James Norwood Pratt, the most prestigious tea author of our time, will speak this Sunday at the 3rd Annual Los Angeles International Tea Festival. Pratt give an overview of tea and tea history as part of the International Tea Forum. Other forum speakers Devan Shah of Cado Tea Room, Roy Fong of San Francisco’s Imperial Tea Court, Rona Tison of Ito En and Pujitha Ubayasiri, who will speak on teas from Sri Lanka.
The Los Angeles Tea Festival is a yearly event at which consumers can experience a wide variety of teas and attend tea classes and workshops. This year it will run September 28-29, 11 a. m.-5 p. m. at the Japanese American National Museum.
Around 20 exhibitors will display their teas and tea-related products. Attendees will be able to examine, smell and even taste a variety of teas. Most of not all of these teas are from Southern California tea companies. Well known tea companies such as Chado Tea Room. Glemburn Tea Direct and Harney and Sons will be amongst them, but also some lesser known tea companies such as Bana Teas and 1001 plateaus. There are even two tea companies selling special bottled water.
Amongst the most interesting products on display are Lisa’s Berry Bowls. Lisa (no last name) creates what is known as functional art. Her items include other items such as vases, but the ones most likely to appeal to tea drinking are her lovely arts and crafts style cups.
What many people attend the Festival for, however, is the classes. This year the Festival is presenting a wide variety of classes that appeal to both new and experienced tea drinkers. Den Shirakata of Den’s tea will present Discover the Wonders of Green Tea. Alex Harney presents All the Tea in India and Devan Shah will speak about All the Tea in China. Other classes include How to Plan a Perfect Tea Celebration by Laura Phipps and Taiwanese Oolong by Thomas Shu.
There are many more lectures and experiences, but perhaps the most fascinating two are the ones conducted by noted culinary instructor and cookbook author Robert Wemischner. His most recent book is Dessert Architect, but before that he wrote Cooking with Tea: Techniques and Recipes for Appetizers, Entrees, Desserts, and More.
Wemischner is presenting two classes on tea pairing. The first class of the day is pairing tea with chocolate. As many tea lovers know, chocolate and tea can greatly enhance one another’s flavors. Wemischner will show you how to pair the white, dark, and milk chocolate with the tea that brings out the best experience of both.
His other class is tea and cheese pairing. This is something relatively new to tea drinkers. Wemischner will pair soft goat cheese with fresh green tea, soft double-cream cheese with Assam and more.
Each of these classes will be taught on both Saturday and Sunday. There is a $10 fee for each of the pairing classes and you can pay ahead of time online.
For a complete list of all the lectures and classes, you can check the Festival Tea Classes and Vendor Presentations page of the Festival site.
Japanese American National Museum is located at
100 N. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012.
General admission is $15 not including fees for classes. You can purchase tickets ahead of time online.
There is a parking lot at 101 N Judge John Aiso St. Credit cards are accepted with no minimums.