This year's festival was the perfect cure for the Pacific Northwest rain. The sights and smells of rooms brimming with tea and the overall good cheer and enthusiasm of the people attending and presenting were truly invigorating.
News & Announcements
TEA & FOOD PAIRING INTENSIVE
Hosted by Roberta Fuhr (Experience Tea Studio)
In this July 16th class we tasted five single origin teas with nine different savory, sweet, pungent and bitter tastes—a myriad of combinations to give you a tasting adventure. We used tasting sheets so that each participant could record perceptions and play with their own favorites well after the class.
Teacher Bio: Roberta Fuhr is the owner of Experience Tea Studio in Issaquah and has been teaching adults and children’s Tea Discovery classes since 2011. A Certified Tea Specialist, Roberta was trained through the Specialty Tea Institute and has traveled throughout China, Japan and Sri Lanka to augment and enhance her understanding of tea. All her classes involve history, cultures, science and botany of tea—no matter what the theme may be. Tea is much more than a drink—it’s an experience.
This workshop will cover the beginnings of the NW Tea Festival and descriptions of how to organize and plan your own festival. The goal of the festival is the education of the public about tea in all of its cultural diversity. To that end, developing a plan that relates to each community is key.
Read a recap of the workshop here: World Tea Expo 2016 Day Three
As we tasted each tea and experimented with food pairings, Roberta explained where they were grown and how they are processed, providing visual aids to show the distinctiveness of each region's tea manufacturing process.
Throughout the tasting, Cinnabar shared information about tea production and development in different countries across Africa. In many countries, tea production is limited to three seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn), so it can be surprising to learn that tea is grown year-round in countries like Kenya.
TRUE TEAS OF AFRICA
Hosted by Cinnabar Wright (Phoenix Tea)
At this focused tasting on May 21st, we tasted teas grown and produced in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Rwanda. There were an array of widely different teas selected from the categories of white, green, black, oolong, and a "dark" tea (puer style). Each country's teas have their own distinctive character, and these teas were all high quality and carefully produced, not the commodity teas that African countries are known for producing. The teas in the tasting were all true teas, from the Camellia sinensis plant, not herbals like Rooibos, which is grown and produced in South Africa, or Karkady, which is grown in Nigeria and Sudan.
AGARWOOD PUERH TASTING
Hosted by Jeffrey McIntosh (Teabook)
On April 16th, we journeyed to one of the most ancient and elite experiences from the East. The featured item for this event was the renowned Agarwood Puerh Tea. This wood, in combination with tea has been used for its strong health benefits and calming effects for thousands of years. We tasted this rare and unique tea first hand and engaged in live conversation with tea master Jeffrey McIntosh about the agarwood and puerh.
TEAS OF VIETNAM
Hosted by Cinnabar Wright (Phoenix Tea)
Our March 19th World of Tea event was a focused tasting of five different teas from Vietnam, with selections of green, black, and oolong teas. These are fine teas that are not typically found on offer from tea sellers in the United States. We hope you found them surprisingly delicious.
A TREASURE TROVE OF JAPANESE TEAS
Hosted by Heather Porter (Hanamichi)
This was an adventure in tasting several of the fine Japanese teas that were brought back by Heather Porter (who writes the blog Hanamichi) on her most recent trip to Japan. On February 20th, we tasted several excellent quality teas, using fine Japanese tea wares in their preparation and consumption.
A couple of the teas:
Kamigokoro is a kabusecha from Ocha no Kanbayashi in Uji. The Kanbayashi family began producing tea in Uji in the mid-16th century and are the only tea family in the region to continue to produce tea through the upheavals of the Meiji Restoration and into modern times.
Tougenkyou from Cha Cha no Ma in Tokyo was hand-plucked from new tea plants in Shizuoka. The name is Japanese for Shangri-la, the Peach Blossom Land, and refers to the delicate peach overtones of this sencha.