SEATTLE, Wash. — The Northwest Tea Festival is in full swing today with an enthusiastic crowd at Seattle Center. The annual event includes workshops, tastings, exhibits and demonstrations.
Emeric Harney with Harney & Sons open the program Sunday telling attendees how tea is made.
Harney’s personal travels have taken him to Africa, Asia and India. He told attendees that in China they harvest in the spring and for limited times in Darjeeling, India, but in Assam they never stop plucking through most of the year, working six days a week.
His photos of Rwanda featured Sowarthe, an estate that worked hard to stabilize the soil in a rain-soaked region and produces organic teas for companies like Teavana. The next stop on his talk was South Africa to explain the origin and preparation of Rooibos. Needles of this plant lend sweetness and bark adds body and the characteristic red color.
“My grandfather John Harney convinced London’s Dorchester Hotel to buy tea from an American company with an Irish heritage,” he said pointing out that for the past five years the famous hotel has won awards for excellence of its tea. British legacy teas remain popular but companies must continue to innovate.
Millennials like himself will experience more flavors and more unique teas being developed, said Harney.