An interactive one-day event celebrating everything tea is coming back after a successful debut last year at Melbourne Exhibition Centre, attracting more than 4,200 tea lovers. The aromatic Melbourne Tea Festival will aim at connecting guests to specialty teas from all over the world, highlighting exciting tea purveyors who will be on hand to showcase creative blends, rare teas and inventive brewing equipment and techniques.
“The response from last year’s event was incredible, so we can’t wait to see what Melbourne brings this year,” said festival co-founder Renee Creer. “Tea is one of the country’s most popular non-alcoholic beverages, however it’s probably one of the most misunderstood…the festival aims to change that, encouraging both tea novices and connoisseurs alike to discover and explore just what specialty tea is all about”.
This year is going to see the festival showcase considerable growth, presenting an expanded tea market as well as a fresh lineup of workshops and the return of their playful “Tea with a Stranger” program, an experience hoped to facilitate “deep connection, openness and communication”.
The tea market will be packed full of the best in specialty loose leaf tea and herbal tisanes, offered from stalls along with various food offerings and a range of ceramics and tea-wares. Expect the likes of hand-crafted ‘wet’ chai, single-origin and rare teas, therapeutic herbal blends, matcha green tea and even kombucha on tap. The festival’s signature porcelain cup will come with each ticket so guests can walk around trying as many teas as they can.
Some new features include to DIY blending station to allow guests to create their own custom blends from various tea, flower, spices, fruit and herbs.
A few workshops on the schedule include one for native Australian tea ceremonies, aiming to provide deeper insight in Australian Indigenous tea ceremonies and their medicinal purpose; a class on fermenting kombucha and jun; a bowl tea ritual; and of course, blend your own tea, where guests will learn the art and science of combining teas, herbs and floral inclusions.
The Melbourne Tea Festival will kick off at 9am on Saturday 20th May and wrap up around 4pm, with tickets from $15.90. Entry is free for kids under 12 years of age.
Sydney’s turn will come later this year in August.
Melbourne Tea Festival
Where: Melbourne Exhibition Centre; 2 Clarendon Street South Wharf (Doors 1 and 2)
When/b>: Saturday 20th May; 9am-4pm