Festival season is underway with great events scheduled in Sydney, Dublin and Vancouver…
Western Tea Festivals launched in the past couple of years are drawing crowds of 5,000 to 7,000. Events in major cities across the globe introduce consumers to tea customs and styles. Educational programs are popular with experts sharing methods of preparation while discussing processing techniques and origin.
Retailers typically organize these events in cooperation with local governments and tea marketing associations. Financial support from tea wholesalers, brewing and service ware manufacturers make it possible to keep admission prices low.
Here is a quick recap of shows in the weeks ahead:
Sydney Tea Festival – Aug. 16, 2015
This event, co-founded by retailers Renee Creer and Corinne Smith, follows the 2014 debut. Organizers expect 7,000 to attend a tea market with 50 stalls, tea education program and to take home $4 souvenir tea tasting cups (for samples).
New workshop sessions include tea and dessert pairing with Black Star Pastry and how to create your own chai with the Sticky Chai boys. There’s also the brew lounge where you can kick back and listen to music while sipping a cuppa.
The Australian tea drinkers’ palate is improving as they are trading up basic black tea for more premium and loose leaf teas, notes Corinne Smith, co-founder and owner of The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar. Creer, who owns Perfect South Green Tea, said the festival “celebrates what specialty tea in Australia is all about – quality, diversity and creativity. Whether you’re a long term tea fanatic or just starting to dabble with tea, we’ve covered all the bases for you.”
Australians spent $384 million on 7.7 billion cups of tea last year. “Tea is trending in Australia at the moment and the success of last year’s festival is a testament to that,” said Smith.
Sydney Tea Festival
245 Wilson St., Eveleigh
Workshops: Yamma Dhiyaan Training Center
255 Wilson St., Eveleigh
Hours: Sunday 9 am – 4 pm
Learn more: www.sydneyteafestival.com.au and for those too distant to make the trip follow the festivities at www.facebook/sydteafestival (Facebook) www.instagram.com/sydteafestival (Instagram) www.twitter.com/sydteafestival (Twitter), and www.youtube.com/sydteafestival (YouTube)
Dublin Coffee & Tea Festival – Sept. 11-13, 2015
The event in the RDS Industries Hall attracts the industry’s leading Irish tea brands, such as Mrs. Doyles Tea Company, Niks Tea and Solaris along with stands from Lily’s Tea Shop, Bewley’s Coffee and Tea Company and Koyu Matcha Green Tea. The inaugural event drew 5,700 visitors with 93% indicating they would return in 2015.
Dublin is the site of the World Barista Championships in 2016, an event that will bring competitors from 65 countries. With the Irish palate now as sophisticated as our European counterparts, and a vibrant café culture growing all the time, this year’s show features a great mix of exhibitors, education, entertainment and competitions.
These include the SCAE Brew School where visitors will be shown how to use different brewing methods; the National Home Barista Championships; and The Food Village for Artisan food and beverage suppliers whose products compliments the coffee and tea drinking experience. And, following on once again from the success of last year’s show, there will be a series of fringe events with all features open to commercial sponsorship opportunities.
Dublin Coffee & Tea Festival
Industries Hall of the RDS Dublin 4
Hours: Friday, Noon – 7 pm
Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm | Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
Admission: €10.40 (children free)
Three-day pass: €15.40
Learn more: www.dublincoffeefestival.com and for those too distant to make the trip follow the festivities at https://www.facebook.com/dublincoffeeandteafestival (Facebook) https://twitter.com/DublinCoffeeTea (Twitter)
Vancouver Tea Festival – Nov. 21, 2015
The 2013 event drew 3,500 attendees.
“Vancouver has assuredly become a city of ‘foodies’ – a city with discerning, diverse, and increasingly sophisticated tastes in food and drink. Until relatively recently, however, tea was something of an afterthought on the Vancouver scene – overshadowed, among other things, by the city’s reputation as a haven for coffee lovers. But no longer,” write organizers. “We at the Vancouver Tea Society believe the time has come to showcase specialty tea in all its splendour to Vancouver, and to British Columbia as a whole.”
VTS hosts bi-monthly tea events including focused tastings and educational sessions. Net proceeds are donated to local charities. “We resolutely believe tea can be a force for tremendous good, and giving back to the city in which we live and work elides perfectly with the social, communitarian ethos that imbues tea culture,” according to VTS, which is managed by a board of five directors active within the local tea industry.
Exhibitors include Thay Tea, Tea Sparrow, O5 Tea, Young Mountain Tea, My Matcha Life, Amoda Tea, Trudy Ann’s Chai, ICHIYO’s Matcha Tea Bar and JusTea. Tables are $450. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Vancouver Tea Festival
3250 Commercial Dr., East Vancouver
Hours: Saturday 10 am – 6 pm
Learn more at: http://www.vancouverteafestival.ca and for those too distant to make the trip follow the festivities at https://twitter.com/VanTeaFestival (Twitter) https://instagram.com/vanteasociety/ (Instagram) and https://www.facebook.com/VanTeaSociety (Facebook)
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