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Midwest Tea Festival returns with local tea sommelier as director

Poke those pinkies out. Whether you’re a tea enthusiastic, or just searching for a better brew, this fest has something for you.

midwest tea festival tea vendors hall

There’s tea as far as the eye can see.

Photo by Midwest Tea Festival

Tea time

We’re spilling the tea on the Midwest Tea Festival.

Whether you’re a tea enthusiast or you just like to dabble, be-leaf us, this festival has brewed up plenty to tantalize your taste buds.

The full brew

Midwest Tea Festival is Saturday, Oct. 21-Sunday, Oct. 22, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Overland Park Convention Center.

Peruse the tea lounge to shop accessories and taste high quality brews using your complimentary tea cup. Between sips, enjoy sessions, tea business seminars, and a Jane Austen networking party (themed attire strongly encouraged).

Tea fest tickets start at $20, with options to add on specialty brews, eh, courses. Proceeds will be donated to the Tzu Chi Foundation.

Festival roots

The fest was founded by Kansas Citian Nicole Burris in 2012. Tea sommelier Dr. Sally Wei succeeded as director in 2020. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak forced the fest into a two-year hiatus.

Director Dr. Sally Wei leads a session

Watch Director Dr. Wei in her natural environment, teaching attendees all about tea.

Photo by Midwest Tea Festival

Get steeped

With a one-year restart under its belt, Dr. Wei says this year’s fest will return as a full-bodied brew.

Its increased variety of sessions offer flavorful topics like making tea cocktails + mocktails, “musicali-tea,” and watching movies with iconic tea scenes like “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Midwest Tea Festival sessions

Attendees get en-brewed with tea knowledge.

Photo by Midwest Tea Festival

Speakers hail from Africa, China, England, Japan, Nepa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and the United States.

Fun fact: According to Dr. Wei, the majority of the world’s tea — including England’s — is exported from Africa.

Wondering why you should care about drinking loose leaf quali-tea? Dr. Wei says you bypass bad additives and get wonderful flavor.

“Life is so short,” she said. “Why don’t you pay exactly the same amount of money but you’re actually drinking the authentic tea, not just tea dust? Don’t buy tea for convenience. Buy tea for life.”