Sunday, June 14, 2015

Midwest Tea Festival, Part Two

So, part two is probably not going to be as long as part one, that was a monstrously long post! In part because I spent more of my festival time going to presentations than I did walking around talking to the vendors, tragic I know! There were a ton of vendors, and lots of awesome swag to be had, so lets show that off first.
So much stuff!

My epic bag of goodies, the tasting cups, the bag, some of the samples (the Rishi Tea, Ahmad Earl Grey, and Harney & Sons teabags) were part of the initial bag of goodies that came with admission. Also some of the coupons and the Tea Time magazine, which I hope to use. Sadly the magazine was only somewhat useful to me, all those delicious recipes and all that gluten, will have to modify for my baking purposes.

So what about some of the other stuff in that pile? Well more on that later, for now let us have a look at some of the vendors! On the way in I had the pleasure of chatting with Anna Marie's Teashop and ogling their beautiful setup! They had two separate booths set up, one in the entrance and one inside, lets just say I never got close to the inside one, it was always booming! This was a problem for me in general, I am rather small and shy, so squeezing my way through the crowds was tough!

Next I had a very nice long chat with Herbal Alchemy who wins my Geek Pride award for the festival! They had some delightful blends inspired by various conventions, anime, and The Dresden Files (which is an awesome book series) I couldn't help but dream of an Enderman theme! I foresee a shopping spree!

The London Tea Room's booth was hopping, it was our first stop since it was the first inside the door, well depending on which direction you were moving! We three waited for a while to get a sample of their Peach Blossom, it was quite tasty. Sadly we did not get to sample their other teas, I decided to wander off and come back, but by the time I returned they were all empty.

Next on my wanderings was to Yoki's booth! One of the few places on the vendor lists whose actual store I have visited. If you love Japan then it is one of those little pockets of happiness, the tea they were sampling was one of Tea Forte's and it was quite refreshing.
I want those mugs!! I love the Phoenix Herb Company logo

Onwards to the next booth! Phoenix Herb Company, a long time favorite! They were one of the few booths giving out samples (take home, not just sipping, though they had those too!) so I was happy to receive them, they also had an amazing coupon which I will be using in the near future. Their teas have never disappointed. Hilariously it was not till almost the end of the Festival itself that I was able to get a sipping of one of their teas, it was a welcome thing because I was very thirsty.
I find their teapot logo to be quite awesome 

Next I shuffled over to Traveling Tea, I did not get to try any of their samples, but I did buy several samples, including Yaupon, an one of the three American Ilex varieties that are caffeinated. Same family as Yerba Mate and Guayusa! I plan on buying more of their samples in the future, plus they are one of Tealet's distributors, which is awesome! It was about this time that I scurried off to the first presentation I was seeing and did not get much time between them till much later.
Hey look, the crowd is slightly manageable 
When I finally had time to wander around the vendor room, the crowd was a tiny bit smaller, so I actually got to take my time and look at things. I went to Bingley's Tea Limited where I had quite a lot of fun chatting and tasting teas. I picked up a tin of their Aged Oolong, something I had on my wishlist to try of theirs. They certainly win the award for most whimsical tea display!

I think Yoda is probably a big Puerh drinker
I was also able to chat tea plants and botany with Single Origin Tea, where I picked up the Orange Blossom Oolong I reviewed yesterday. I wanted to chat more, but alas I had to run to my last presentation. Luckily we live in the digital age, so I can always ask tea plant questions via the interwebs!
I so wanted her beautiful teapots and teacups!!!

There were loads of other vendors, I wish I would have had more time to taste the teas and talk to people, but lets face it, my focus was all about the presentations, and crowds scare me just a little...ok a lot! But I was able to get some new teas that I am excited to try (and have tried!) There were plenty more teas I plan on buying from these new (and not so new) to me vendors in the future, I think I did quite well for myself on my limited budget. Next week I will be sharing my more personal experience and of course, the epic after party!!

1 comment:

  1. If you ever come to St. Louis, that is where The London Tea Room is located. We live about two miles from them and are friends with the owners (we have been since even before they opened The London Tea Room). I get nearly all my tea from them because it is not really a bad price, some is really a good price! So, if you ever do come to St. Louis, stop by their store, they have some really good teas!
    And some really good tea classes!