Friday Lectures

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

Seating hall limited to 50.

Please note: the program listed here were featured in 2023. New programs will be announced in July, 2024.

10:30 AM

 TEA: White-Green-Oolong-Black: all from the same plant! How do they do that? or, Tea Processing: 101.

The transformation of freshly harvested tea leaves into dried leaves that are used for brewing tea occurs during special processing techniques incorporated at the tea gardens. All true teas are a product of the Camellia sinensis plant, but are transformed into white, green, oolong, or black teas depending upon the complex process involved in the tea production. This session will summarize the four major production steps utilized to create your favorite tea. Each process is important to develop the different and distinctive characteristics associated with tea. Although tea gardens closely guard the precise methods involved in their processing technique, the basic steps are essential to create a delicious cup of tea that stimulates your senses. This session is presented by Kurt Gibbons of the Ohio Tea Co., a small family run business. Son-in-law Kurt has jumped into the tea biz and will guide you through the process of tea production. With his background as a preschool instructor, he promises to keep it easy to understand.

11:30 AM

The History of Cups and Saucers - How Long Have They Been Among Us?

Sydney Smith, an 18th century English preacher wrote, "Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea! How did the world exist?" Tea lovers have shared that sentiment the world over, but what would tea be without a vessel to serve it in? Whether crafted from rudimentary clay in the shape of a bowl, or fashioned in delicate porcelain and bone China, teacups; each unique in their own way, have been handcrafted, used daily, and purposely collected for as long as people have enjoyed tea. This class will trace the evolution of teacups from Ancient Legend to Modern Biometrics. Instructor Judi Slack is a passionate tea devotee from Cleveland. With a lifetime of interest in tea, coupled with various certificates achieved at the World Tea Academy, and the enthusiasm to share her knowledge, this informative session promises to be an interesting journey through history.

12:30 PM

Tea and Sugar - Juxtaposition in History 

Have you ever thought of how sugar and tea relate to one another? Have you thought about their impact on pre-industrial, industrial, and post-industrial society? During this lecture, we'll explore the light and dark sides of these two elements of tea and sugar that are often thought of as inseparable and highlight some of the global impact they have had over the years. We are pleased to welcome returning certified tea specialists and tea mentors Deb and Mike Raab of Tea-for-All in Trenton, NJ for this lecture presentation.

1:30 PM

The Rise of Glamour and Tea - From Catherine to Anna, a tale of two women

Before there was Bridgerton, these two fashionable women popularized tea drinking and style! Come discover how tea became a part of society from the King Charles II era to Queen Victoria’s court, from Brown Betty’s to porcelain and gowns. We are pleased to welcome local tea aficionado Cheryl Grandon to the PA Tea Festival this year. Cheryl will share all the glitz and fashion on these topics and include some United States history too! Cheryl is a stylist with Stitch Fix Inc. In addition, she served one term on Talbot’s Advisory Council in 2019, and worked for a woman owned small business Tea-Licious from 2002-2004 as a tea speaker/presenter and retail sales person.

2:30 PM

 Heart Sutra in Tea 

What is the true spiritual meaning of tea, and how do we use tea to improve the quality of our daily life? Tea not only provides the health of our body, but also the nutrients of our soul and spirit. This session will introduce you to a new perspective of tea, and expand the understanding of the depth of tea beyond tea itself. Heart Sutra is the guidance of the practice of the Way of Tea, or the Art of Living, which is the compass to arrive on the other side, the most high, the divine, and true luxury living. We are pleased to welcome internationally renowned Tea Master RedSquare. As a Master of Neoillusion Teaism (a one of a kind 21st century tea ceremony that expresses tranquility, unity, and humanity combining new and old, traditional and contemporary), she focuses on serving the art of living in the Way of Tea. She is a tea ceremonialist, calligrapher and poet based in New York City, originally from the Motherland of Tea, China. RedSquare will also share her own revelations and experiences of her path in the Way of Tea as Heart Sutra.