tea festival imageThe fifth annual Los Angeles International Tea Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5-6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.

The event, which will feature exhibitors, speakers, and classes, is sponsored by International Tea Importers, Chado: The Way of Tea, Waterfall Tea Company, Chai Diaries Premium Tea, Alson’s Tea, Harney & Sons Fine Teas, Zen’s Tea House, Aiya America, JANM, and Teabook.

Exhibitors include Aoi America, Bana Teas, Den’s Tea, Glenburn Tea Direct, Ito En, JT & Tea, Kagoshima Seicha Co. Ltd., Lisa’s Berry Bowl, Rosali Tea, Sencha Naturals, Sharp Electronics Tea Ceré, Tea Xotics, Tea Gallerie, Teasopia, and Zenzeu Teas.

The Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu or sado in Japanese) will be demonstrated both days in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum. It is a choreographed ritual of preparing and serving green tea (matcha) together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics inside and out, about preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart.

The “Tea Sommelier: Apprentice Level” workshop will be given both days from 9 to 11 a.m. by Devan Shah, founder of International Tea Importers and Chado Tea Room, and author James Norwood Pratt. Students will receive a certificate upon completion. Fee is $100.

Other class topics and speakers:

“Be Healthy, Drink Tea” by Dr. Mary Hardy, medical director of Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, on Dec. 5 and 6.

“Intro to Tea” by Jordan Essey, Chado Tea Room manager, on Dec. 5.

“All About Oolongs” by Thomas Shu, owner of JT & Tea Inc., on Dec. 5.

“Green Teas from Japan” by Rona Tison, vice president of Ito En, on Dec. 5.

“Pu-erh: The Drinkable Antique” by Linda Louie, owner of Bana Tea Company, on Dec. 5.

“All the Tea in China” by tea master Roy Fong on Dec. 5.

“All the Tea in India” by Alex Harney of Harney & Sons Fine Teas on Dec. 5.

“Fundraising with Tea” by Babette Donaldson, founder of the International Tea Sippers Society, on Dec. 5.

“Tea and Meditation” by Diana Rosen, author of “Meditations with Tea: Paths to Inner Peace,” on Dec. 5 and 6.

“Tea and Cheese” and “Tea and Chocolate” by Robert Wemischner, tea expert, pastry chef and author of four books, on Dec. 5 and 6. Fee: $10 per class.

“How to Open a Tea Room” on Dec. 6.

“Natural Holistic Treatment” with speakers from Zen’s Tea House on Dec. 6.

“How to Make the Perfect Pot of Tea” by David Beeman of Global Customized Water on Dec. 6.

“Benefits of Tea: Beyond the Cup” by Reena Shah, co-owner of Chado Tea Room, on Dec. 6.

“World Tea Origins Tour” with James Norwood Pratt (moderator), Devan Shah (India), Thomas Shu (Taiwan), Roy Fong (China), Rona Tison (Japan), Alex Harney (South India), and Pujitha Ubayasiri (Sri Lanka) on Dec. 6.

Daily general admission is $20. For more information, visit http://teafestivalla.com.


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