If tea holds a place of importance in your life — I know it does in mine — a tasting at The Northwest Tea Festival at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center on Saturday will be an event worth your while.
The festival’s World of Tea Series provides an opportunity for people to explore teas from around the world.
Saturday’s tasting, Traditional Sweets, will present traditional teas paired with sweets from five countries around the world: Taiwan, Turkey, Japan, Egypt, and Russia.
“Tea and sweets together is a fun experience because it gives people the opportunity to try teas they may not have experienced before, but also experience sweets that are specific to the culture that the tea came from,” said Virginia Wright, owner of Phoenix Tea and host of Saturday’s tasting.
Other events in the series pair teas with other foods, such as chocolate or cheese. This is the first event in the series has focused on the international aspects of tea culture, Wright said.
All of the teas will come from Wright’s store, located in Burien. Most of the desserts will come from local companies, and Wright will present the teas in dish ware that are used in each of the countries featured.
As guests mingle and sip tea Saturday morning, Wright will share information about the teas and their ingredients, their paired desserts, and the cultures they come from. She also will discuss about how tea is used in the different cultures, such as business settings and family settings.
Tea blogger Heather Porter, a regular attendee of the World of Tea events, says the cultural aspect of tea is fascinating.
“You’re getting to travel without traveling really,” Porter said.
If you go
Traditional Sweets will be from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 South Alaska Street, Seattle, WA 98118. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.