Visit Us at the Northwest Tea Festival October 5th & 6th!

NWTF2013The premiere tea festival in the Pacific Northwest, the Northwest Tea Festival, will delight long-time tea lovers and new fans of all ages with tea tastings, classes, lectures and great shopping with local vendors.  Just in time for the official kick-off of “Tea Season,” the festival will once again be held October 5th and 6th, 2013 in the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109.

The Northwest Tea Festival is offering products, information and seminars for more than 2,000 tea lovers and aspiring tea professionals.  The goal is to provide experiences covering all aspects of tea, from the cultural to the historical and the sensory to the scientific.

At our Choice Organic Teas booth, we’ll be serving samples of our new Wellness Teas and  selling select teas from our collection. Please note, we are only accepting cash and check for purchases.

Entry to the Northwest Tea Festival is free to the public, with a suggested donation of $10 which includes a free porcelain tasting teacup and festival bag.  Select lectures and tastings may require additional fees. Seating is limited and pre-registration is suggested and available on the festival’s website, www.nwteafestival.com. Hours for the Tea Festival are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5th and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6th.

New highlights this year will be the Tea in History Art Show, Raku Tea Bowl firing demonstrations, and a Korean Tea Ceremony performance.   Additionally, Mike & Emeric Harney of Harney & Sons and James Norwood Pratt, noted tea author, will be featured presenters.  Other sponsors this year include: Perennial Tea Room, Ito En, Harney & Sons, Choice Organic Teas, Smacha, Bunn, and Northwest Folklife.  A list of this year’s vendors may be found by clicking: http://www.nwteafestival.com/vendor13.php

Returning features of the tea festival include:

  • Appearances and teaching by James Norwood Pratt, author and world recognized authority on tea and tea lore, including “James Norwood Pratt’s NEW Tea Lover’s Treasury”
  • A full line-up of presentations and workshops on tea and related topics
  • Our perennially favorite tea tastings – try new teas and discover new favorites!
  • The Wu-wo Tea Ceremony
  • Tea and teaware vendors from the Pacific Northwest and across the country showcasing  their teas, beautiful teacups, teapots, and tea accessories

For more information on the Northwest Tea Festival visit our web site:  www.nwteafestival.com.

At Bastyr University’s Annual Spring for Health Luncheon

On Tuesday, we had the privilege of attending Bastyr University’s Annual Spring for Health Luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle to support uncompensated health care services for those in need.

From left to right: Dr. Church (President of Bastyr University), Eric Ring (Choice Organic Teas Head of Purchasing), Ray Lacorte (Choice Organic Teas Head of Operations), and Tim Callahan (Senior VP and Provost of Bastyr University).

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Our new Wellness Teas collection created in partnership with Bastyr was featured as a favor for attendees.

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Jean Enerson, the co-anchor at KING5 News Seattle known for her news stories regarding health issues, spoke at the luncheon.

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Our Breathing Space tea was served iced as a refreshing part of the menu.

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A hot tea service was provided so attendees could begin enjoying their favors (our Wellness Teas).

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All in all, we had a terrific time supporting Bastyr’s annual luncheon as they further their mission to make quality natural healthcare more accessible to all.

Mark Your Calendar for the 5th Annual Northwest Tea Festival on October 6th & 7th

The premiere tea festival in the Pacific Northwest, the Northwest Tea Festival will delight long-time tea lovers as well as new fans of all ages with classes, lectures, tastings, and great shopping with local vendors.  Just in time to kick-off tea season, the festival is once again the first weekend in October, in the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center.  Last year, over 1,600 people attended and we expect it to be bigger this year!

A suggested donation of $10 provides you with a porcelain tasting cup to try teas from various vendors around the festival.  Select lectures and tastings may require additional fees. Seating is limited and pre-registration for classes and activities is suggested and will be available on the website as the date nears. Hours are 10am to 6pm on Saturday, Oct 6th and 10am to 4pm on Sunday, Oct 7th.

Highlights include:

  • Talks by celebrated tea experts, including James Norwood Pratt, one of the world’s leading authors and authorities on tea and tea lore.
  • The popular Tea Tasting Booths where attendees have the opportunity to sample a range of teas in small groups with a tea leader.
  • A wide selection of classes and activities led by experts from across the country. There are region-specific classes, in-depth guides on tea styles, classes on cultural traditions and practices around tea, and much more.
  • A workshop on tea sommelier skill development designed for restaurant personnel. This class will help develop the participants’ skills at pairing tea with food.
  • The opportunity to purchase fine teas and unique tea ware from premium teashops and importers, a great market for any tea lover!

For more information on the Northwest Tea Festival, please visit the website:  www.nwteafestival.com.

Join us for a tour and tea tasting in honor of Mother’s Day and World Fair Trade Day!

On Saturday, May 12th, we will be hosting a special event “Fair Trade Teas from Around the World Company Tour and Tasting” at Choice Organic Teas in Seattle from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Have you ever wondered what goes into bringing your tea to the grocery shelves or what makes Fair Trade teas so special?  Come find out and get a chance to dive into the world of tea with our twenty plus years of experience. We are inviting guests for a rare opportunity to visit our tea company and explore the world of Fair Trade Certified™ teas.

The program includes refreshments, a tour of our certified organic facility, an introduction to Fair Trade, and a tea tasting featuring Fair Trade Certified teas guided by our experienced staff. Admission includes a complimentary mug, an assortment of tea samples, and 3 boxes of tea. Tickets are $50 and limited to 12 guests, so be sure to get your ticket soon here!

We are located in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, just off I-5. Free parking is available in our parking lot and on the street. View our location here.

We hope to see you there!

Don’t Miss the Northwest Tea Festival Oct. 1 & 2!

We are very excited for the fourth annual Northwest Tea Festival taking place this weekend at Seattle Center! If you’ve never been to the festival before, this is a true celebration of the world of tea. You’ll find vendors of all sorts of teas and tea wares, fun and educational presentations and workshops conducted by experts in the tea trade, and of course, tea tastings!

Admission is free, but a $10 donation gets you a porcelain tasting cup and gift bag, and also gets you into the tea tasting sessions.  The workshops fill up every year, so you may want to make a reservation in advance.  For a complete schedule of presentations and workshops, visit here.  Some folks even come both days of the festival so they can participate in as much as possible!

The Northwest Tea Festival has a new location this year, in the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center.   It takes place Saturday, October 1st from 10am-6pm and Sunday, October 2nd from 10am-4pm. We are proud to be a major sponsor of this special event and hope you will join us this year!

Update 10.13.11: We had a wonderful time at this year’s Northwest Tea Festival. If you weren’t able to make it this year, come out the first weekend in October 2012!

Thank you to Nicole Weinstock for these photos.

Come Visit Us at Natural Products Expo East!

If you’re headed to Natural Products Expo East this week, stop by and say hello to us at booth #2209!

On Saturday, September 24th, the Responsible Packaging Forum and Awards will be held in room #322 from 10:00am-12:30pm. If you’ll be around, come see us receive our award at 12:00pm for our compostable, staple-less tea bags and tags, with 100% recycled paperboard with 65% post-consumer content cardboard box. Hope to see you there!

Celebrate Organic Month!

September is National Organic Harvest Month, the perfect time to celebrate everything wonderful about organic food and agriculture. Having been in the organic tea business for over twenty years, we’re strong believers in this movement and we’re thrilled to see that it’s been catching on.  Even despite a slow economy, the Organic Trade Association reported that organic sales grew 7.7% in 2010 from 2009 and we expect that trend to continue through 2011.

Washington Organic Week, Washington State’s week long celebration of organic agriculture takes place September 11-17. We’re excited that this year, the week received its first official proclamation by Washington State’s governor, Christine Gregoire! You can read the proclamation here.

Though many folks hear the buzz surrounding organic foods and products, it seems like it’s not always well understood why organic certification and practices are so important and how many implications they really have.  Here’s a quick refresh in case you know that organic is important, but are still wondering why exactly that is:

Organic certification means that no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, additives, or genetically modified organisms are used in growing or production of agricultural products.  The avoidance of these substances creates a profound impact on the health of the soil, surrounding ecosystem, and the people who farm the land.  Because synthetic chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers) aren’t used, soil remains healthier, full of nutrients and healthy microbes that are replenished naturally using compost and other organic matter. Beyond benefiting the crop, this soil stays in harmony with the surrounding environment, leading to more plant and animal wildlife.  In the Oothu Garden in India, for example, a rainforest and tiger reserve borders the organic tea fields.  This healthier environment is of course beneficial to humans too, both to the garden workers that would otherwise be in contact with toxic chemicals and the consumer that drinks the tea!

As you can see why, we find it essential that our teas and ingredients are organic. But, we also believe that they should be accessible. We are proud to offer high quality, organic teas at an affordable price, so that everyone looking for a better cup can enjoy one!