This was the fourth year of the Sydney Tea Festival and it was another great one. Many of my favourite vendors from last year were back and there were some new interesting ones too. 2016 was the first one I ever attended.
Despite having the festival date penciled in for months, some other important events cropped up that meant I only had 1.5 hours there. I was able to research the stall holder list and find the vendors I was interested in to ensure I could visit everyone I wanted to. It worked out to 6 minutes per stall on average 😉
I arrived about 8:45am and jumped in the line that was just starting to form. Fortunately the doors opened almost right on time and I was away!
@tuochatea were a new stall holder this year at the #sydneyteafestival. They had some #shoupuer #tuo and #minituo wares, including ones flavoured with ginseng. Also teabags as well. They mentioned they own the farms, do the picking, processing and distribution all themselves! I picked up some #minituocha (pictured) and a larger one, and they threw in some teabags ☺️ The 5g minis were convenient and delicious. Not as much lastability as what you'd get from whole-leaf stuff but perfect for a short session.
@storm.in.a.teacup.tea was another #sydneyteafestival stall on my list. Based in Melbourne, they stock a range of Chinese and Japanese teas and are big on traditional tea culture and education. I picked up a 东方美人 (Eastern/Oriental Beauty) oolong that I've been thoroughly enjoying! As with most of my stall photos this year, I jumped in right at opening time before the crowds started mobbing them.
@longstea was a new stall featuring traditional Chinese tea (particularly different pu'er products), including mandarin and even pumpkin pu'ers! I was glad to finally meet these folks after missing their Easter show stall earlier this year. Hopefully I can go and visit their Hurstville tea house soon 🤞
@arakaiestate, the growers/makers of my favourite black tea (their green is great too), also had their inaugural appearance at the tea festival! I'd never have believed such good tea could come out of Australia but these folks have done it. They grow Japanese varietals in rich, volcanic soil, pick the leaves with a bike harvester(!) and process the leaves in a Taiwanese style. It was great being able to meet Brendon in person—super friendly and very excited about their tea. Also loved the wattle decoration for the stall 😌🇦🇺
Thanks to the @tianhehealingarts stall, I was able to start my collection of rock oolongs! I picked up a 2008 shuixian, a jinguanyin and a sample that's a blend of various wuyi yanchas. I tried the shuixian last night and was impressed with its complexity. Many more sessions are needed to explore it further!
@yunzeng_coco was back with a rebranded @wildyunnantea at the festival with another impressive stall. Featuring hosts dressed in traditional garb (of a Yunnan ethnic minority group), it was good to see the #rawpuer (2011) and #blacktea favourites back again. I got my start with #puer here last year and made sure to pick up some more this time! I also picked up their #ripepuer (2004) and will be keeping an eye out for their upcoming "moonlight white" product 😋 #月光白
@cloud_nine_teas was another great stall who specialise in traditional Chinese and Japanese teas and teaware. I picked up some organic jinxuan oolong (often known as milk oolong), which I have been thoroughly enjoying today. It's a great idea having a QR code on the package for when you want to order more!
@teaangle was back this year with their aesthetically-pleasing stall! Blending modern design with traditional Chinese teas (mainly dancongs), they put a lot of thought into how we can get the most out of our tea. Their teas are top-notch, and they were launching their new duckshit oolong at the festival (can confirm it's 👌). There was also lots of information on tasting notes, brew times, etc. for each tea. They also recently launched a YouTube channel "The Teapository" that's worth checking out for any enthusiast!
It was fun to meet many vendors in person for the first time, especially since I had interacted over Instagram with most of them prior!
By the end of my visit, I’d amassed a decent haul that I’m sure I will be enjoying over the next year.
By the time I had to leave at 10:30am, it was started to get really busy. I’d definitely recommend going early if you’re keen on having a decent chat with the vendors! It’s a great event and easy to see why it’s so popular.
If you go next year, I will see you there!