The third annual Vancouver Tea Festival happened on November 5th at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. It was the first year at this venue and I loved how it all seemed to mesh together seamlessly. The garden is a serene retreat in the middle of a big city, you almost forget where you are! And the tea offerings were exactly what you would expect to experience in such a peaceful garden.
The ticket gained you access to the garden as well as workshops, tea-tastings, tea leaves readings, and the marketplace that featured about 30 tea purveyors. A steal for just under $20! If you plan to attend the festival next year and want to do a traditional or ceremonial tea tasting, make sure to sign up for them at least an hour early, this year the space was limited to 16 participants for each tasting and they filled up fast! (I completely missed experiencing a formal tea tasting, but I did get to taste many other teas at the marketplace). The festival thoughtfully provides a small shot glass sized tea cup at the entrance so you can try all the teas that the purveyors have for tasting.
I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite! There were companies for “tea of the month club” like Tea Sparrow where you sign up to get 3 different types of teas every month, gourmet tea shops like O5 Tea that was doing a traditional oolong preparation for you to taste, and direct sales companies like Steeped Tea. It was a tea lover’s dream to attend and try different teas that were available for purchase and I was giddy to be able to attend. I love that Vancouver has this festival every year, can’t wait to go back next year!