Taking place on Sunday 29th May, the very first Melbourne Tea Festival will be taking over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on South Wharf, highlighting some of Australia’s most exciting and creative specialty tea makers with markets, workshops, and more. The one day only event will be bringing a packed program through which tea lovers will be able to explore and taste a range of artisanal loose leaf teas and immerse themselves among food trucks, boutique stalls, accessories, and hand-crafted homewares. It’s a fitting move seeing as a whopping 7.7 billion cups of tea were sold in Australia during 2015 – a 2.2 per cent increase on the 7.5 billion cups of tea five years ago in 2010.
Porcelain tasting cup in hand, those heading along on the Sunday can try their hand at perfecting tea and food pairing, blending herbal tisanes, or engaging in tea leaf reading. There will also be workshops focused on the complexities of Oolong tea and chai blending. In addition, Japanese artists Yuka Mikayama will be hosting an interactive tea performance describe as “a liberated taste of tea infused with the Melbourne underground”
“The beauty of this event is that tea businesses of all sorts – from global retail brands like T2 to local specialty tea houses and purveyors – are all gathered in the one location, on one day, in what can only be described as a huge celebration of all things tea,” says festival co-founder Corrine Smith who also owns The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar. “Both the tea novice and the tea connoisseur will find something to capture their interest”.
From Japanese matcha and locally grown Australian teas to traditional Indian chai and organic blends, the festival markets will be bringing in pretty much everything a tea lover could ask for, mirroring the success of Sydney’s annual Sydney Tea Festival which will be held later this year in August at Carriageworks. Last year, the Sydney Festival attracted more than 10,000 visitors, making it the largest tea event in the country.
The Melbourne Tea Festival will kick off at 9am on Sunday 29th May and run until 4pm. Tickets on the door are a very reasonable $15 (entry includes a festival tasting cup) and workshops range from $20 to $44. For more information and tickets click HERE.