Gathering for Tea: Festivals and Fun

As interest in tea has grown in the United States and Canada, the number of tea festivals and other tea gatherings has multiplied. There are active festivals in Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Ottawa, Seattle, and a host of other sites. As tea lovers reveled in the wealth of opportunities that had emerged, the sad announcement was made that after seven years of operating, the Victoria Tea Festival would no longer occur.

The news added a challenge for TeaTime Magazine which had developed a special event in conjunction with the festival called “An Occasion for Tea.”

TeaTime, under the direction of editor Lorna Reeves, chose not to cancel their event, however. Instead it has been expanded to a full weekend of activities and events for tea lovers.

Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria, BC - Site of 2014 "An Occasion for Tea"

Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria, BC – Site of 2014 “An Occasion for Tea”

From Friday, Feb. 7 to Sunday, Feb, 9, 2014, tea enthusiasts will gather at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia for three days of tea experiences. There will be afternoon tea in the Empress Tea Room, tea tastings, book signings, presentations, and a self-guided tea tour. The weekend’s presenters are Jane Pettigrew, James Norwood Pratt and Bruce Richardson. For more information, visit Tea Time Magazine or email

Can’t make it to Victoria, but are interested in other tea festivals around the U.S. and Canada? Here’s a list of some options to consider as a vendor or an attendee:

Toronto Tea Festival – Feb. 1-2

San Francisco International Tea Festival – March (TBA)
Coffee & Tea Festival NYC – Mar. 22-23

Charleston Tea Plantation’s Annual First Flush Festival – May (TBA)
Kulov Tea Lovers Festival, Los Angeles – May (TBA)
World Tea Expo, Long Beach, Calif. – May 29-31

Rocky Mountain Tea Festival, Boulder, Colo. – July/August (TBA)

Los Angeles International Tea Festival – September (TBA)
Canada Coffee and Tea Show, Toronto – Sept. 28-29

Northwest Tea Festival, Seattle, Wash. – Oct. 4-5, 2014
Vancouver Tea Festival – November (TBA)
Coffee & Tea Festival Philly – Nov. 8-9
Ottawa Tea Festival – November (TBA)

Will you be attending any festivals this year? What do you find most useful about participating in these events?