Tea Festival season begins! Ticket discounts & information

Tea Festival season begins for us in the West and Midwest! One of the reasons I was drawn to tea, is its goodness. Tea is healthy and those who enjoy sharing tea are some of the nicest people I’ve met. A win-win.

Get a group together and come on out to a tea festival near you and enjoy the tastes, the smells of tea from around the world. If you have the time and means, sign up for some educational classes – there are many about all things tea. For an immersive experience, think about volunteering.

If you happen to be attending the Los Angeles or Northwest Tea Festivals (and maybe the San Francisco Tea Festival), please stop by and say hello. We will have many tea accoutrements for you to browse and experience.

Hope to see you soon,
Stephanie Thompson

5th Annual Midwest Tea Festival

TICKET INFORMATION (discount information below):

The annual Portland Tea Festival TEAFESTPDX (Saturday, July 20th, 2019) still has tickets available. VIP tickets are sold out but Pre-Sale tickets are still available.

Los Angeles Tea Festival (Saturday & Sunday August 10th & 11th, 2019).

Midwest Tea Festival (Kansas City, MO Saturday & Sunday September 7th & 8th, 2019).

Tickets will be available for the Northwest Tea Festival (Saturday & Sunday, September 28th & 29th, 2019) on September 1st, 2019.

Tickets are not yet available for the San Francisco International Tea Festival (Saturday & Sunday, October 19th & 20th, 2019).

Chicago International Tea Festival (Friday through Sunday, November 1-3, 2019) – Industry and 3 Day VIP tickets went on sale today (7/8/19). All classes and special meal events are available for purchase at this as well. The remaining types of tickets will go on sale July 29th, 2019. Please note, only the first 1200 people are guaranteed a reusable shopping tote and collectible porcelain tea tasting cup.

We are bringing our ‘show on the road’ to the Los Angeles Tea Festival and the NW Tea Festival but not the Midwest Tea Festival this year. Sorry, Kansas City, we will miss seeing you this year. We are undecided about vending at the San Francisco International Tea Festival at this point, we have requested vendor information. This is the closest Festival to our home in San Jose, CA, a definite plus. AND the location is the Palace of Fine Arts this year, another plus.

San Francisco Tea Festival


The generous folks organizing the Los Angeles Tea Festival are allowing us to offer you 25% off admission tickets with code THOMPSONS25. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

We (Tea Lover Gift Baskets and Tea Lover Teas) will be having show specials throughout the two days of the LA and NW Tea Festivals (and San Francisco if we vend there). Please come by and visit.

Early bird tickets for the Midwest Tea Festival are sold out already. We do not have a discount code for the $13 (for both days) general admission ticket.

Attendees purchasing one of the first 1000 tickets for Midwest are guaranteed a swag bag with a porcelain tea tasting cup. Otherwise all attendees will receive a disposable tea tasting cup.

Do please check out the Midwest Tea Festival home page for this year’s list of participating vendors and the long list of tea education workshops (reasonable extra fee) available both days of the festival. Please note, there will be plenty to see and do without paying for extra workshops. Check it out!

Would you like to really immerse yourself in the tea festival experience?  Volunteer!

Portland Tea Festival


Midwest Tea Festival volunteers receive admission to the festival for the whole weekend, a commemorative pin, swag bag with tasting cup AND snack and drinks. Full day volunteers receive all of that plus an invitation to at least one volunteer appreciation tea party, and a break to attend a lecture or workshop (at 50% off). Sound good? Sign up here.

LA Tea Festival volunteers, click here for more information.

Northwest Tea Festival volunteers, click here for more information.

Portland Tea Festival volunteers, click here for more information.

Chicago International Tea Festival volunteers, click here for more information.

San Francisco International Tea Festival 2019 volunteers, details are not yet available.

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9th Annual LA Tea Festival 2019

Chado Tea Rooms and ITI, co-sponsors of the Festival have announced the date and location of the 2019 9th Annual LA Tea Festival AND tickets are already available. Early bird ticket prices are available through the end of June, 2019.

The LA Tea Festival will be held indoors this year at Magic Box @ The Reef in downtown LA. Those of us attending last year outdoors at the Pasadena Rose  Bowl will find this venue welcoming.

The dates and times are Saturday, August 10th, 2019 from 11 am to 5 pm and Sunday, August 11th, 2019 from 11 am to 4 pm.

We just sent in our booth fee and are looking forward to another fun weekend with fellow tea lovers. We are deciding what new tea things to bring and share. Look for Tea Lover Gift Baskets and Tea Lover Teas.

We hope you can attend. If you cannot make it to the Festival this year, fear not, our show specials will be available to you on our websites. More information in future emails.

The LA Tea Festival link. The LA Tea Festival ticket link.

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Part 4 of 22: Little Candle Tea Co suggests a great tea gift idea.

Picking up where I left off shortly after the 2017 Southwest Tea Festival in Las Vegas, NV….. In spare moments, I walked around the festival and asked this question of our fellow vendors “What do you suggest as a great tea gift idea”. The answers were as unique as the different vendors.

Little Candle Tea Company – “Lighting Your Path with Tea” was born to address the simplicity and meditative powers of making a cup of the delicious brew.

Louise Carruth, Owner, came up with the name for her tea company after watching the Pixar/Disney movie BRAVE.

Her answer to the question “What is a great tea gift idea?” was insightful. When asked for tea gift ideas, she asks questions of the buyer. She does not want them to spend money on extra things that might not be useful.

She suggests a mesh ball infuser, sample packages of tea – careful to note whether caffeine is an issue or not – and chocolate all beautifully wrapped.

She mentioned an experienced tea person is easier to buy for because they already know how to ‘do’ tea.

Learn more about Louise and the Little Candle Tea Company at www.littlecandletea.com

Little Candle Tea Company at the Southwest Tea Festival in 2017
Louise Carruth, owner of Little Candle Tea Company Lighting Your Path with Tea!

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And the Midwest Tea Festival Survey said….

Midwest Tea Festival

126 tea festival attendees completed this survey at our booth – Tea Lover Teas and Tea Lover Gift Baskets – at the Midwest Tea Festival held at the Ararat Shrine Auditorium in Kansas City, MO early September, 2017.

Attendees completed our one question survey “What would you love to receive in a tea gift?” to enter to win one of the six (6) tea sampler gift bags we gave away every hour during the festival.

The survey responses have been tallied and are ready to be revealed!

Most survey completers selected multiple items they would love to receive in a tea gift. To make most of the survey completers happy, however, give them a gift of loose leaf black tea, an infuser with a tea cup and saucer or teapot.

About 25% would love to receive organic, fair traded, tea in tea bags, a tea measuring spoon, a tea scale, tea candy and tea themed gifts like candles and picture frame.

metro plastic tea spoon 3
White tea was the second favorite tea selected with green, herbal and oolong teas coming in tied for third place.

Although a gift of a tea mug came in 3rd place behind a gift of a teacup and saucer or a teapot, 38% percent of survey completers would love tea ware in a tea gift.

The number one tea tool preferred in a tea gift was an infuser – 78 responders would love an infuser in a tea gift. Mark Thompson, of Tea Lover Teas, hosted a café session showing a variety of tea infusers. We think this may have influenced preferences. A measuring tea spoon was the next popular tea tool followed by a tea thermometer then a scale on which to weigh tea.

Tuffy Steeper colors 2017 tea lover teas

About 34% of survey completers would love to receive a book about tea, tea themed stationary and/or a tea wallet as a tea gift.

Surprisingly, 57 survey completers would love to receive a tea cake as a gift or in a gift, the usual winner is tea cookies. 49 survey completers would love to receive a tea gift including tea cookies.

Elegant and English Tea biscuits

In conclusion, the perfect tea gift for our survey responders at the Midwest Tea Festival in Kansas City, MO, September, 2017 is a gift containing these things: loose leaf black tea, a tea infuser and a tea cup and saucer or teapot.

What was for sale at our booth at the Midwest Tea Festival is available for sale at our online store Tea Lover Teas. We are having a sale right now that goes through the end of November (11/30/17). For 10% off sales of $15 or more, please use code FALL4TEA.

We are running a sale in our Tea Lover Gift Baskets online store too. We use favorite and trending teas, tea ware and treats to create unique gifts appreciated by discerning tea drinkers, for discerning tea drinkers you care about. Enjoy 10% off sales of $35 or more with code FALL2017 through November 30th, 2017.

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Discount Ticket code – Midwest Tea Festival 2017

Right now take advantage of $3 off the two day tickets using the discount code “showmethetea”. 2017 Midwest Tea Festival tickets.

Midwest Tea Festival

Join us for 2017 at the Midwest Tea Festival

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Meet us at the Midwest Tea Festival in September, 2017!

Midwest Tea Festival

Join us for 2017 at the Midwest Tea Festival

Tea Lover Teas and Tea Lover Gift Baskets will be heading to Kansas City, Missouri  in just a few short weeks – the weekend of September 9-10th, 2017. Are you tea-curious? Looking for a unique tea gift for a tea lover? Spent the day or weekend at this expanded tea-centric event having an experience you will not soon forget.

The 3rd Annual Midwest Tea Festival is a full weekend in 2017! September 9 from 10am-4pm and Sept 10 from 11am-4pm. same venue as 2016, the Ararat Shrine Temple. Plenty of parking and easy to get to.

With a full weekend, we’ll have twice the number of speakers, more tasting cafe sessions and more vendors with a greater variety of tea related items. If you like tea at all, even if you are just “tea-curious”, this is THE event to go to in the Midwest region!

As always, a portion of admission sales go to our local charitable partner.

Tickets will go on sale in tiers, with the first 100 sold being at a super discounted price. Admission will still be available at the door and you will always get a way to taste all the teas on offer, but you are guaranteed a souvenir porcelain tasting cup and goodie bag ($12 value) if you get a ticket in advance.

Advance tickets are also the only way you can sign up for the small group tasting cafe sessions.  You can go to up to 2 TOTAL sessions over the weekend. Sessions are still limited in availability by our available session hosts, time and space.

There will still and always be tea to taste for free at the vendor booths. So even if you don’t get signed up for one of those 30 minute small group sessions, you won’t miss out on tea. The main stage and specialty stage speakers we have are also open to anyone to attend so you won’t miss out on valuable tea info, either.

Hit the “Going” or “Interested” buttons at the top of the Midwest Tea Festival home page to make sure you see news and updates on the festival in your feed. To ensure you know right when those discounted tix go on sale, you need to sign up for our newsletter at the website, Midwest Tea Festival   (at the bottom of the home page) as it will be announced to those subscribers first. Then it will be announced on the Facebook event page a few days later, then eventually on the Midwest Tea Festival main page  (assuming there are still discounted tix available by then!).

If you’d like to volunteer to help out for a day and get in for the other day free of charge, drop us a message here with your email, use the contact form on the website or email us at midwestteafest@gmail.com

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Cherry season ergo Cherry Champagne Cuvee jam season – yum!

I interrupt the reporting from the 2017 Southwest Tea Festival to introduce the beginning of the cherry season ergo cherry champagne jam making season.

The cherry season at home here in the San Jose, California area begins in May. The cherry season in Denver does not begin until the end of June. I was with my son and his family in Denver from the end of May until the end of June – so I had to pack up my canning equipment and bring it with me to use during my visit.

I was in Denver to help welcome the last planned grandchild, baby Sol, who arrived early on June 2nd. He has a two year old sister, May, and an eleven year old half-brother Miles. Miles is pictured with me, excited (not) about pitting cherries.

Stephanie and Mile pitting cherries 2017

Miles (not) enjoying pitting pounds and pounds of bing cherries.

I pitted pounds and pounds of cherries and made batch after batch of our Tea Lover Gift Baskets Cherry Champagne Cuvee Artisan Jam . I never get tired of making jam. Sipping the champagne throughout might be the reason. A basket of tea, scones and jam are a delicious, thoughtful tea gift idea.

I usually pack the jam in 4 ounce jars for the tea gift baskets and for sale at Tea Festivals. I pack larger jars for personal use. This year I departed from the norm. I packed the jam in 4 ounce jars and also in 8 ounce jars, then the larger jars for personal use.

Those of you who have purchased our jam and would like to buy more can now buy the 8 ounce size – get more jam and save some money.

Tea Lover Gift Baskets and Tea Lover Teas will have a booth at the Midwest Tea Festival in Kansas City, MO the weekend of September 9th and 10th, 2017. This is our next show.

If you are in the area, come on out and enjoy the two day show. Stop at our booth and say hello. We’d love to meet you.

Tea Lover Gift Baskets Cream tea and scones tea gift basket

Cream tea and scones gift from Tea Lover Gift Baskets

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Part 3 of 22: Tea Folks take on a great tea gift idea

Sad news. Tea Folks is closed. The website closed – April 30th, 2017.

Helen Schussler had her company table ‘Tea Folks’ next to ours at the 2017 Southwest Tea Festival. She and her assistant were very knowledgeable about tea and very friendly.

Even though her store is closing, she had a great tea gift idea.

Create your own tea blend! Tea Folks was selling a variety of delicious teas and tea blends. What was unique to Tea Folks is that they also offered an option to make your own tea blend. The adventurous tea drinker picked a plain tea base; green, black, or herbal tea. Then there were many taste tempting options to add to the plain tea base to create your own tea blend (see the photo below).

We saw many people throughout the Festival take advantage of the opportunity to make their own signature tea blends. So I knew this was a great tea gift idea before I approached Helen later in day on Sunday and asked her opinion on what a great tea gift idea would be.

Keep a look out for other tea companies that offer the opportunity for you to make your own tea blend. Local to me, Steepers in downtown Campbell, CA, has a tea blending station where one can create their own tea blend. If you know your gift recipient well, create a signature tea blend for them with their favorite flavors. If you do not feel that brave, give them a gift certificate so they can create a tea blend themselves. If possible, share the experience with the gift recipient. A recurring theme in great tea gift ideas is sharing yourself and tea with someone you care about.

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Part 2 of 22 Wholesale tea company Tealet at the 2017 Southwest Tea Festival

Representing the wholesale tea company Tealet at the Southwest Tea Festival this year – 2017 –  were Founder and CEO Elyse Petersen and her brother, Michael Petersen, Marketing and New Media Director (and photographer extraordinaire), as well as Rie Tulali, General Manager and other team members.

Tealet partnered with Naomi Rosen of Joy’s Teaspoon to present the Southwest Tea Festival.

Tealet’s mission is to connect tea buyers directly with small family farms around the world. Through Tealet, tea lovers can learn more about the people behind their teas, and access quality teas from around the world. Tea growers can become empowered to take their specialty tea craft to the next level of quality and consciousness.

Their goal is to be a transparent platform for the tea industry. In turn tea lovers get to experience better quality tea and provide a sustainable future for tea.

The Tealet grower network is composed of family farms and independent cooperatives in 8 different countries and 15 different growing regions, all with a dedication to their craft and their communities. Elyse explains, “Through our online platform you can trace our teas from field to cup. From videos from the tea gardens, to detailed profiles of each farm, we have designed our platform to make it simple for you to source the best teas from independent growers around the world”.

I encourage you to check out the videos and the teas descriptions at their online  tea chest.  Very well done documentaries personally introducing us to tea farmers around the world. I found it a very unique experience.

A way to help support these small family growers is through purchasing a tea subscription.

$49.95 (at this writing) for a two month supply of tea; 60 grams of a variety of teas direct from the grower – enough to make 120 cups of tea – enough to share. You will be able to connect with the grower and learn more about their community and tea cultivation history via online videos and content for each tea.

In answer to my question, Elsye’s great tea gift idea is their four tea Global Tea Taster Box $50. It cannot be ordered directly from the website but send her an email and she will make it happen for you.

Read their Blog, or sign up for their newsletter. They distribute the Tea Journey publication and Tea 101 videos. To further support their efforts, tea shirts (get it, tea shirts J) are available for sale online.

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New Green Tea Magnet & Infuser Set

Green Tea Magnet & Infuser Set, introduced recently by the Charles Viancin Group (known worldwide for their nature-inspired silicon lids and kitchen/bar tools) is a very attractive, fun new tea infusion set – a great tea gift idea.

Their products can be viewed and purchased at their online store – just opened in 2015. On their website, I did not see information that their products can be found in any brick and mortar stores. I have not ordered one yet.

I read about and saw the photo for this new tea infusing set in the March, 2017 Kitchenware News trade magazine under the Gadget of the Month section and was immediately attracted. To date, I have not found any tea related anything sporting actual tea plant art – and tea plants with their flowers are very beautiful indeed. That was the first thing that attracted me to this new set – that the form resembles the tea plant.

I personally like using silicon products in the kitchen. They are colorful, flexible, clean easily and are almost indestructible. This product is dishwasher safe, oven safe up to 250 degrees and BPA free. A favorite of ours and another great tea gift idea are the silicon Tuffy Steepers available through Tea Lover Teas.

Beyond the silicon, I felt good about the stainless steel basket. The precision holes seem small enough to keep rooibos and herbals inside the infuser basket not floating around in our infusions. But there are enough holes to allow water to move freely over the leaves. Not all infusers can do both.

What is unique about this set is the magnet. On the  bottom of the silicon tea plant (handle) is a magnet. We use this magnet to lift the infuser basket out of the water. Our hands stay dry and clean. There are matching accessories, we can buy separately, in which to set the infuser basket. The mug has a very artistic rendering of a tea plant painted on it. The mug comes with another version of the infuser basket. Check out their website under tea accessories for more information and a video of the Green Tea Magnet infuser set.

If you would like to try out a Charles Viancin Group product before making a purchase, check out tomoson.com. Once you set up a free account with Tomoson, you can apply to get a Charles Viancin overboil ring free in exchange for reviewing the ring on your social media sites. Sadly, they do not have their tea accessories available to review currently.

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