dempsey's blog

The Awesomeness of the NW Tea Festival

It came and went with a flourish. It was the best year ever. Double the crowds from last year. New vendors, new tastings, new events. It was awesome. Did you attend? Maybe next year.

There were 20 different tea vendors from which to choose your favorite tea, and to try a new tea. With the teacup provided as part of the entry fee, there were samplings galore. It was a wonderful opportunity to try lots of new teas, learning from each vendor, and mingling with other like-minded individuals. 

Who knew tea was so charismatic?

My daughter, who is now 17, became very interested in tea when she was in middle school. It started with tea bags. Every opportunity she took to influence my generosity, another box of tea would find its place in our pantry. I didn’t think much about this, other than how wonderful it was that she enjoyed tea and not teenage drama.

One day on a treasured girl’s day out, we happened upon a tea ceremony. A whole new world opened up—-we learned to tap our fingers to signal “thank you”; we learned about puerh, oolong and fermentation. She brought home her first bag of loose leaf tea. 

Tea Festival Time

I am drinking tea like crazy. Having 87 different teas on my shelves is not conducive to buying more at the NW Tea Festival, coming up in October. I have to get rid of some tea, or I will not be buying any tea.

Well, ok, drink up. And that is exactly what I am doing. Black tea, green. White tea, yellow. Rooibos. Herbal. Puer. For heaven’s sake, where did I get all these teas? Oh wait, maybe the last NW Tea Festival.

Golden Moon Coconut Pouchong

I was in the mood for coconut tea. I love the smell, and the taste is refreshing. 

Spying a tin on my tea shelf, I made some hot tea, 185 degrees, for 3 minutes. Wrong Move. It was too hot, weather wise, for hot tea, but my habit of making hot tea kicked in before my brain realized that it was hot outside, and humid. Hot tea just made me feel worse. And sweaty. And cranky.

So I iced it.

The Sun Tea Ice Cube Experiment

Not a straight water fan (no taste), I drink cold tea. Especially in the summer. As I have an East facing kitchen window, I make sun tea: cold water, tea, and time. The tea sits overnight, the flavor is absorbed by the water, and in the morning, voila! cold, all-day-sipping tea. No heating water, no timers, no mess......

White Petal #72

The great thing about Steven Smith’s teas are how subtle they are. Smooth doesn’t begin to describe them. White Petal #72 is no exception. It is a white tea, full leaf, with osmanthus flowers from China, and chamomile petals from Egypt, though it doesn’t taste at all like chamomile. Enough with put-me-to-sleep chamomile teas.

Mango Sunshine Tea

Mango SunshineThe smell alone is heavenly. I don’t even care that there is no real tea in it. It’s a tisane with mango, orange, strawberry, tangerine, and pineapple pieces. It is definitely an iced tea summertime drink. Hot, it’s nice; cold, it’s unbeatable.

Run to the Perennial Tea Room on Post Alley, near the Pike Place Market and check this out. They have real teas, too.

Silk Road Jasmine Teas

Jasmine Silver NeedleIf you visit the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, in San Francisco, there is a Tea House. You can spend an afternoon gazing at the koi ponds, the cherry blossoms, and the landscape of the Garden while sipping Jasmine Green Tea. Surprise to me, not all jasmine tea is green tea. As in everything, there is variation.