Tea aficionados from across the Pacific Northwest will meet in late September for the 12th annual Northwest Tea Festival, a two-day event in Seattle, Wash.
The festival, scheduled for Sept. 28-29, brings tea experts from around the world to lead a variety of presentations, workshops and tea tastings. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, 305 Harrison Street near the famous Space Needle.
“The goal is to provide experiences covering all aspects of tea, from the cultural to the historical and the sensory to the scientific,” organizers Julee and Doug Rosanoff said in a statement.
The Northwest Tea Festival is “a unique gathering of tea lovers, fanatics, providers and consumers,” according to the organization. The event is planned and staffed by volunteers, all of whom are tea lovers coming from diverse backgrounds. “Over two days, tea is discussed, dissected, tasted, debated, amplified and reduced to its basic element,” writes Julee Rosanoff.
Festival attendees have numerous opportunities to sample dozens of teas provided by vendors and at focused tastings. They will be able to participate in workshops and presentations on tea and expand their knowledge, experience and enjoyment.
The festival also features vendors from across the United States as well as from tea producing countries such as Japan, Taiwan, India, and China.
The festival will be attended by growers, international importers and tea specialists as they teach, offer tastings and present cultural experiences involving tea. In all, planners have arranged 10 stage presentations, 30 workshops and 50 tea tastings over the course of the weekend. More than 3,000 attendees can learn about tea and talk with both experts and vendors.
A two-day pass to the Northwest Tea Festival is $15. A two-person, two-day ticket costs $25. Children under 12 are admitted free. Admission includes a porcelain tasting teacup – suitable for tea tastings throughout the weekend – while supplies last as well as entry to lectures, tasting events, and access to the many vendors.
Most stage presentations and workshop sessions are free. The festival Tea Bar, located at the east side of the exhibition hall, is free as well. It will be open throughout each afternoon and will be serving dozens of teas in a variety of quick and entertaining themes. “Similar teas will be compared. Unusual teas will be explored. Rare teas will be savored,” organizers said.
Some selected workshops, however, may require additional fees and seating is limited. Pre-registration for some workshops will be available online.
Presenters include James Norwood Pratt, Katharine Burnett, David Campbell, Bruce Richardson, Jessica Davidson, Laurie and Charles Dawson, Jeni Dodd, Friday Elliott, Noli Ergas, Ward and Barbara Everson, Roberta Fuhr, Kevin Gascoyne, Char Gascho, Victoria Gnatoka, Christopher Gronbeck, Suzette Hammond, Linda Louie, Nigel Melican, Josephine Pan, Elyse Petersen, Bernadette Petrolta, Raj Vable, Cinnabar Wright.
The complete festival program is still being developed and will be posted on the festival website, www.nwteafestival.com. Online registration opens Sept. 1. The website also offers links to area hotels offering discounted rates for festival attendees.
Source: Northwest Tea Festival