Today was Portland’s tea festival! I am very glad that there is one here too, because I was going to miss going to the Midwest Tea Festival.
Today’s coord was planned very thoughfully. The blue chiffon lover JSK from Fanplusfriend that I never seem to wear because I always go for the lavender instead. I was looking through my coord post collections on Instagram when I realized this, so I decided that I HAD to wear this for the Tea Festival. I am also wearing my Sosic Shop Tea parties, which held up quite nicely to the 7000+ steps I walked at the festival alone. My feet hurt at the end of the day, but these shoes are great. Also, my half blouse is from Little Dipper and wearing the Black Ribbon petticoat. I am actually pretty fond of it. Put on wrist cuffs for the pictures, and then got rid of them. My blouse was actually slightly ivory, so it didn’t match my socks perfectly, however I decided I did not care about this today. I sort of matched it to my ivory/beige parasol, which I almost left behind but then decided to bring along. THAT was a smart move, as the festival was outside, and it was super sunny out.
Today was my first time going on public transport alone in lolita. The streetcar back home doesn’t really count, and I was with other people then anyway. I was worried, but no one bothered me, just the usual people telling me that I look nice or asking why I am dressed up. I am pretty lucky that has been my experience though.
The Tea Festival was at the World Foresty Center, with some parts outside in a huge tent, and vendors and some classes inside one of the buildings. This event was considerably smaller than the Midwest Tea Festival, but this is also only year 2 of Tea Fest PDX and someone mentioned that it has grown since last year, so I bet this one will continue to grow too. This event was mostly classes and vendors, but several vendors had the option of not just taste testing tea, but being able to sit down and have tea.
One local tea company, Minto Island Tea Company, had this super cool display of tea leaves in varying stages of processing.
Harvest, Withering, Oxidation (which is the step that helps differentiate black and green teas), and Rolling. It was so cool to see this! They even had tea plants for sale there too.
There was a food truck, and also a stand selling pork buns, so I got myself a pork bun. It was pretty good.
I took a tea etiquette class, and it was really interesting! The classes cost extra in addition to the ticket, but that is fairly standard, and we got some tea during the class too.
Lots of booths had places to go sit and drink tea, and this was a set up near those. Not sure if people actually had tea here or not, but it looked super cozy.
There was a lot of time between when I got to the event and when my class actually started. My technique for shopping at tea festivals (or anime conventions, or pretty much any kind of event) is to make one round just to see what is available, and then make a second round and THEN sbuy your goodies. I had finished buying things but there were still two hours left, so I walked around the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial for a bit. It sounds very strange to call it “beautiful” considering the subject, but it is a nice, respectful place.
This is a sort of shower thought I had while walking, but the weeds you find in Oregon are different from Missouri. These weeds here don’t grow in Missouri, but Missouri has a lot of little wild violets and dandelions, while here there are these skinny yellow flowers that remind me of dandelions (not pictured). I guess I wouldn’t expect to see many weeds in a curated garden, but this popped into my head today. I do see the same kind of clover here as I did back in Missouri.
The Hoyt Arboretum is adjacent to the World Forestry Center also, but I did not walk too far in, really just as far as the memorial. This is because of the shoes I was wearing….many of the paths are just gravel or dirt. However, I am really excited to go visit the Hoyt Arboretum properly one of these days.
These tea cups were actually for a Cream Tea Party that occured after the Etiquette Class, but I did not attend. I just saw them bring them to the area and wanted a picture. They are so pretty. Someday, I would like to have a set of tea cups like this, but right now, I don’t have the room for it, and I prefer larger mugs for tea on a daily basis.
Behold, my tea haul! The samples are fairly sparse at this event, which is okay. I love free stuff, but then it takes forever to actually use the freebies and then half of it is Chai-spiced because apparently everyone except me loves Chai-spice.
I got two Portland themed teas from Stash, and tried them both at the booth before buying. Before trying them, I thought it was just some sort of promo deal, but actually they are delicious, and I already like Stash Tea. I didn’t realize it was based out of Portland, which is pretty cool. From Sugimoto America, I finally bought some Ceremonial Matcha and a whisk. I’ve wanted to make proper matcha at home for awhile but all the starter kits cost so much. I figure that I have a way to measure and a bowl I can use at home, so really only need the whisk. If I turn into a huge Matcha afficianado, then I will go buy a proper Matcha bowl.
I got some Lavender Earl Grey from Labrang Tea Traders, and I probably could have bought several other tins, but I was trying to not buy too much today. I still have a ton left from the last tea festival, after all. From Plum Deluxe, I got Summer Breakfast Black Tea (it smells like grapefruit!), Afternoon ‘High Tea’ White Tea (it smells fruity and delicious) and Lavender Daydream White Tea (it also smelled delicious). Plum Deluxe has a tea of the month club, which is very tempting, however, my tea stash is already insane.
I got a sample of sencha green tea from Tsuru no Maru, which is apparently going to launch next month. There is right now just the one green tea from Japan, and they will also sell rice crackers/senbei. I was actually more interested in the senbei over the tea, but the guy at the booth seemed really nice and I am excited to try this sample.
I got a sample of Smokers Tea and Lung Powder from Golden Lung Tea in a sort of odd manner- they were handing them out to people walking by. They said it’s not just for smokers, so I wish it was called something else. It contains eucalyptus, lungwort, oregano, plantain leaf, elecampane, lobelia, chaparral, peppermint, osha root, skullcap and cordyceps mushroom. Mushrooms in tea?? I guess there was the Russian Tea booth selling a tea made from a mushroom, but I was too chicken to try it. Apparently this is also a powder, so you make it the way you would make Matcha. Hmm.
Finally, a sachet of Paris tea from Harney and Sons. I am no stranger to that tea, as it is one that I have actually finished hah.
I like to collect business cards from the various booths, even if I didn’t buy anything. Best of British is a British shop out west, which is great because I miss the one back in Kansas. Mizuba also sells matcha, but several varieties of it so that will be interesting to try. Jasmine Pearl had a variety box I was interested in but I hit my budget first, so maybe some other time. There is also a tea festival in Seattle in September, which sounds cool but I am not planning on going.
San Fransisco has a tea festival that will be this November, so it will probably be November 2019 when I can go to another tea festival. That is so far away, however, I may actually drink through my current stash by that time so I can go wild. Also, a lot of shops can be ordered online so it’s not like I would ever run out of tea.