Today was Day 1 of the Northwest Tea Festival. This is my third year attending, and as always, the highlight of Day 1 was the keynote address by James Norwood Pratt, America's tea luminary. This year he talked about what tea can teach us: how it can be an island of calm in a world that is full of fear and uncertainty; how it brings friends together; how, with even the slightest bit of curiosity, tea can reveal the world to us.
As always, the imminently quotable Mr. Pratt furnished some new amazing tea sayings:
When you think about it, tea is liquid sunshine.
There is no luxury more affordable than tea.
There is no mood-altering substance more benign than tea.
Tea comes from somewhere else, and it takes us somewhere else.
This was quite possibly Norwood's best speech to date.
Other amazing things at the Tea Festival:
A workshop on moist and delicious scones.
A tasting of fine Oolongs.
Hanging out with Michael and Emeric Harney of Harney & Sons, who will be giving a speech on Tea Through the Generations tomorrow.
Stocking up on tea from many of my favorite tea places, including the aforementioned Harney & Sons, Perennial, and Afternoon to Remember.
Tasting as much as I could handle before the caffeine overwhelmed me.
There's still plenty more to experience tomorrow.