This weekend Canada’s largest festival for tea lovers, the 6th annual Toronto Tea Festival, will finally be here! If you want to immerse yourself in the world of tea and be surrounded by fellow tea lovers, this is definitely the place to be. It is easily my favourite tea event as I am always looking forward to the following one right away. The festival committee does a great job at keeping the festival organized and current. The 2018 Toronto Tea Festival is Saturday, February 3rd and Sunday, February 4th. There is also a special VIP night that kicks off the festival on Friday, February 2nd. Here is a run down of everything to look forward to this weekend.
The Tea Explorer Night
This VIP event is a new addition to the festival. Last year, Jeff Fuchs from Jalam Teas released his tea documentary, The Tea Explorer, in Canada. You have the opportunity to kick off this year’s festival with an exclusive screening of the documentary. This night also includes a talk and tea tasting with Jeff Fuchs (get ready for lots of puerh!) and a Q&A with the filmmakers, Jeff Fuchs and Andrew Gregg. If you’re interested in learning more about the documentary, check out this review from Rita Fong. Tickets for this event are sold separately from the weekend festival tickets. Get tickets to The Tea Explorer Night here (each guest gets a special gift bag!)
This year the Toronto Tea Festival is reporting that there will be over 50 vendors from near and far. Of course, the majority of the vendors are tea, but there are other vendors that go well with tea, such as honey vendors and cookie vendors. This is a great opportunity to sample new teas the vendors are steeping, chat with them about their teas, or teas in general, and also purchase products in person. Sometimes vendors announce new products just in time for the Toronto Tea Festival, so it’s even more exciting to get a first peak at their new teas! As usual, there will be a lot of vendors from previous years returning to the festival. However, there are some new ones on the list that I’m excited to check out.
Just to name a few:
– Tillerman Tea from California: I have enjoyed every oolong that I have tried from them and I also look forward to checking out David’s presentation.
– Wize Monkey from BC: It was awesome getting to try coffee leaf tea when this company was first starting out, and they continue to impress me with how well they’ve grown. I look forward to trying their new coffee leaf teas in a few days.
– Tearoma from Toronto: This is a new tea company that has been impressing me with their tea collection (and gorgeous tea caddies!). The owner, Sabrina, will also be presenting the Chinese Tea Ceremony at the festival.
View the full list of vendors here.
The tea ceremonies are a special addition to the Toronto Tea Festival. I love being able to experience different tea cultures through them. It’s a great way to learn about different tea wares and their purpose, and tea etiquette. Throughout the weekend you can check out the Chinese Tea Ceremony, Japanese Tea Ceremony, and Korean Tea Ceremony. The same ceremonies are performed multiple times throughout the weekend which makes it easier to fit them in your schedule with everything else going on.
The Tea IQ was added to the festival a couple of years ago. If you really want to test your taste buds and tea knowledge, I highly suggest you participate in this fun activity. Those who wish to participate will gather around the stage and be presented with a handful of tea samples (just the liquor…you don’t actually get to see the leaves!) to taste and examine. You are then required to write down your guess of the tea type, name of the tea and origin of the tea. Festival volunteers will then mark your answer sheet and those with the highest scores are recognized! The Tea IQ will be held on both Saturday and Sunday. Good luck!
The Toronto Tea Festival does a great job at scheduling a plethora of educational tea talks. With 10 speakers, there is a presentation for every tea drinker. From some presentations, you can learn about pairing your tea with chocolate, Japanese teas, tea leaf reading, tea and health, how to decode your tea tasting notes and much more. Unfortunately, it’s hard to manage going to every single presentation because they are scheduled back to back throughout the weekend. However, there are about 5 talks that have peaked my interest and hopefully I can check them all out. View the full program schedule here.
As always, I will be sharing a recap and thoughts of the Toronto Tea Festival when the weekend is (sadly!) over. Be sure to check back on the blog in a couple of weeks. If you’re still curious about the Toronto Tea Festival, you can check out my reviews from previous years here. This weekend I will be sharing as much of the festival as I can on Instagram through my stories and feed. Follow me there (@teaaholic) for a live taste of the Toronto Tea Festival if you can not attend. If there is anything in particular you’d like to for me to check out at the festival and report on, let me know and I’ll do my best!
2018 Toronto Tea Festival Information
The Tea Explorer Night: Feb. 2 2018 (6:30pm-9:00pm)
Tea Festival Show Dates: Feb. 3 & 4, 2018 (10:00am-5:00pm)
Toronto Reference Library
Appel Salon, 2nd floor
789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4W 2G8
There will be limited tickets available at the door, so it is recommended that you purchase your tickets in advance.
Let me know in the comments below if you’re planning to attend the 2018 Toronto Tea Festival!