The 4th annual Toronto Tea Festival is coming up this weekend at the Toronto Reference Library. Whether you’re an aficionado who wants to learn more about authentic tea ceremonies or a new convert looking for ways to get your caffeine buzz on, this event is all about tea leaf love. Check out these vendors from across the GTA who will have their blissful brews on offer.
Boasting a wide range of teas, from green and black to oolong and pu’erh, plus items like gaiwans and yixing teapots, Tao Tea Leaf is probably the closest you can get to an authentic Chinese tea experience in Toronto. The shop even offers workshops where you can experience a tea ceremony for yourself. Tao Tea Leaf is also the founder of the Toronto Tea Festival, so you can thank them for the chance to sample goodies from other vendors at the event.
Capital Tea Limited will satisfy your inner tea aficionado with high-quality single estate and single origin teas, whether you’re looking for shincha from Japan, wine-like Darjeelings, or a big, bold, malty Assam. Capital Tea is mainly an online retailer, so this is a rare chance to see and sample their teas in person. If you like what you try, here’s a bonus for Torontonians – the threshold for free shipping online is only $35.
Quite possibly the most dapper tea company in the GTA, T by Daniel is the brainchild of Daniel and Renata Lewis. Daniel’s signature bow tie appears on the company’s packaging and in the logo – you’ll know you’re in the right spot at the tea festival when you see both the tie and their memorable selection of teas. Check out the Night in Rio tea, a fan favourite, which contains blackberry leaves, apple, and papaya, or their caramel popcorn selection, a blend of black tea, walnut, apple, almond, and rose petals.
The Tea Emporium has two boutique tea bars in Toronto and sells their teas in a variety of shops in Ontario. This place has serious tea credentials: not only do they have three tea sommeliers on their staff, but the founder, Shabnam Weber, is also on the Board of Directors for the Tea Association of Canada (and pretty much wrote the book on being a Canadian tea sommelier). Hot tip: The Tea Emporium’s wares also include gorgeous ceramic tea sets.
If you a believe in letting your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food, then Samadhi Tea House is the place for you. Not only does this Kensington Market tea host your familiar green and black teas, but also on offer are a variety of herbal, Ayurvedic, and medicinal teas, like chaga mushroom, dandelion root, chamomile, borage, nettle, tulsi (holy basil), and marshmallow root.
If you’re looking for organic teas, look no further than Lemon Lily. They purchase all of their ingredients from only certified organic suppliers, and use only all-natural extracts and essential oils to flavour their teas. Add in the fact that they’re certified organic through Ecocert Canada, and you’ve got yourself a hot mug of healthy bliss.