Step in from the cold and warm up at the Toronto Tea Festival at Toronto Reference Library on January 30-31, 2016. You will discover tea traditions, as well as learn about current trends. Sample from hundreds of teas and learn about the origin of tea, processing techniques and preparation at one of the festival presentations. Shop for all your favourite teas, and tea products, participate in the silent auction and enter the raffle.
In addition to tea tastings, the Toronto Tea Festival will showcase traditional tea ceremonies from Japan, Korea and China. Visit each exhibitor to choose your favourite special blend of tea, tea-related products and artisan tea ware.
New this year is the Tea Tasters Box, an exclusive collection of premier loose-leaf teas, which has been rated by a panel of tea lovers. You’ll also be able to participate in a Tea Tasting Competition to win limited edition prizes.
Interview with Tao Wu, Co-Founder of the Toronto Tea Festival
We spoke to Tao Wu, co-founder of the Toronto Tea Festival and Tao Tea Leaf, via email:
LB: Why are some fine loose leaf teas so expensive?
TW: Usually because they limit the volume of tea they can produce from a specific origin by a specific tea master from a specific season. Like fine wine, there are some best origins for each tea, and usually the best season is spring, but even in spring, the best tea comes from early spring. Also, there are many famous tea masters who are very skilled and experienced in making teas. The tea from these people are very expensive.
LB: How does the attitude towards tea differ in the western world vs. the eastern world?
TW: Generally speaking, the drinking style is quite different. Originally, those in the eastern world would drink plain tea without adding milk and sugar; people in the western world like blending tea (plain tea blended with dried fruit and flowers or flavours) and they also like to put sugar or milk in their teas. This is because the food culture is very different.
But today, more and more tea drinkers have started learning about traditional tea (Chinese Gongfu Tea and Japanese Tea). They also…are travelling to Asia, and visiting tea plantations and tea masters. Instead of just buying and drinking tea, tea has become a lifestyle for the western world.
LB: In your opinion, what is the best way to enjoy a cup of tea?
TW: Everyone has their own style to enjoy a cup of tea…there is nothing wrong with those people who like blending their tea and/or adding milk and sugar, but we do suggest, if you have a nice real traditional tea, try the tea by itself.
For myself to enjoy my cup of tea, i like to have my tea in the Chinese Gongfu tea style. My favourite teas are oolong and pu-er; they need boiling water to steep (different teas need different temperatures), and normally I put more tea in a small Chinese teaware for less steeping time to get a better taste.
Tickets to the Toronto Tea Festival
Tickets to the Toronto Tea Festival include the following:
- Access to the Toronto Tea Festival
- A shopping bag
- A program book
- One free tasting cup
- Tea tasting from vendors
- Coupons from vendors
- Access to presentation lectures
- Access to tea ceremonies
Tickets for the Toronto Tea Festival purchased online are $12 each day or $20 for a two-day pass. Purchase tickets at the door for $15 + HST for single day and $25 + HST for two-day pass. Sales are limited.