Friday Lectures

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

Seating hall limited to 50.

10:30 AM

Tea in Britain: Comfort & Tradition in a Cup

For many Americans, when we think of tea, and particularly the custom of drinking tea, it’s the British traditions that come to the forefront of our mind. This informative lecture will guide you through the introduction of tea to Great Britain in the 1600's and its transition and development through history to the iconic position it holds today. Fascinating facts pertaining to the history of tea in Britain will be incorporated into this program as you are introduced to the traditions and history of this ancient beverage. Did you know that Hitler thought tea was Great Britain's Secret Weapon? This presentation will be hosted by Karen Donnelly, owner of Greenhalgh Tea and the Orchard Tea Room in Thornton, PA as well as being a Tea Sommelier certified by the Tea Association of Canada (TAC).

11:30 AM

Welcome to Tea Rooms - Historically Speaking

The Gypsy Tea Kettle. Polly's Cheerio Tea Room. The Mad Hatter. The Blue Lantern Inn. These are just a few of the many tea rooms, owned and operated by women, which popped up across America at the turn of the last century. These tea rooms spanned from New England to California. This presentation delves into the social history of the tearoom phenomenon, returning to the days when women celebrated independence, artistic expression and the American spirit all in a humble cup of tea. We will trace the social, artistic and culinary changes tea rooms brought about; from the Bohemian streets of New York's Greenwich Village, to the high-society tea rooms of Chicago's poshest hotels and everywhere else in between. Come and take a tea tour! Tea will be served! Judi Slack is a passionate tea devotee from Cleveland. Being fascinated with tea her whole life, she put this passion to work; studied hard, sampled lots of tea and received five certificates from the World Tea Academy. She says the following ancient Chinese proverb best defines her relationship with the world of tea “Better to be deprived of food for three days, than of tea for one.”

12:30 PM

Welcome to the World of Puer - Pu Erh - Pu'er -Puerh

The fascinating world of Puer was introduced to many of us by way of the novel, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See. Mike Raab, a Specialty Tea Institute certified tea instructor will look beyond the novel and continue with the fascinating story of Puer itself. From the pronunciation, to its origins, and different varieties of Puer, this informative session will provide an interesting deep dive into the world of aged tea. What is Raw Puerh? or a Puer Tuocha? And how do you brew it? Puer is recognized for its bold flavor and its rich history. Join Mike, owner of Tea-For-All Tea Bar and Tea Shoppe in Trenton, NJ as he shares his wealth of knowledge and love of the leaf during this presentation. Be sure to sample some Puer tea at their booth following his presentation.

1:30 PM

Herbal Bouquets (toss 'em in the teapot or the stock pot)

The herb garden is an excellent source for flavorful and healthy herb teas. This session is designed to provide guidance on how to create small bouquets that can be dried and used to make a pot of tea. The dynamic duo, sisters Tina Sams and Maryanne Schwartz, will discuss different blends to create for relaxation, colds and sore throats, reviving and re-energizing, tension, and more. The same technique can be used for soups and stews, making meals both delicious and healing. That information will be covered also, and handouts will be provided with flavorful suggestions to get you started. These little herbal bouquets make great gifts if you're looking for something to create for the upcoming holidays, but you'll love them for your own use. Instructors are PA Tea Festival Sponsor Tina Sams of The Essential Herbal Magazine and Maryanne Schwartz of Lancaster County Soapworks.

2:30 PM

The Way of Tea and its Relationship with Literati (the scholarly)

This unique presentation and demonstration includes history, gardening, the way of tea and the opportunity to experience the beauty of nature among friends with harmony, purity, respect and tranquility. Over 2000 years ago, monks and scholars in China (the literati, or people of knowledge) involved with the arts harvested a tree from the mountains and placed it into an ornamental pot and studied its natural beauty. This was the birth of Bonsai. The Japanese Tea Ceremony, or the Way of Tea is a tradition steeped in history also. Jim Doyle of Nature’s Way Nursery ( will offer a discussion and live demonstration of a style that Literati was its title! Following Jim's definition, Literati style Bonsai, is "A Tree That Can Drink Tea". World renown for his Bonsai culture and training Jim Doyle began his education at Delaware Valley University. He has studied Asian plants and culture, has traveled to Japan, and has a deep appreciation of all aspects including tea. You will enjoy his gentle spirit and pleasant and informative teaching style.