Sunday, June 21, 2015

Midwest Tea Festival: Part Three

Ugh, my blogging this week has been sporadic, and I am not in a happy place about it...or the reasons that caused it, stupid meds ruining my game! But tomorrow I readjust my meds back to the previous dosage, calling this experiment a total fail, but hey data is data! You are not here to read about my medical woes, you are here for the final installment of my coverage of the Midwest Tea Fest!
Photo from Midwest Tea Fest Facebook Page Captured me looking half asleep and Ben looking...quizzical? 
This is just my overall outlook of the event, and of course the afterparty! In all honesty, it was a blast, a very overwhelming blast! See, this was a huge thing for me...I am not a fan of crowds, tending to avoid big events and festivals because crowds and me do not get along. But if there was anything going to get me out of my shell it was a tea festival essentially in my own backyard. Not only would I get to talk to tea vendors, not just as a drinker of tea but as a tea blogger, I could meet some of the very well known people in the tea community, fellow Steepsterites, and of course some of my local tea friends!
Waiting in line to get in, a glass floor over poppies in honor of WWI 
I was so excited, so much so that I worked myself into a tizzy the night before, but a lack of sleep was not going to stop me from having fun. I think having a 'mission' of documenting the festival for the blog and for my instagram/twitter/facebook friends really helped keep me focused, also the promise of much tea certainly helped. I think I had...oh...15ish cups of tea? Surprisingly little compared to my normal amount of drinking (what, sample cups are small!) I do in a day, I could have had more but often I was too busy at presentations to go to the various booths for tasting. Once at the end of the festival I keep scurrying to different booths trying to find some with tea left for samples because I was parched. Also, fun little aside, you can see a tin of Harney and Sons' Li Shan Oolong in my pile of loot.

When I met Ben at the Single Origin Tea tasting cafe he hands me this tin, see earlier at the Harney and Son's presentation, a tin of Li Shan Oolong was passed around and I just lost it, it smelled soooo good! Telling Ben it is one of my favorites and it has been forever since I had any, thinking nothing of it. Somehow at their tasting cafe (which he and Fish were at while I was at the Tealet presentation) Ben scored me a tin of it. When we got home I was debating which of my new teas to try, this one won the internal debate!
Sometime after the Tealet presentation I ran into two of the fellow Steepsterites at the event, Andrew (kieblera5) and Maddi (TheLastDodo) we chatted for a bit and I found out after the festival they were going to Shang's and for BBQ and asked if I wanted to go! I also ran into two of my friends Adam and Steph and invited them along. Short Sorceress of Not Starving Yet was also at the event, though sadly I never ran into her, sad! Or I might have and was really oblivious, I almost ran into Andrew (like literally) because I was off in my own head!
A photo posted by Andrew Kiebler (@kieblera5) on
The afterparty was kinda awesome, see, we were pretty close to Shang's, apparently in walking distance...and yeah maybe if you have not been on your feet all day! It was a bit of a hike but we arrived and shared a pot of Tang DynasTea before heading off to Joe's BBQ for some tasty noms. We ended up eating at a park, which was fun! Sadly my 'pork salad' which I imagined to be mostly meat because it only lists the ingredients as meat and sauce, was mostly lettuce and a little meat, this made me sad. Also, this park had the scariest bathroom known to mankind!! The whole experience was made of win, as I finally staggered my way home, exhausted and more than a little overwhelmed by it all, I could safely say it was totally worth it! I think one of my favorite things has been seeing all the photos and reading about other people's experiences days and even weeks later, not just because my vibrantly teal hair shows up in several photos (this is hilarious to me) I love how well received and successful the festival was, and I cannot wait till next year! Now that I know that yes, this is something I can handle, I want to be even more involved.

*if you follow on twitter or facebook and saw my plans about reviewing that Shou yesterday and then doing both today. In a perfect world I will review it when I wake up in the middle of the night for no reason, if not I will definitely review it tomorrow along with a fantastic Matcha surprise for Matcha Monday...spoilers, it won't be just me writing!*

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