Tea, tea everywhere but not a drop to drink

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Tea, tea everywhere but not a drop to drink

A variety of tea sets is displayed at "K-Tea Festival." [MYUNG WON CULTURAL FOUNDATION]

A variety of tea sets is displayed at "K-Tea Festival." [MYUNG WON CULTURAL FOUNDATION]

 
If the rain is keeping you from venturing outside, why don’t you wait for the clouds to clear with a cup of tea?
 
To tickle your nose with the scent from a variety of tea leaves, “2020 K-Tea Festival” will open Aug. 6 for a four-day run until Aug. 9 at Coex Hall B in southern Seoul.  
 
The 25th edition of the festival this year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Mi-hee, who established the Myung Won Cultural Foundation, with a photo exhibition as well as an extensive introduction on a variety of tea leaves harvested from all across Korea.  
 
The late Kim, a forerunner in passing the tradition of Korean tea culture down to the younger generations, had made numerous presentations to make the tea drinking culture a part of a daily routine for many and to research the tea culture from centuries ago in Korea. At the festival, other experts who have been trying to carry on Kim's will to widely promote tea culture to the public will also be honored.  
 
Due to the worries of the coronavirus spreading, the festival organizer decided to not offer any tastings this year. However, to make up for this, experts at each booth will provide more extensive explanations to introduce how the tea tastes different depending on the leaves harvested from different regions in Korea, such as Boseong and Jangheung in South Jeolla, and Hadong in South Gyeongsang. 
 
You can also learn how to blend different teas to make the flavors that appeal to you the most. All the teas will be available for visitors to smell and touch. Purchases of these tea leaves are also possible on the spot.  
 
To compare how cups of tea from Korea are different from ones from other countries, some booths will offer extensive information about the globally renowned teas and tea drinking cultures cultivated around the globe.  
 
Given that many opt to buy a pack of tea as a gift for others, the festival will also feature some of the winning designs of tea packages from the 3rd International Korean Tea Package Design Contest. Some pre-registered guests will be able to take part in a variety of lectures such as on how the trends related to tea have changed over time.  
 
To keep the festival a safe zone, the organizer will make sure it keeps a list of all the guests coming for the event and checks the temperatures of everyone entering. All visitors must wear a mask. Each visitor will get to take a teacup as a souvenir to take home. It is 5,000 won ($4) to enter.
 
Visit worldteaexpokorea.imweb.me for more information.
 
BY LEE SUN-MIN   [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
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