The Midwest Tea Festival, Part 2: Vendors

I wanted to give you one last peek at the Midwest Tea Festival, so today I'll be giving you the inside scoop on the vendor room. After my brief sojourn outside due to the fire alarm and a presentation given by Shang Tea, I was ready to go check out the vendor room again. There was a great turnout, so it was packed. I had to skip by the first few booths since it was impossible to get to them with my stroller (my little man loves tea, so of course I brought him along.) Don't worry, I came back later once things slowed down.

PiCeramics

One of my first stops was with Yvette Groover of PiCeramics. Her ceramics are gorgeous! While we didn't get to chat, she was busy with a long line of customers, I did talk to her husband about Yvette's plans to move into a larger home studio space later in the year. More room certainly means more ceramics, so I can't wait to see what Yvette comes up with next.

My next stop was Harney & Sons to try and catch up with Michael Harney. He is one difficult man to track down! On my final attempt he was heading off to his tasting café session, so I sampled a few teas and had to move on.

Bingley's Tea - Jane Austen Teas - Emma's Perfect Match

Bingley's Tea - Did you know that Jane Austen was a loose woman too? I didn't until I stopped by Bingley's booth and sampled their line of Jane Austen teas. When I was told that one of the samples, Emma's Perfect Match, was a blend of green tea, roses, strawberry and rhubarb I couldn't hold my tasting cup out fast enough. I have a thing for the combination of strawberry and rhubarb, especially in pie form. It's turns out that it's pretty scrumptious in tea form too.

Traveling Tea - Queen's Pantry - Chai Scottish Shortbread

Traveling Tea - a St. Louis based shop, caught my attention for being the only vendor selling food. I bought some of the Chai Scottish Shortbread made by Queen's Cuisine using Traveling Tea's Custom Blend Chai Spice Mix. I didn't start munching on them until I was on my way home, but the first bite made me wish I'd picked up a few of the other tasty looking treats they were selling.

The London Tea Room

London Tea Room - I've been meaning to stop in here since they were located down on Washington Ave. My last summer living in St. Louis had me working with a visiting artist from Chicago just down the street at Art Dimensions. I passed by every day when I got off the metro, but never could find the time to stop in.  I seriously regret that because these ladies know how to have fun! If you're in the St. Louis area make sure to stop by their new location on Morgan Ford Road by Tower Grove Park. When you do, might I suggest you try the Naughty Vicar, one of their best selling teas (which I was fortunate enough to sample during the festival.)

Queen's Pantry

I finally made it back around to the vendors I passed over, one of which was Queen's Pantry. I sat in on their tasting café session (you can read all about it here) and decided to pick up some of their Highland Hearth Rooibos blend. During the tasting café I was able learn how to make a tea latte with vanilla almond milk and boy was it tasty.

Shang Tea - Tangerine Blossom Red Tea

I also stopped by the Shang Tea booth for the third time so I could chat with Kyle Rutliff. He gave a presentation on Brick Aged White Tea & The Wonders of Unglazed Porcelain earlier in the day. Of course I used the trip as an excuse to sample the Tangerine Blossom Red Tea again, which ended up being my personal favorite from the festival. 

Lucky Baby Tea Company

Lucky Baby Tea - This was one of my very last stops during the festival. I took a few moments to speak with D. Shattuck about her brilliant business (it's a mobile tea cart serving up traditional Chinese Tea Gong Fu Style.) If you spend even the briefest moment with Dee you'll immediately see how passionate she is about tea. If you're in the KC metro area and are looking for something tea related to spice up your gathering, then talk to Dee. You'll have a great time while she serves up traditional Chinese tea (with a smile.)

Unfortunately I wasn't able to take photos of all of the booths, it was just a little too crowded for that, but I had a great time chatting with everyone there. I did miss out on talking with Elyse Petersen from Tealet and James Norwood Pratt. I'm still kicking myself about that. Otherwise, I'd say my first tea festival was a success. Hopefully I'll be able to make it back to Kansas City next year and do it all over again!

If you missed Part 1: Presentations and Tasting Cafe make sure to go back and check it out. Don't forget to visit us on instagram for more photos.

 

 

 

Not Starving Yet is Crossing the Pond!

Things have been a bit hectic around here lately and I wanted to give you all a quick update and share some exciting news that I've been keeping close to my chest. If you follow me on twitter then you may have caught my brief mention about this a month or so back, but one month from today I'll crossing the pond and spending two weeks in France. I'm excited beyond words since this is my first trip to Europe and it's been two years since I've left the country.

Even though I still have a month until I leave my mouth is already watering at the though of spending two weeks enjoying the the numerous culinary delights I'm sure to encounter. No one approaches food quite like the French, they've truly turned it into an art form. While I'm fortunate to have two weeks to explore and learn, I can't help but be a little disappointed that I don't have more time. There is so much I want to do and see while I'm there. 

France isn't the only trip I have planned, I'm actually going to be spending the better part of the next six weeks on the road and in the air. I'll be starting out in St. Louis where I'll be spending ten days with my family before my little brother's wedding. It will be great to be home, especially since I haven't been able to visit much in the past year. I can't wait to catch up with everyone and celebrate not only my brother's wedding, but my 31st birthday. 

I'm another year older, hopefully a little bit wiser, and I've found my first grey hair (but lets keep that a secret, just between you, me, and the rest of the internet.)

While I'm gone things should proceed pretty much uninterrupted although my social media presence is going to come to a complete standstill. I've decided to leave my cell phone and laptop at home while I'm off gallivanting around the world. I never imagined that blogging would become such an all-consuming presence in my life. Since I started this blog nearly a year ago things have really taken off and while I love spending hours in the kitchen coming up with new dishes to share, as well as reading your questions and comments, I need a chance to recharge my creative batteries.

It's going to be hard to be without you over the next few weeks, you've all become a huge part in my life, but I haven't had a chance to disconnect for more than a day since I started blogging. I'm looking forward to the quiet, the lack of a schedule to follow, and the influence my time in France will give me. Since you won't be able to be there with me and I didn't want to leave you here all alone, I've written a few things ahead of time to give you a small taste of France right here at home.

When I return from my travels I'll be back with a vengeance with even more to share. In the meantime feel free to keep leaving comments and sending me your questions. I love to hear from you!

As always, thanks for stopping by.
Jenn