This past Sunday, the USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena hosted Authors on Asia – Tea Lovers Festival: 10 Years. More of a presentation than an actual festival, this small all-ages event exhibited a cultural tea ceremony about matcha green tea and the historical process surrounding the significance of tea to the Japanese culture. During the ceremony, the presenters played traditional Japanese music, displayed how the Japanese make matcha green tea the old-fashioned way, and described the process of manners and courtesy during a tea ceremony. All attendees received a small sweet pastry to consume prior to the tea in order to balance out the bold taste of the tea. At the end of the ceremony, every attendee received a small sample of the matcha green tea. Following the ceremony, the presenters had an open discussion to talk about the release of their tea book, as well as autograph any books that any of the attendees would have had.
I actually confused this with LA International Tea Festival that takes place in Downtown LA. As such, I expected to encounter multiple different types of teas to sample. Instead, I paid $20 for a ceremony, a small pastry, and a small tea sample. While I do enjoy a nice cup of tea every now and then, I wish I had known what to expect from this event, which did not allow photography during the ceremony. Regardless, all attendees received admission to the rest of the museum as part of admission to this small tea ceremony, so I naturally took advantage of that to peruse through the exhibits. The presenters did get a chance to announce that visitors receive free admission to the museum every second Sunday of the month. While I may question future events at this museum, I believe that anyone would enjoy spending a bit of time here on a second Sunday, especially considering that they provide free parking, a premium with the museum’s close proximity to Downtown Pasadena.