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Northwest Tea Festival

10 years of tasting and learning

First held in 2008, the Northwest Tea Festival is recognized nationally as a premier U.S. tea festival. This year, there will be over 10 stage presentations, 30 workshops, and 50 tea tasting experiences, led by some of the leading tea experts in the country, as well as internationally from Japan, Taiwan, India, and China. Did you know that tea is the world's second most popular drink? The first is water (you were thinking beer or wine, right?).

Like other beverages, interest in tea has grown over the years. The festival has grown to accommodate the interest and will be held this year in the Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center. Everyone is welcome: tea lovers, providers/importers, specialists, consumers, growers, all ages. During the two-day event, tea is looked at from all angles and tasted at every opportunity. The concept? Expand your knowledge, experience all aspects from the cultural to the historical and the sensory to the scientific, and simply enjoy it. Naturally, there will be shopping opportunities from both local and national tea vendors.

Returning this year is the Northwest Tea Festival Tea Bar. With admission, you receive a porcelain tasting cup which allows you to sample tea at the free tea-tasting sessions and at vendor booths. The Tea Bar is free and open throughout the afternoon, serving dozens of different kinds of tea. Compare, contrast, explore.

Stage presentations are free; workshops do have additional fees. Sample presentations and workshops (please see the website for full list and descriptions):

Saturday, September 30

· New World Teas stage presentation, 10:30-11:30 a.m., free

. Exploring Ceylon Tea, 11 a.m.-noon, $10 fee

· Tools for Tea Blending Working with Herbs, noon-1 p.m., $15 fee

· Taiwan Formal Small Pot Ceremony, 1-1:30 p.m., free

· Introduction to Japanese Green Teas, 1:30-2:30 p.m., free

· Intro to Professional Cupping, 1:30-3 p.m., $30 fee

Sunday, October 1

· Tea Chemistry: Reactions in Leaf and Cup, 10:30-11:30 a.m., $10 fee

· What is Tea?, 11-11:30 a.m., free

· Famous Oolongs, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., $15 fee

· The Ins and Outs of Organic and Fairtrade Certifications, noon-1 p.m., free

· Japanese Professional Brewing Workshop, 12:30-2 p.m., $25 fee (includes a Tokoname-yaki Japanese teapot)

· One Plant - Six Teas, 1:30-2:30 p.m., free

Festival Information:

  • Tickets are $15 per person for a two-day pass.

· Bring a friend and pay $25 for two, two-day passes.

  • Children under 12 are admitted free.
  • Ticket price includes:

o A porcelain tasting teacup

o Reusable shopping bag

o Lectures

o Tea tastings

o Access to many vendors with teas for sampling

  • Dates/Hours:

o Saturday, September 30, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

o Sunday, October 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

· Location: Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, 299 Mercer Street.

· Parking: Mercer Street parking garage across the street from the Exhibition Hall.

Connie Adams-August/September 2017

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