The two-day inaugural Los Angeles Tea Festival at the Japanese American National Museum debuted to a sizeable and steady crowd.
Tea seminars, tastings, demonstration of tea making art drew initiates and connoisseurs to the Museum’s Summer Festival on the Courtyard in downtown Los Angeles.
The Festival consisted of a handful of leading tea companies sharing and sampling in the museum lobby. The crowd was constant and engaged throughout the entire event.
Ito En, Hues n Brews, Art of Tea, Tea Classics, Sencha Naturals, Bana Tea, ABC Teahouse and International Tea Importers actively engaged consumers and enthusiasts throughout the two days. The event was made possible by organizer and principal sponsor Devan Shah, who is the owner of International Tea Importers and Chado tea rooms, one of which is located inside the Museum.
Educational sessions were open to all delegates and featured session on the health benefits of tea, using tea in meditation, exploring cooking with tea, and a number of focused tastings buy the exhibiting companies. Babette Donaldson, author of the Emma Lea book series for children, managed the book store and held book signings by celebrity tea authors such a James Norwood Pratt.
Pratt, pictured at right, delivered several lectures and lingered to answer questions from attendees.
“This was a great testimony to the growing popularity of tea in America and the demand for knowledge and premium products”, said World Tea Expo organizer George Jage who was on hand on Sunday. “Devan did a great job pulling together the event and creating a great environment for tea lovers of all ages explored the world and culture of tea.”
The event was marketed though a partnership with the museum who used its database to invite friends of the museum. The festival also used Groupon extensively and paired the promotion with deals and discounts at the Chado tea room. Organizers indicated they sold more than 600 tickets through Groupon. Profits from sales go to the Museum.
Chado Tea posted a number of additional photos on its page.