L.A. International Tea Festival This Weekend

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tea festivalThe third annual Los Angeles International Tea Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.

Billed as “Your passport to the world of tea,” the event will feature Japanese tea ceremony, tea sommelier classes, guest speakers, book-signings, a tea origins tour (Sunday only), educational seminars, tea pairings, vendor presentations, and tea exhibitors. Presentations will include:

• “Discover the Wonders of Green Tea” (Saturday at 11:15 a.m.) with Den Shirakata, founder of Den’s Tea.

• “All the Tea in India” (Saturday at 11:30 a.m.) with Devan Shah, founder of International Tea Importers and Chado Tea Room.

• “Tea & Chocolate” (Saturday at 12 p.m., Sunday at 1:30 p.m.) and “Tea & Cheese” (Saturday at 1 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 p.m.) with Robert Wemischner, pastry chef and culinary instructor. Fee: $10 per workshop.

• “How to Open a Tea Room” (Saturday at 1:30 p.m.) with Tekeste Mehreteab, co-owner and COO, Chado Tea Room.

• “Meditation with Tea” (Saturday at 2 p.m.) with Diana Rosen, author of “The Book of Green Tea.”

• “All the Tea in China” (Saturday at 2:30 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m.) with Roy Fong, founder of Imperial Tea Court.

• Japanese tea ceremony (Saturday at 4 p.m., Sunday at 12 p.m.) with Masayo Sebata.

• “Be Healthy, Drink Tea” (Saturday at 4 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.) with Dr. Mary Hardy, medical director, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

• “Green Teas of Japan” (Sunday at 11:30 a.m.) with Rona Tison, senior vice president-corporate relations, Ito En (North America) Inc.

• “Demystifying Pu-Erh Tea” (Sunday, time TBA) with Linda Louie, owner of Bana Tea Company.

• “An Introduction to Tea” (Sunday at 11:45 a.m.) and “Flavored Teas” (Sunday at 3 p.m.) with Steve Schwartz, founder of Art of Tea.

• International Tea Forum with author James Norwood Pratt, Devan Sha, Roy Fong, Rona Tison and Royce Van Twest of Qtrade Teas & Herbs.

Other speakers will include Alex Harney of Harney & Sons, Master Tea Blenders; Bina Jhaveri, proprietor, A to Zen Coaching; Laura Phipps, CEO, ZenZeu.com; and Thomas Shu, co-founder, American Premium Tea Institute.

General admission is $15. There is a $100 fee for the Tea Sommelier Certification Program, which will be held both days from 9 to 11 a.m.

For more information, call (562) 801-9600, email [email protected] or visit http://teafestivalla.com.

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