Tea is one of those passions that unites an eclectic group of people, all of whom seemed to be in attendance at Saturday’s inaugural Vancouver Tea Festival. Hosted by the Vancouver Tea Society at the Olympic Village Creekside Community Centre, the festival catered to all kinds of tea lovers, from casual sippers to die-hard purists, with a wide selection of teas from local and international vendors.
The tea festival drew out tea enthusiasts by the hundreds. Creekside’s humble gymnasium buzzed with the kind of zen-like energy usually exclusive to yoga studios and trendy spas. Crowds of people excitedly took in the fragrant aromas of exotic, rich, fruity, and spiced tea blends from around the world. From powdered Japanese ceremonial green tea at DoMatcha’s sprawling display to Teaja’s beautifully functional line-up of healthy tea blends designed to cure almost any ailment, the diversity of tea truly came to life at this weekend’s fete.
A sampling of DAVIDsTEA organic blueberry jam tea blended with black tea, elderberries, cornflowers and stevia proved to be subtly sweet with a delightful aroma of syrupy fruitiness. Other standouts included Shaktea’s zesty and soothing ginger lemon tea (like a delectable liquid cough drop!) and Honeybush’s slow brewed, caffeine and sugar-free iced mint tea packed with polyphenols and antioxidants.
In addition to delicious tastings and tea discoveries, the festival also presented a number of demos like Tea Sparrow’s tea cocktail workshop which received such overwhelming demand that it sold out along with every other workshop as early as noon. The festival itself also sold out online – looks like Vancouver’s tea community is alive and well.
The Vancouver Tea Festival boasted an impressive list of over 30 diverse exhibitors, vendors and sponsors. Already looking to next year’s festival, attendees hope for a larger venue to really immerse themselves in the invigorating world of tea.
Although exceptionally high demand and interest in the tea festival created a few minor logistical hiccups, when it comes to enjoying the fine art and special craft of tea, we say the more the merrier!