There was plen-tea to see, do and drink at the Melbourne Tea Festival.
The Melbourne Tea Festival returned to Melbourne’s Convention Centre earlier this year to showcase one of the world’s most popular drinks. The event was organised by tea connoisseurs Corinne Smith of The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar and Renee Creer of Perfect South Green Tea, and invited all lovers of the leaf to sip and sample as many teas as their hearts desired.
There’s no denying, Trading Plates love their coffee, so it was a great change of pace to taste and try a drink that comes in so many different varieties and flavours, and services a range of cultures and rituals, all of which are just as invigorating as your regular cuppa joe.
We walked around the market set up with our complimentary tea cup and tried as many teas as we could with a couple of discoveries along the way; firstly – there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ tea. Seriously, there might be flavours or styles you gravitate towards more, but you’d be hard pressed to find a tea that wasn’t just a little bit soothing and enjoyable.
Secondly, there are just so many varieties that come under the one name, ‘tea’ – which means saying ‘yes’ to the offer of a cuppa anywhere across the world could render a number of different results.
Here are some of our favourites from the Melbourne Tea Festival.
The Fitzroy Naturopath’s motto is ‘Drink your medicine’ – and with a tea selection like theirs, medicine just became more than bearable. Their beautifully packaged teas offer relief from a number of ailments like the Digestive blend, which uses ingredients like ginger and licorice to soothe the digestive lining and ease discomfort. Other favourites from the Melbourne brand included their Skin Radiance with rosehip and cinnamon notes mixed with herbs that detoxify and remove metabolic waste from the liver, kidneys and skin, also their Sleep Well tea is filled with sedating chamomile and lavender and promises to relax the nervous system and promote sleep.
Faraaz Tea are purveyors of fragrant, aromatic teas at the best of times, with a Persian flair. They were on show at the Melbourne Tea Festival with some new black teas, which will be on offer at their newly launched Persian High Tea events. The high tea offer sees a member of Faraaz Tea coming to your house or chosen space and offering a Persian experience, with black tea blends like their Love Black – with rose and saffron, or their Aromatic Black – with cinnamon and cardamom. The high tea also includes Persian sweets and treats, the proper tea serveries and tisanes, and just sounds like a fun experience your friends are more likely to say yes to than a third Tupperware party.
FOR A HIGHER PURPOSE
Proof that tea can be offered for a multitude of reasons, Tea With Annie was on show at the Melbourne Tea Festival to promote their tea leaf reading services. The work of Tasseomancist (yes, that means tea leaf reader) Annie O’Reilly, Tea With Annie offers private readings as well as Tea Leaf Reading Parties – which sometimes include cupcakes, as well as an insight into what the remnants of your cuppa say about you and your life.
FOR A WARMING TREAT
Chai Tea is basically heaven in a cup, which means Tea & Spice Specialty Chai trade in a higher power. Their selection of ‘wet’ and ‘powdered’ Chais make it easier for the humble home drinker to make a beautiful, top quality treat in their own kitchen. It is also made for cafes and restaurants, as the founders of Tea & Spice felt what was initially offered to cafe customers was more sugar than spices- so they worked to change this, and were successful if we might say!
the Melbourne Tea Festival will return in 2018, with dates to be confirmed soon – we will keep you updated!
Photo by Stephane Spatafora.