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After two years of inactivity due to the pandemic, things are finally brewing again in the world of tea. The Toronto Tea Festival, Canada's largest such event for newcomers and connoisseurs alike, is returning to the city over the weekend.
The festival will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Toronto Reference Library and will continue over the weekend until around 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets cost $16 for a single day or $25 for a two-day pass.
The tea festival presents its patrons with an opportunity to discover — or rediscover — the microcosm that is the world of tea, ranging from ancient methods to the latest developments in the industry. One will be able to sample a wide variety of teas prepared by exhibitors — noting different flavours, origins, brewing and processing techniques and even different preparation styles. There will also be opportunities to learn from industry experts at one of the complimentary presentations.
The two-day event will offer a host of talks and learning experiences, some of which include:
Outside of speeches, attendees will also get to see special demonstrations related to the world of tea. Demos include a kimono show and Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies. Also included is the centuries-old tradition of a Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony, encapsulating everything that the tea festival stands for.
Based on a traditional small-pot brewing practice dating back more than 300 years, the practice was modified in 1989 to create a ceremony that allows multiple participants to brew and serve tea together. There exists no hierarchy based on knowledge, religion, or social status. Like the Toronto Tea Festival, this ceremony helps participants develop a tolerant attitude and cultivate cooperation and thoughtfulness toward others while sharing a cup of tea — worthy of making it the main attraction of the event.
This event is open to all. Whether you're a brewmaster or someone looking foward to taking their first sip, the festival should prove to be a great opportunity to learn about and savour the world of tea. If not learning or drinking, there will also be avenues for shopping, with a wide variety of teaware, teas and other related products available for purchase.
The Toronto Tea Festival will take place from 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Toronto Reference Library located at 789 Yonge St. Tickets are available for purchase here.