The second day of Tea Festival started off with a presentation from Michael and Emeric Harney on Tea Through the Generations. It focused on the progression of tea in the Harney & Sons line, which also reflected changing ideas about tea for America as a whole.
Some 50ish years ago, people were drinking plain old Gunpowder Green or Orange Pekoe. As Michael Harney and his generation of tea blenders came to the fore, they introduced single-varietal teas, cultivating blends from particular sites, such as New Vithanakanya in Ceylon. And now, with the millenials' desire for flavored teas, new blends that combine fine teas with high-quality blending ingredients have become popular.
Aside from the excellent presentation, I made my way though the booths I missed yesterday, revisited a few favorites, and did a focused tasting of three teas from Silk Road: a green, an oolong, and a black, steeped in traditional gaiwans. It was a delightful tasting.
This is my third year of Tea Festival, and it was my favorite yet. It just keeps getting better.
I can't wait for next year!