2017 / Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden to present Festival of Tea in Pasadena, March 26

Mikko Nakatomi performing the tea ceremony int he Niko-an tea house, Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden, Pasadena (Courtesy of the garden)

The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden will launch the first ever Pasadena Festival of Tea on Sunday March 26, from 12noon to 3pm, as part of the garden’s regular Last Sunday Open Day program series.

The festival, which will be held in the traditional Japanese strolling garden on Arlington Drive, will delight tea lovers and garden lovers alike. Visitors can stroll among camellias, azaleas and various fragrant and sometimes drinkable plants as spring works its magic on the beautiful hill-and-pond style garden.

Originally designed in the 1930s by Kinzuchi Fujii and recently restored by Takeo Uesugi, the garden is on the National Register of Historic Places and is listed as a California Historical Landmark.

The Pasadena Festival of Tea will provide a unique opportunity for the garden’s visitors to learn from experts about different types of tea from Asia and beyond, caffeinated and herbal blends.

Six major local tea vendors will be present to share their knowledge of tea with visitors: TeaMaster of Little Tokyo, Chado Tea Room, Hankook Tea, JT & Tea, TeaFul, and People’s Potions (a medicinal, immunity-boosting tea).

Visitors can participate in a Tea Sampling, and small tea tasting cups will be available for purchase at the event and can be reserved beforehand on the garden’s website www.japanesegardenpasadena.com.

During the afternoon, three presentations will be given in the living room of the main house: What You Need to Know about Pu’er Tea by Linda Louie of Bana Tea Company, Cupping Taiwan’s Oolong Teas by Thomas Shu and Japanese Green Tea 101 by Tiffany Williams and Patti Harrison. Space will be limited so early arrival is recommended.

A limited number of visitors will be able to participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, held at 12pm and again at 2pm with Mikko Nakatomi in the garden’s Japanese Niko-an teahouse. Reservations are required and can be made on the garden’s website.

The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden is open to the public the last Sunday of each month and every Thursday and offers a range of cultural and educational programming, from musical concerts to seasonal festivals.

On Sunday March 26, the garden will be open from 10am to 4pm. The Pasadena Festival of Tea will begin at 12pm and end at 3pm.

Tickets are $10 at the gate and $7.50 reserved online in advance. There are additional charges to participate in the tea ceremony and to purchase the Tea Sampling cups. For more information and reservations, please visit the website: www.japanesegardenpasadena.com