I've noticed a number of postings lately on tea tasting.
An idea for you chow people if you want a great contact for a tea tasting get-together is David Lee Hoffman of Silk Road Teas.
He's largely responsable for the importation of some of the great and rare Chinese teas that are out there right now, and he's right in Lagunitas.
His is the first American company to work directly with Chinese farmers, and organic farmers as well - he does work with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences to implement sustainable and organic tea farming.
I've attended a number of tea tastings he's held (for a very reasonable fee - just to cover tea cost) and the tasting includes first a really interesting slide show, reading materials, q &a after (and during) the slides, and then, of course tasting tea and the proper procedure for brewing, etc. He also included very nice little ceramic tea pots in the fee for people to take home.
He's really THE authority on the subject, and is just fascinating to listen to, and is very approachable.
He travels to China often, and is still one of the few Americans allowed access to many of the remote locations (and importation of tea) by the government. He's been travelling and working there for the past 25 years.
You won't look at tea the same way after a tasting with David.
I hope this inspires someone to put together a tasting with David. Following is his contact information (I'm in no way associated with David's business; I purchase his teas for my own business and have gotten to know him that way)
David Lee Hoffman
Silk Road Teas
post office box 287
Lagunitas, CA 94938
no website or email