What? You’ve never heard of the Midwest Tea Festival! Well, keep reading to get the scoop on this fabulous day long event that celebrates the art of tea. During the festival, hundreds of tea lovers gathered to learn about tea culture and history, how tea should be prepared, where tea comes from, and enjoy plenty of tea tastings!
As Lily and I entered the auditorium, I was dazzled by just how many people were there for tea. This year was my first in attendance so I had no clue what to expect. Although, when I heard the words Midwest Tea Festival I pictured a room full of fancily dressed ladies all sitting down for tea. While that is fantastic, this festival is nothing like that. It’s better! Attendees were able to go beyond simply coming to tea and actually dive deep into what makes a tea.
Ararat Shrine Auditorium was full of local Kansas City merchants and vendors from across the country who brought their best teas for sampling. A few vendors came with yummy treats perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea. Some merchants also showcased their tea related arts and crafts. However the Midwest Tea Festival focuses more on expanding the knowledge of tea.
The event included several tea industry experts speaking about tea. We also took time to get to know the people behind some of our favorite teas. All the vendors and merchants we met were so eagerly gracious in sharing their stories and explaining where their tea comes from. We even learned about how some teas are harvested and the process of how business owners select teas to sell in their shops. Those who attended also had the chance to participate in tasting sessions and workshops which added to the tea culture experience. Each was led by experts in the field and featured tastings, in-depth discussions and traditional techniques.
The Midwest Tea Festival provides tea lovers from all over the country, the knowledge to develop a passion for and truly appreciate tea. While it only an annual event, there are still more ways to connect with local tea culture throughout the year.
The Cabinet of Curiosi-Teas program is designed to help continue your tea education in the company of other tea enthusiasts. The first Cabinet meeting will be held on July 9th at Garza’s Goodies, 8011 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO. This group tasting session is limited to 30 guests so purchase your tickets now! (They’re $30) The group will taste a curated collection of high quality teas from Mandala Tea, a premiere boutique tea vendor in Rochester, MN. Guests will also leave with more tea to enjoy at home.
The Midwest Tea Festival has partnered with the English-Speaking Union-Kansas City Branch to take your tea and literature education even further with the Kansas City Tea & Literature Club! Together they will host an evening book club every 3 months beginning in January 2016. The next meeting will discuss The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck on July 11, 2016. China will be highlighted by tea host Kyle Rutliff from Shang Tea. Each session focuses on a tea growing region of the world and the featured book will be connected to that region. There will be time for discussion of the book and about a 30 minute presentation on the tea and tea culture of the featured region.
Book club members will be introduced to tea from the featured region, enjoy delicious treats, and discuss the book and regional tea culture. The Midwest Tea Festival and the are asking a $10 donation for each session to benefit their educational programs. Kansas City Tea & Literature Club will be held on the second Monday evening of every third month at Se Faire Belle Salon.
Before the Midwest Tea Festival I thought I knew enough about tea to call myself a fan but everything I learned there completely blew anything I knew out of the water! This event is a must for local tea drinkers. Thanks for reading! Share this with someone who loves tea.