Toronto is a city of events, taking over opportunity to celebrate the common interests and experiences. And while it has certainly developed a love affair with beer, a much older beverage remains a favourite with many. Whether you’re a tea novice or have been drinking it for decades, there is something for you at the Toronto Tea Festival.
Housed at the Toronto Reference Library, vendors join the festival from around the city and beyond, offering fragrant samples of their wares.
For the purists there are heritage Chinese teas and simple Ceylons.
For the adventurous there are countless fun varieties, with flavors ranging from caramel popcorn to spicy chais.
Matcha remains ever a favourite, with many vendors selling fancy matcha mixing shakers. One place was even pairing it with orange juice for a refreshing morning pick me up.
What makes the festival uniquely Toronto though is the spotlight on our city’s amazing cultural mix. On the main stage, guests could view and even participate in different tea ceremonies.
Japanese, Chinese and Korean, each is different in form and style, yet they also all share a reverence for tea and for a ceremony’s guests.
5 years and going strong, I overheard many guests share the sentiment that the festival may have outgrown it’s home in the reference library. Certainly as the crowd grew it became increasingly difficult to reach the vendor tables, let alone grab a sample.
However it is safe to say that the crowds also show that Toronto has a love of tea that won’t be running out any time soon. And as a lover of tea myself, it is wonderful to have an environment to share that interest and passion with others. The Toronto Tea Festival has earned a place on my list of must-attend events in the city.