Friday Lectures

Informative programs 45 minutes on tea included in your ticket price.

Seating hall limited to 50.

10:30 AM

Deep Dive into classic Ceylon Tea

Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) has a long history with both morning beverages, coffee and tea. The country's history began with coffee plantations but by 1899 tea cultivation had reached 400,000 acres. Ceylon Tea is a popular black tea grown and produced in Sri Lanka, known for its seven growing regions. Each region is categorized into one of three elevations that bring unique flavors and varietals of Ceylon Tea. Dale Dharmaraja of Kanlo Tea will guide you through Sri Lankan history, tea growing regions and the processing of the tea and tea grading. Afterward, be sure to visit with Dale and enjoy a taste or two of tea. We welcome Dale and Kanlo Tea as a Pennsylvania Tea Festival Sponsor again this year.

11:30 AM

The Great Tea Race of 1866

Join tea festival favorite Judi Slack as she shares with us tales of the five of the fastest, most beautiful clipper ships of the day – along with their rock-star skippers – made the nail-biting journey from Fuzhou, China to London, between May 29th and June 6th, 1866. Although, it was never a formal race, it captivated the attention of the world, all the way to its nail-biting finish. It was all about the very first tea of the season and the five ships vied to be the first to arrive in London and secure the highest price from buyers. It was a time when a tea company was willing to pay that extra bit for the tag of being the freshest tea in from China in the United Kingdom. Join us for this epic adventure spanning almost 16,000 nautical miles through typhoons, unpredictable currents and through to the bragging rights to be remembered as the fastest cargo ship of the seas in the 19th century. And by the way… each person attending will be “one of the ships” and the winning ship will receive a prize of …

12:30 PM

Afternoon Tea Made Easy (or Hosting Teatime without Losing Your Mind):

Lorna Reeves, an avid tea enthusiast and editor of the award-winning TeaTime magazine, will share tips and techniques she has learned over the years for hosting a successful tea party—from planning the theme, décor, and menu to selecting and serving the best teas for the occasion. Whether you're hosting a small intimate afternoon tea, or you're planning a large gala event, Lorna will inspire with her clever suggestions and ideas. Lorna’s affinity for tea began over afternoon tea at the Williamsburg Inn, and thanks to visits to many tearooms and tea estates worldwide, that love has since blossomed into a great appreciation for the beverage and the many ways it can be used to express hospitality. Lorna has been a panelist at World Tea Expo, in addition to speaking at various tea festivals in the United States and Canada. We are pleased to welcome her back to the PA Tea Festival.

1:30 PM

Tea Cultures Around the World

Tea is enjoyed around the world, from Japan to India, Africa to South America, England, and the United States, it is a beverage that unites us. Learn some of the legends and traditions about this flavorful beverage. Discover the culture of tea drinking as we journey from nation to nation to learn about unique traditions, legends, and history of this brew. "Its liquor is like the sweetest dew from heaven," wrote the ancient Chinese master Lu Yu. This enthusiastic and informative program will be presented by tea specialists Mike and Deb Raab of Tea-for-All. They have travelled to many tea gardens in their tea journey and are pleased to be able to share this introduction to tea cultures around the world combined with their first hand knowledge and love of tea.

2:30 PM

Tea in Ireland: History, Culture, and Hospitality

During this informative session, discover the historical impact of tea in Ireland and its rich cultural influence on Irish hospitality. Although tea was not introduced into Ireland until the late 1800s, with a country that is cold and rainy for most of the year, the Irish tea culture developed into an important Irish custom, with tea being enjoyed and shared between family and friends. We are pleased to welcome Karen Donnelly, to share her passion about tea and Ireland during this session. Karen is a Certified Tea Sommelier and a regular contributor to the Tea & Herbal Association of Canada’s Sip Magazine, speaker, and owner of Greenhalgh Tea and the Orchard Tea Room in Thornton, PA.