Tea is a religion and I am an ardent disciple, worshipping all leaves from the smoky Lapsang Souchong to the grassy Sencha. So when The Ferry Building and the Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture hosted the San Francisco International Tea Festival this past weekend, I just had to attend. As a tea lover, this was a great opportunity to try out different varietals side by side and discover purveyors that I normally would not find in the local store.
There were about a dozen or so exhibitors, some with wide distribution like Republic of Tea and Ito-En and others that were less mainstream. Every attendee was given a goodie bag filled with tea samples as well as a little porcelain tea cup for sipping the various offerings. I had a great time going from table to table sampling different single leaf varietals and custom blends. There was a lot of tea to go around and my palette started getting fatigued. Thankfully, there were three teas that broke through the amber fog and shone clear and bright.