The Northwest Tea Festival held last weekend in Seattle was a great success, with nearly 1500 visitors, more than a dozen tea tastings, and special presentations by great tea peeps like James Norwood Pratt, Shuiwen Tai, and "Tea Geek" Michael Coffey. If you missed the festival this year, be sure to put it on your schedule for October 2011 in Seattle.
Students had an opportunity to taste countless teas with tea vendors, importers, and specialists, as well as enjoying information about WuWo Tea Ceremony (more soon on this), tea and caffeine, rare oolongs, and a special monologue performance by James Norwood Pratt as Okakura Kakuzo. It was great getting together with some of the Northwest's tea merchants, like Shuiwen Tai of Floating Leaves, Marcus Gramps of Teahouse Kuan Yin, and Julee Rosanoff of Perennial Tea Room. Barnes and Watson owner (and NW Tea Festival organizer) Ken Rudee was there with his son, Joey, offering tea and tea tastings as well as a wall full of exceptional photographs from Asian tea farms. The best part of going to the tea festival was the fun of watching people new to tea transform as they viewed, smelled, tasted and learned about tea. If you missed it, come next year!