It’s May. Spring is in the air, so is love…love for tea. Celebrate tea and all its accompaniments at Los Angeles’ annual Tea Lovers Festival, starting on Friday, May 3rd. Since its debut in 2006, the Tea Lovers Festival has consistently percolated interest among tea and novices alike. The month long tribute to tea is steeped in culture and promises a wide array of beverages to satisfy and delight.
This year’s festivities begin at 7pm on Friday, May 3rdwith the TeaVIP reception at The Armory Center for the Arts in Old Town Pasadena. The TeaVIP event features a Korean tea ceremony, Scholars Tea by the Hankook Tea Company. Instead of being performed by men, they are offering new flavor on this traditional tea ritual—Yeonok Kimitional, a woman well acquainted with tea, will be performing the ceremony. In addition to the Scholars Tea, there will be a screening of the film Baraka and plentiful tea tastings. This powerful film, directed by Ron Fricke, transcends national boundaries and melds the diverse flavors of humanity with striking scenery. But the TeaVIP reception is only a taste of the coming events.
The festival’s most prominent event is the Tea Lovers Marketplace + Various Tea Studies & Tea Labs on Sunday, May 5th. The Tea Lovers Marketplace features an array of loose and bagged blends, plus tea ware from Art of Tea, Bird Pick Tea & Herb, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, Glenburn Tea Direct, Hankook Tea, Libre Tea, Mountain Tea, Numi Tea, Pureness Health, Rishi Tea, Sencha Naturals, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea and many other exhibitors. Offering sips and samples, the Marketplace is the ideal place to browse, shop, and learn about new brews.
Other tea events throughout the month include the Tea Lab: Tea & Yoga – A 3 Minute Start to a New You offered on Friday May 17th from 8-9:45pm. Presented by LA Yoga Magazine and hosted by the Electric Lodge, this event will feature Mahankirn Kaur’s book release and Hari Tea tastings. Although this Tea Lab is free, guests must RSVP.
Still thirsty for more? Auxiliary Programming includes Bird Pick Tea & Herb’s weekly Tea 101, 102, 103, and 104 series. On Saturday May 18th, Ladies’ Day Out will host a Tea Party in Landera Park.
The Matcha Source will also present the Tea Lab: Everything You Wanted to Know about Matcha, but Were Afraid to Ask with Alissa White and Chef Robert Wemischner. For $25, tea fans can explore the many uses of this distinctive Japanese tea on Sunday May 19th from 3-5pm.
This year’s Tea Lovers Festival promises to please the palate with a variety of tastings, classes, and events from May3rd to May 28th. This month long celebration will certainly brew up a renewed appreciation for tea and tea culture. So turn the kettle off and steep yourself in the Tea Lovers Festival!