Toronto’s Biggest Tea Party!


Are you a tea lover? If so you will be excited to learn that next weekend, February 3rd and 4,th the Toronto Reference Library will be hosting The Toronto Tea Festival, a weekend-long celebration of , after water, the most widely consumed beverage in the world. Indeed, according to anthropologist Allan MacFarlane, author of Empire of Teamore tea is consumed throughout the world than coffee, pop, alcohol and cocao combined.


Tea has been stimulating and soothing humanity for millennia; legend has it that it was first consumed by the Chinese deity Shennong, the peasant god of agriculture, but more historical records show that tea likely made its appearance as a beverage sometime in the second or first century B.C. The tea plant, Camellia sinensis is native to eastern Asia so it pretty much stayed there until western countries started trading with China and other Asian countries in the sixteenth century. When Britain established an imperial foothold in India, companies started growing tea there, and the beverage took off throughout the rapidly expanding British Empire. Tea, of course, is still ubiquitous in the U.K.,and the word itself has become synonymous with dinner and variations of an afternoon repast. Indeed tea culture and production throughout the world is stronger than ever; in 2013 the global world production of tea surpassed five million tons. That’s Salada tea, as they say.


Nowadays tea-shoppes and tea emporia are everywhere. There is even a margarets hope darjeeling tea.  A guild, mind you; we would expect nothing less. Iced tea in the days of summer is a given, and innumerable tea infusions have made their way into high-end cuisine like darjeeling tea ice-cream and hipster mixology. Whether you take your Red Rose clear, or fancy a cup of Earl Grey with milk, or prefer to sip an herbal infusion, or can only drink your tea hot from a brass samovar-like samovar friends- there is a tea out there with your name on it. And you may just find it next weekend at the Tea Festival, where you will consort with other tea lovers and learn everything you ever wanted to know about tea but were afraid to ask. There is even a “Tea Explorer Night” on February 2nd the night before the festival, which features “ an evening of tea, talk and a screening of the feature length documentary film, “The Tea Explorer” with Special guests Jeff Fuchs (Explorer and star of “The Tea Explorer”) and Andrew Gregg (Director and Film maker of “The Tea Explorer”)

The TEA EXPLORER DOCUMENTARY follows Jeff as he travels from the tea forests of south-west China over the great Himalayas and down through the magnificent Kali Gandaki Gorge into Kathmandu, where the old tea traders once carried their leaves to market on the back of mules. The Tea Explorer is a grand adventure through a forgotten part of history, revealing a fascinating and hidden world of tea. 

For more information on the festival or to purchase tickets, check out their Facebook page or their website.

Party like it's1773

party like it’s 1773

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