where their food, or tea, comes and how it was made. The Organic and Fairtrade certification programs have become a symbol of trust for this demand, but are they really what everyone think they are? Join this session to learn about how these certifications are granted and what they really mean by food scientist, Elyse Petersen.

  • Learn what the Organic and Fairtrade Certifications mean
  • Understand the limitations of the certifications
  • Learn ways to find clean, ethical tea without relying on certification

FREE


Informal Introduction to Puer Tea

Oct 1 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Presenter:
Location:

Puer tea is gaining popularity in the U.S. but what is in it if you put away hype made by the "tea masters" and marketing by the merchants? Price versus flavor versus brand versus opportunity to feel special. Do you want to talk about it?

Max 12 Attendees

Free


Japanese Professional Brewing Workshop

Oct 1 2017 -
12:30pm to 2:00pm
Location:

The brilliant emerald of Japanese greens are some of the most alluring teas to savor…and challenging to prepare. In this hands-on brewing workshop,we’ll explore the breadth of Japan’s green teas - including numerous variations of sencha - to better understand how to instinctively prepare the cup that speaks to you. Through comparative tasting exercises, you'll learn: experience of Japanese professional cupping standard, teapot selection, water temperature selection, dosing the tea correctly, Japanese “flash iced” tea and cold brew techniques. Some core knowledge of Japanese tea is helpful for this Intermediate level workshop. Come prepared to drink a LOT of beautiful green tea!

Session includes a Tokoname-yaki Japanese teapot for each attendee to take home to continue to practice their new Japanese Green tea brewing skills.

Max 15 Attendees

$25 fee - Includes a Tokoname-yaki Japanese teapot


Taiwanese Oolong Cupping and Grading

Oct 1 2017 -
1:00pm to 2:00pm
Presenter:
Location:

Description coming soon

Max 30 attendees

$10 fee


The Tea Flavor Wheel

Oct 1 2017 -
1:15pm to 2:15pm
Location:

The Tea Flavor Wheel is a sensory development tool to help you identify aromas and tastes, leading to an improved understanding and greater appreciation of tea. Much like the more familiar Wine Flavor Wheel, the goal is to use The Tea Flavor Wheel to help you hone your sensitivity to specific flavors, so you'll be able to discern and appreciate them more when you're not using the tool. A printed copy of The Tea Flavor Wheel will be provided to all workshop participants, to take home.

Max 15 Attendees

$10 fee


Puer Tea - Rich In Favors & History

Oct 1 2017 -
1:30pm to 2:30pm
Location:

Introducing the different varieties of Puer - the proper ways to make the tea and to enjoy.

Max 12 Attendance

Free


One Plant - Six Teas

Oct 1 2017 -
1:30pm to 2:30pm
Presenter:
Location:

No matter what type of tea you enjoy – green, yellow, white, oolong, black or dark – it was made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Join us as we delve into the six stages of processing that transform the living tea leaf into 6 different types of tea and identify the stage of processing that defines each type of tea and why.

FREE


Oolongs with Brett

Oct 1 2017 -
1:30pm to 2:30pm
Presenter:
Location:

Participants will taste three different oolong teas from China and Taiwan. We will learn how oolong teas are produced and discuss different brewing methods.

Max 12 Attendees

Free


Chai Blending Workshop

Oct 1 2017 -
2:30pm to 4:00pm
Presenter:
Location:

Chai means tea! In the west we often refer to chai as “chai tea” when what we probably mean is masala chai, a blend a black tea and spices. Chai traditionally was made with black tea, but in this class you will have the option of using either Rooibos, green tea, or black teas for a base. We taste all the base teas, and once you choose your preference you will be able to blend a medley of your favorite spices with your chosen base. We’ll blend, taste, refine and taste again if time permits. You can make it as spicy or mellow as you desire and it’s fun to taste each other’s creations. This is an interactive workshop of creativity and taste--and best of all you will take your custom blended tea home with you.

Max 15 Attendees

$25 fee


Tisane Blending for Flavor and Effect

Oct 1 2017 -
2:30pm to 3:30pm
Presenter:
Location:

We will cover the basics of blending Herbal Tisanes for flavor and effect. Included will be a short discussion of the age-old practice of using herbs for health and pleasure, and together we will learn about synergistic effects of different herbs, primary and supportive herbs, and herbal harmony. Participants will have the opportunity to create their own Therapeutic Herbal blend to take home and enjoy.

$10 fee

Max 15 Attendees


Six True Types of Tea

Oct 1 2017 -
2:45pm to 3:45pm
Presenter:
Location:

Explore the six basic types of tea - White, Yellow and Green, Oolong, Black and Post Fermented. Experience their tastes, learn how they are produced. Best brewing techniques for each type will be discussed as well as how to select the best tea for your enjoyment.

Max 12 participants

$10 fee


Decoding The Mystic of Pu-erh

Oct 1 2017 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm
Presenter:
Location:

Pu-erh tea is learned through experience and patience. Grown all over Yunnan on a dozen different mountains on thousands of farms, processed in hundreds of different ways, and stored in various conditions anywhere in the world, pu-erh presents an array of tastes and aromas in each cup. Chinese tea masters may dedicate a lifetime to cultivating a perfect tea cake.

But this pursuit is highly subject to personal preference—with so many variables involved and so many different palates to please, there cannot exist a best pu-erh. But the intricacy of pu-erh makes it an exciting and intriguing tea