Sipping rare and aged teas may not be as mainstream as getting your triple espresso caffeine fix, but then neither is learning proper tea drinking etiquette whilst being served by cute little Asian-girl waitresses dressed up as French maids. On Saturday and Sunday, May 1-2, Kulov's Tea Festival will be held at Japanese maid-café, Royal/T, in Culver City. Kulov, who initially created informal tea tastings for his nieces on Valentine's Day, moved to Los Angeles from Amsterdam and attracted a larger community following. And this year's festival is being re-shaped and geared towards a springtime tea culture and education celebration.

Kicking off on May Day (The International Day of Labor), the festival begins with a free lecture on tea and fair trade by Zhena's Gypsy Tea, a fair trade and organic tea company. Also on the program are lectures and workshops on cooking with tea, tea blending, tea etiquette for children, and live contemporary Indian dancing (12:30p.m. on Sat., 2:30 p.m., Sun.) If you're curious about teapots, teas from countries all over the world, fair trade and Japanese tea ceremonies, you can drop in on one of the many workshops offered this weekend. Festival admission is free, and tea ceremonies and workshops range from $5-$20.

Royal/T Café: 8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City. (310) 699-7271. Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

LA Weekly