The Sydney Tea Festival was held on the 20th August, 2017 at Carriageworks and my, was it busy!! The Festival is an interactive experience designed to help people discover and experience specialty tea; encourage and grow passion for tea through education; and showcase quality specialty tea providers. This year was the fourth year it was held.
Visitors were given a nice little ceramic tea cup on arrival and a map of all the exhibitors for the day, then you could dig right in and enjoy lots of free tea samples!
Nearly the first thing that you could see when you walked around the bend was a selfie wall. No event is ever complete without one now. It is funny how social media has risen and taken over our lives, transformed the way we think about photos of ourselves. This selfie wall came with three wooden props of tea cups and a tea pot so you could pose with your friends! You could have fun without even experiencing any tea; though the best was yet to come!
Alongside the many tea stalls, festival-goers could eat tea-related food as well as food with tea in it. There were lots of food trucks to feed the crowd too.
Even though the festival is relatively new, it’s clear that the tea community in Sydney is thriving. Many of the stall holders knew each other and there were a great many people who braved the cold on a Sunday to drink their fill of tea. Did you know that Australia is a real innovator and big player in growing and supplying tea to the Asia Pacific region?!
Along with some well-known faces like The Tea Centre and The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar there were some newer brands like The Tea Nomad and T Totaler. The free samples from ITO EN had a line snaking around other stalls. The brew your own tea stall was quite popular as well. You could make your own custom blend by experimenting with a range of teas, herbs, spices and flowers, supplied by Austral Herbs. Sessions started every half an hour in the tea market and were $20.00 per person. There were lots of healthy pure teas (both hot and cold) on display also as well as some interesting chai lattes. Would you believe that T Totaler was making chai latte with Turkish fairy floss on top for people who like their tea a little bit naughty!
Another face of the Sydney Tea Festival were the workshops. You could hear resident tea expert David Lyons from 18 Thirty Four talk Tea Essentials as well as watch LuxeBite Chef Bernard Chu in action at a Baking with Tea workshop. The Tea Cube installation was quite popular too. You could experience tea with a stranger. Hosted by members of Ueda Soko Ryu Australia the ceremony of tea facilitates deep connection, openness and communication. Best of all, The Tea Cube was free until 3:30pm!
Considering entry was $15AUD if you booked ahead, Sydney Tea Festival was well worth a visit!
BY : Kiri Yanchenko