Posted by: Lauren | February 6, 2015

The Third Toronto Tea Festival

Last weekend (Jan 31 – Feb 1, 2015) marked the 3rd anniversary of the Toronto Tea Festival, and of course my third visit. Overall, the festival was great! I go every year with my dad – a fellow tea nerd. This year we decided to get there super early to avoid the lines and crowds that are growing with the popularity of the festival. When we got there right at the opening, there was already a line to get in and a crowd inside. When we left in the afternoon it was mobbed, so despite the morning crowd it was still better than the afternoon. Crowds of tea lovers are much nicer than other types of crowds so it wasn’t too bad, but it still may be nice to see a larger venue in the future.

And of course, we shopped, because obviously I needed more tea… right? (If anyone has any storage tips I would LOVE to hear some ideas… my tea “bookshelf” is out of space!)

So what did I get?…

At Lemon Lily I picked up some Cafe Caramel Pu-erh. Love it! A great blend with that added kick from espresso beans. Lemon Lily offers extremely reasonable prices and some delicious flavours.

Café Caramel Pu-erh

I also stopped by the Riston booth and picked up some of their famed Milk Oolong. Riston is a wholesaler company, but always comes to the Tea Festival and sells out of their delicious Milk Oolong. This is one of my favourite types of teas, and Riston definitely does it justice.

At Momo Tea I purchased some yummy Hojicha – a roasted green tea. Once upon a time I had a creme Hojicha that I loved, so I was happy to pick up a new Hojicha tea. Momo, who is behind Momo Tea, was great to talk to at the festival!

I of course stopped by Basilur – I’ve been enjoying their inexpensive tea for a few years now. Their tea is delicious and wonderful, with extremely reasonable prices. Depending on the flavour, you can get a box of 100 g of loose leaf for as low as $3! My favourite has always been the winter cranberry flavour, but this time I went for Tea Book Volume 1 – a black tea flavoured with jasmine and almond.

The Peru booth was also great. Having visited Peru last year, I was stoked to see Peru represented. I picked up a new smoothie recipe too – almond milk, cooked quinoa, cacao and vanilla. So good!

Teabot was definitely a highlight at this year’s festival. The following is from teaBOT’s website, describing the company: “We make personalized loose-leaf tea through robotics. Ever find yourself craving that perfect cup of tea on-the-go? Our automated kiosks blend, bag, and serve your tea your way.Whether you’ve mastered your blend or are trying something new, your custom cup of tea is just a tap a way. Use our app to perfect and order your recipe, see what’s trending, and share your personaliteaTM.”

teabot

The teaBOT!

It’s so cool and such a great idea! I’m looking forward to seeing some of these teaBOTs throughout Toronto. TeaBOT was giving visitors a chance to make their own blends and take some home in loose leaf format. When it launches, teaBOT users will be able to pick flavours and have a cup to go. And, one of the coolest parts – you can plan the blend out on the app and scan it when you arrive at the teaBOT.

My flavour I of course named after my blog – Steeped in Tea, it was a combination of Chocolate Mate (40%), Strawberry Hibiscus (10%) and Nutty Caramel (50%). So good!

Bare English & Co., where I usually stop by to pick up some tea infused lip balm, was previewing their new hand and body butter. The all natural Passion Fruit cream is great! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the line when it comes to stores, and especially looking forward to the unscented cream that will be offered. For now, check out the varieties of lip balm flavours on their website.

Last, but not least, I also discovered what Kombucha is at the festival. I’m not sure why it took me so long to discover Kombucha – a fermented tea beverage. It’s fermented using a “SCOBY” – a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Pekoe Kombucha Bar was at the festival sampling their Kombucha, and it’s amazing! Dan Johanis’ talk at the festival was great, and has inspired me to start my own home brewing of Kombucha – stay tuned for more posts about this soon!

These are just a few mentions, there were a lot of other fantastic tea vendors at the festival.

A great third year at the Toronto Tea Festival – and now a lot of work to do. And by work I mean tea to finish off!! And some home brewing to start too!

My overflowing Tea Festival bag!

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Responses

  1. I went to the tea festival for the first time this year (adding to the crowds you mentioned). I’m already looking forward to next years event. Although I didn’t buy anything I surely enjoyed all the free samples.

    • And I always buy way too much!! Also – love love love your blog 🙂


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