World Tea Farms Festival Attendee Survey

At the Inaugural World Tea Farms Festival we presented teas and tea culture items from around Japan and the world. Attendees of the event were given a tea cup and encouraged to explore the various booths. Upon existing the booth area each person was given four stickers colored red, blue, yellow, and green. They then placed these stickers on our voting board the booths that they thought they liked the most, was the most cool, was the most interesting, and was the most addictive. By the end of the event our voting board was filled up with multi-colored dots and some of the more popular booths forced us to create more space for stickers by adding more paper. We finally finished counting all the dots and here are the results that we found.

Most Liked

#1 Wazuka Tea (109 votes)

#2 Dignitea Garden Taiwan Tea (84 votes)

#3 Japanese Tea Ceremony (67 votes)

Most Cool

#1 Wazuka Tea (23 votes)

#2 Lochan Darjeeling Tea (22 votes)

#3 Japanese Tea Ceremony (20 votes)

Most Interesting

#1 Nepal Butter Tea (51 votes)

#2 Sparkling Tea (44 votes)

#3 Hawaii Grown Tea (19 votes)

Most Addictive

#1 Sayama Tea (42 votes)

#2 Dignitea Gardens Taiwan Tea (39 votes)

#3 Sparkling Tea (34 votes)

 

Tea Brings Us Together

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to all our new tea friends we made at the Inaugural World Tea Farms Festival in Wazuka. Tea farmers from Indonesia, Taiwan, India, Korea, and all over Japan joined us to make friends over a cup of tea. There were laughing children, friendly dogs, tea-inspired food, and so much love in the environment. We couldn’t have asked for better weather or a better crowd. For those of you that joined us, we hope you enjoyed and for those that could not we look forward to making more events just like this. Our ultimate goal is to spread these meet”tea”ings all around the world so we can connect over tea and find world peace.

Links for the event:
VIDEO
BLOG  (Japanese)
BLOG  (Japanese)

World Tea Farms Festival

 

 2-Day Festival of a Thousand Tea Farmers and Tea Lovers

All-You-Can-Drink from around the world

India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, Japan (Wazuka, Shizuoka, Yame, Kyoto, Nara…)

Date and Time:

Saturday 3/10/2012 – Sunday 3/11/2012 10AM-4PM

Location:

Green Tea Wazuka Town, Soraku District, Kyoto Prefecture

Shuttle bus to event location will be available from JR Kamo Station

Admission Fee:

1-Day Admission – 1,500 yen

2-Day Admission – 2,000 yen

Event Itinerary

 Tasting and Sale of Teas

Proud to be tasting and selling tea from 30 tea farms from India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, and all over Japan.

View an exhibition of photos of tea producing areas including an exhibit of local costume.

Various events held in glasshouse

Tea Culture Seminars

Calligraphy, Zen meditation, yoga, chess, tea ceremony, tea storytelling, photography

Food Court

Unique tea inspired meals:

Matcha Curry, Green Tea Sweets, Sushi, Ochazuke (rice with tea), and much more

Wazuka is surprisingly near to Kansai

By Car:

  • From Kyoto take Route 24 to Route 163 at Kamo (about 90 minutes)
  • Nara is about half way from Osaka (about 20 minutes)
  • On the way to Nara on Negoya National Highway (about 80 minutes)
  • Convenient from Kamo (about 15 minutes)
  • Route 24 from Nara to Kamo (about 30 minutes)
  • Route 163 from Ueno to Kamo (about 30 minutes)

By Train:

We will be operating a shuttle bus from JR Kamo station to Wazuka。(Taxi fare is about 2,000 yen)

  • From JR Kyoto station: Take the Miyakoji Kaisoku Naraiki line from JR Kyoto to Kizu Station. Transfer to JR Yamatoji Kaisoku line to Kamo Station (approximate journey time: 45 minutes)
  • From JR Osaka station: Take the JR Yamatoji Kaisoku Line to Kamo station (approximate journey time: 65 minutes)
  • From JR Nara station: Take JR Yamatoji Kaisoku line to Kamo Station (approximate journey time: 14 minutes)

Tea at high end supermarkets (New York City)

Tea has become increasingly popular in the U.S. in recent years due to the ever growing interest in Eastern cultures along with the belief in the health benefits of tea. Nowhere is this more evident than in New York City, where many varieties of specialty and exotic teas are becoming available in delis, restaurants, cafes, and local grocery stores. New York City is home to the most discerning food lovers and health conscious people. It’s no surprise that teas are in high demand in the Big Apple. It is amazing to look at all the varieties of teas that are now available at the local grocery stores right around the corner. Lipton tea, the stereotypical “American” tea, though still popular, is often only one of dozens, if not hundreds, of varieties available in one grocery store section.

First, we visited the new Fairway on the Upper East Side. Fairway is considered a specialty grocery food store and it is known for carrying great produce and specialty food products at reasonable prices. First, it was surprising to see that they had more than one section of teas. They not only carried many types of the more traditional green, black, and oolong teas, including favorites like roasted hojicha green tea and Earl Grey. But, the shelves also reflected the growing interest in specialty teas that boast unique flavors and health benefits. For example, one shelf carried Revolution brand teas with unique flavors like Orange Chocolate Green Tea and Pomegranate White teas. These unusual combinations reflect the popularity of fruity and sweet teas among Americans.

At Food Emporium, a popular grocery chain in New York City, we see no fewer than sixty different varieties of iced teas on their online delivery site with varieties ranging from regular lemon iced tea to ice cold Japanese green tea to iced honeydew white tea. Americans love their iced teas in the hot summer and New Yorkers are no exception! Perhaps more surprisingly, they also have a great selection of hot teas including chamomile, black teas, green teas, and earl grey. Additionally, they carry specialty teas like matcha green tea powder and sencha tea. On a couple of shelves, they had a wide selection of herbal and medicinal tea including diet, throat care, and super-antioxidant teas. It’s clear that Americans not only enjoy drinking teas, but believe that teas can be beneficial to their health and appearance.

Do you agree? Disagree? Would you like to add or clarify any points? Do you have questions?
Comment below!

Tea in casual U.S. culture (New York City)

Traditionally, the U.S. is not as well-known for it’s tea culture, at least compared to many countries like Great Britain, China, or Japan. Still, tea plays a role in everyday life here as well. Americans sometimes drink tea in the morning as an alternative to coffee. Tea can be had with meals and oftentimes people enjoy a nice cup of tea with their favorite dessert. In the U.S. though, the huge difference is that the great majority of tea is served ice cold and is often sweetened. For the past sixty years or so, the majority of teas available in U.S. were black teas. In recent years, green tea, oolong tea, and white teas have become more popular as there has been growing interest in the cuisines around the world and as the possible health benefits of tea have been advertised.

Upscale Restaurant

Union Square Cafe interiorNew York City is known for it’s many world-class restaurants and we thought it would be interesting to take a look at what’s on the menu at some of the local restaurants. At Union Square Cafe, rated the most popular restaurant in the world by Zagat’s (restaurant review) eight years in a row, the tea menu includes an interesting mix of high-end teas from various cultures. The specialty teas ranged from the Hojicha from Kyoto, Japan to organic chamomile tea from Egypt to the Four Seasons Oolong tea from Nantou, Taiwan. The variety of high-end teas reflect the growing gourmet interest in the tea cultures of the world.

Union Square Cafe menu showing tea

Casual Restaurant

On the other end of the spectrum, there is Shake Shack, a hugely popular casual burger restaurant in the city. It is not unusual to see two hour lines at it’s flagship location, even on a weekday!

On the Shake Shack menu, we see a more casual everyday tea menu. There is the fresh brewed iced tea (which is generally iced black tea), which can be sweetened or unsweetened. We also see the Arnold Palmer, a delicious half and half mix of lemonade and iced tea, named after the great American golfer.

Shake Shack reflects the great popularity of iced teas in America, particularly in the younger crowd. In fact, on a hot summer day, whether you are dining at a hole-in-the-wall or at a fine three-star restaurant, don’t be surprised if the most popular drink being ordered off the menu is a simple and refreshing iced tea.

You can find menus on these sites:
http://www.shakeshack.com
http://www.unionsquarecafe.com/menus.html (take a look at the dessert menu)

Photos from Shake Shack

Do you agree? Disagree? Would you like to add or clarify any points? Do you have questions?
Comment below!