Earlier this month, Azure Lorica made a visit to the L.A. Tea Festival, held in the Japanese American National Museum. While the Festival was not gigantic as the one being held right outside the museum, the world of tea was readily available through the many focus tastings, free samples and lectures.
Tea in America has steadily grown in popularity over the past especially with the boom of, ironically, coffee shops such as Starbucks that offer tea alternatives to their coffee. Though black tea (and by extension iced tea) still remain prevalent the rise of green, oolong and white teas continues on due to rising trends of healthy eating in the States. However, in terms of tea consumption, we still fall far behind the rest of the world.
Regarding the festival itself, many companies came out and showcased their teas and merchandise to share with the public such as Chado, Art of Tea and Alson’s Tea. The variety of taste and smell became intoxicating, especially after I personally consumed over twenty different teas and tea products (mints, truffles).
As someone who grew up on Nestea and Lemon Lift, it was definitely refreshing to find a whole world involved with teas. My personal favorite tea became Rajini, a “delicate blend of fine Indian tea with blue French Lavander and rose petals,” according to Chado. Much like Mr. James Norwood Pratt, world-renowned tea connoisseur, I invite you all to delve into the world of tea.
There is a life outside of chai.