A weekend filled with an array of tea presentations, vendors, and traditional ceremonies is what I would consider a perfect weekend. Luckily, that experience can be had at the Toronto Tea Festival, which is back again this year. This year marks the 4th Annual Toronto Tea Festival and it will be taking place on January 30 and 31 at the Toronto Reference Library. I’m thrilled to be attending for the second year in a row and I am eagerly preparing for my trip.
When the Toronto Tea Festival first started four years ago it was held for just one day. The popularity of that one day event led to the future festivals being held all weekend long. Having only attended one day myself last year, I knew right then it was something I needed an entire weekend to absorb everything they have to offer. From my experience, the schedule was jam packed with presentations and tea ceremonies that it was difficult to make time for them all, in addition to visiting all the great vendors serving tea.
There is so much to love about the Toronto Tea Festival. You’re in a room full of tea lovers from all over, how can you not have a great time? Walking through the aisles you may be stopped to pull out your tea tasting cup and have vendors pour you samples of their teas. You can make your way to the stage to watch formal tea ceremonies based in the Korean, Japanese, and Chinese styles. In a separate room, speakers are lined up to give their presentations and open up for questions. This year you can listen and learn about appraising Chinese tea with Zhen Lu of Zhen Tea, Himalayas tea with Kevin Gascoyne of the Camellia Sinensis Tea Houses, the roots of puerh tea with Jeff Fuchs of Jalam Teas and so much more. There’s something for every tea enthusiast at the Toronto Tea Festival. Check out the full schedule here and find something that matches your tea interests.
While the speaker series and tea ceremonies are a regular part of the Toronto Tea Festival, there already appears to be a some new things coming this year. For instance, October of last year the organizers selected 40 different tea lovers (including myself) to send 6 different teas from various vendors that will be at the festival this January. The idea was to have each individual taste the teas and later fill out an online survey to rate them out of 10. This was done to determine the “Tea Lovers’ Choice” for the Best Tea in each category. The winners and runners up will be announced at the Toronto Tea Festival and their social media channels during the festival weekend. I’m interested to see how that will pan out and if there is more to come. Of course, I will most definitely share on the blog some of the highlights of the festival after the tea filled weekend. Meanwhile, I will share that these were the teas I had the opportunity to taste for the #teatasterboxTO.
Long Jing from Geninue Tea
Momo Sencha from Momo Tea
Peppermint Ginger Green from 3 Tea
Masala Chai from Chai Wala Chai
Golden Monkey from Tao Tea Leaf
Ceylon from Capital Teas
If you’re interested in attending the Toronto Tea Festival and making it a weekend full of tea, you can purchase tickets online at teafestivaltoronto.com. Tickets will also be available at the door. If you’re not sure whether you should attend one day or both, I suggest purchasing a ticket for Saturday and seeing how you enjoy the festival first. If you feel you need more time, or just really want to experience it again, you can head back Sunday morning and get a ticket at the door.
Toronto Tea Festival’s Ticket Prices
Early Bird until January 15, 2016:
One Day – $12.00 or Two Day Pass – $20.00
One Day – $15.00 or Two Day Pass – $25.00
As usual, included in the ticket price are access to all speaker presentations, tea ceremonies, tasting cup for free tea tastings from vendors and much more.
Will you be attending the Toronto Tea Festival this year? If so, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to see you there! 🙂