Tea lovers will soon be able to spend a day exploring and tasting a range of specialty loose leaf teas under one roof at the inaugural Melbourne Tea Festival on Sunday, 29 May 2016. Held in the heart of the city at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Wharf, the interactive event will feature some of the most exciting and creative specialty tea purveyors from Melbourne and beyond.
Corinne Smith, festival co-founder and owner of The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar says people can expect a day of fun and discovery. “Tea is an incredibly diverse and interesting drink. The sheer depth and variety of what’s out there is mindblowing and the beauty of this event is that tea purveyors of all sorts are gathered in the one location, on one day, in what can only be described as a celebration of all things tea.”
Festival-goers can wander around the tea market and taste some of the best artisanal teas around, buy teaware, accessories or hand-crafted homewares, and join a tea workshop. “Everyone from the tea novice to the tea connoisseur will find something to capture their interest. There’ll be a wide range of teas and tisanes on offer – everything from Japanese matcha, rare Chinese teas, traditional Indian chai, chocolate tea, organic and medicinal blends, to locally grown Australian and native teas.” said Smith.
The Melbourne Tea Festival has two key features:
- TEA MARKET – Enthusiastic about all things tea? The tea market is where you need to be as it features more than 50 stallholders selling and sampling tea and food. Festival-goers can sample tea all day long in their festival tasting cup (included in the ticket price) which also doubles as a collectable souvenir. Visitors will find specialty loose leaf tea and herbal tisanes of all styles, food purveyors with tempting sweet and savoury treats, ceramic artists and makers of teaware as well as food trucks for something bigger to snack on. There’s also the brew lounge where you can sit down with a cuppa and listen to music.
- TEA WORKSHOPS – Want to immerse yourself in the finer details of tea? Sign up for a hands-on session or tea tasting held by some of Australia’s leading tea specialists. Workshops cover a range of topics and sessions from herbal tisane and chai blending to tea tastings, food pairing and more.
The festival is being brought to Melbourne by Tea Festivals Australia, organisers of the Sydney Tea Festival, an event held in August at Carriageworks, which continues to go from strength to strength. The annual Sydney Tea Festival is the largest tea event in the country and last year attracted over 10,000 visitors. Tea Festivals Australia is a partnership formed by two Sydney-based tea companies (The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar and Perfect South Green Tea) who both share a passion and vision for tea and the industry.
Renee Creer, festival co-founder and owner of Perfect South said, “Australians drink more than seven million cups of tea each year so it’s fitting that there’s an event specifically for tea drinkers and after two successful years in Sydney, we are hugely excited to launch the festival in Melbourne.”
“Right now in Australia there’s growing interest in premium teas and specialty brews being offered by local companies, so it’s great to have tea purveyors showcasing the best and latest in tea, whether that’s creative blends, rare teas, or new brewing methods and equipment,” Creer commented.
Some Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Tea:
– A whopping 7.7 billion cups of tea were sold in Australia during 2015. This is a 2.2% increase on the 7.5 billion cups of tea five years ago in 2010. It’s the second most widely consumed beverage in the world (next to water).
– The Australian tea drinkers’ palate is improving as they are trading up basic black tea for more premium and loose leaf teas.
– Specialty tea is leafy grade tea produced with the intention to enhance characteristics in the leaf. It tends toward a more artisan approach to manufacture as opposed to mass-production, and toward tea that’s packaged as loose leaf, rather than packaged in tea bags.
– Specialty tea respects the diverse range of qualities, growing regions, climates, production and preparation methods as a means to create greater flavour and end user enjoyment.
The Details You Need to Know:
Date: Sunday, 29 May Time: 9.00am – 4.00pm
Location: Melbourne Exhibition Centre – 2 Clarendon Street South Wharf (Doors 1 and 2)
Cost: Festival tea market: $12 adult pre-sale and $15 door sale (includes tasting cup)
Festival workshops: from $20 – $44 depending on session
Tickets available at www.melbourneteafestival.com.au