Dushanbe Tea Festival will be steeped in culture

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When Sara and Lenny Martinelli first took over the Dushanbe Teahouse fourteen years, Sara knew a lot about herbs, but little about tea -- and the internet, she points out, "was a baby then." So she decided to invite an expert to teach a workshop. But as she started making inquiries, she discovered that "everybody wants to come to Boulder," she says, and her plan morphed into a two-day event.

At the end of this month, the Dushanbe Teahouse will host its thirteenth annual Rocky Mountain Tea Festival. See our slide show of the Dushanbe Teahouse here.

Like the Dushanbe Teahouse itself (see my piece on its history here), The event has grown in size and stature over the years; this edition will include seminars and workshops on topics like cooking with tea and using tea in cocktails. There will also be a special tea dinner, an exhibit of hand-crafted teapots, and a tea bazaar.

As he's done every year, tea master David Lee Hoffman will talk about rare teas of China. Frank Hadley Murphy, who wrote The Spirit of Tea, will be on hand to explain the concept of "Tea as an Ally Plant." Importer Brian Wright will discuss his passion for Taiwanese Oolong, and lead a tasting. There will be a Mommy and Me Princess Tea Party, for which kids and adults are encouraged to dress up, and also a demonstration of the Japanese tea ceremony.

Lenny Martinelli will also present his class on cooking with tea, a class that proved so popular in the past that two sessions are being offered this year.

The Tea Festival will run from noon to 7 p.n. on Saturday, July 28, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 303-442-4993 or go to www.boulderteahouse.com/rocky-mountain-tea-festival/

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