So, this weekend I had a chance to go to Montreal’s very first tea festival – which also happened to be my very first tea festival!! It was an incredible event, and I think can definitely be called a major success. The festival started at 9AM – I arrived at about 8:50AM because I wanted to be early/make sure I got one of the free sample bags for the first 150 people in attendance and the line up people waiting spanned about two blocks! It was insane, and once we got in it was like trying to navigate through a can of sardines: PACKED!!
I did a ton of shopping, and I’ll be sure to write about all the teas that I purchased and make note of the fact I got them at festival when I do write about them – but of course I also sampled SO MANY different teas from all the different booths/stands that were there as well. I’m sure there are about a dozen or so teas/companies we sampled that I can’t remember or where I didn’t get the name of what was being sampled but I did attempt to keep a list of everything, and I’m going to try to get an individual review up for everything I could recall! The three things I know we sampled that stand out that I didn’t get name/company for are these though:
- Some type of Chinese Green Tea, which was amazingly soft and smooth with a delicate chestnut and peachy sort of combination!
- A “thick matcha” from a Chinese vendor specializing in different grades of matcha: this one unfortunately stands out because it was so bad! The texture was very pasty, and the sample we were given had many lumps in it!
- Finally, a chai infused salted caramel dip/spread from a bakery that specializes in scones. There were actually a few bakeries present, which felt kind of weird, but this was the only one that had at least incorporated tea into their stand in some way and the caramel dip was actually really nice!
Here, however, is the list of things that I got the name of the tea/company of though:
Pu’erh & Kumquat Kombucha – Quetzel Kombucha
Amethyst – Quetzel Kombucha
Original – Mate Libre
Rose & Hibiscus – Mate Libre
White Tea Nan Mei – Lao Kombucha
Digestion – Healtea
Revive – Healtea
Hydrate – Healtea
Headache Halo – DT
David’s Chai – DT
Menta – Mateina
Euforia – Mateina
Pineapple Jasmine Cold Brew – imPRESS
Matcha – O Japanese Tea
Takachiho Koshoun – Cha Yi
Pamplemousse – Upbio
Green Tea Peppermint – Fixi Kombucha
Nepal Autumnal Organic Jun Chiyabari – Camellia Sinensis
Mint Black – Arbonne
Strawberry Pow Wow – The Purple Dragon Fly
Aside from shopping/sampling, there were several different presentations and workshops throughout the day. A bunch of them seemed really interesting, but I sadly didn’t attend any of them since they were all given in French (and I’m not bilingual). However, I heard from some people who attended a couple of the workshops that they were all very well put together – so that’s very cool!
Lastly, DAVIDsTEA was actually one of the sponsors of the event so a bunch of people from the Tea Department and Events Department (as well as some staff from stores) had a booth where we were sampling teas and teaching people about what happens in the tea lab on a day to day basis: so, tea cupping and blend conception. It was really cool to see my coworkers just completely geeking out about tea to this massive crowd of highly engaged people just eager to learn everything they could! I think it made all of us feel very proud of what we do.
In general though it was just amazing to see such a large group of people enjoying tea! The booths ranged from very basic/introductory teas and flavoured teas/beverages to higher grade straight/traditional teas and traditional methods of brewing and very pricey teaware – and EVERY stand was crowded/packed, no matter the “level” of the tea/teaware they were carrying. Just, very uplifting to see!
I’ll try to get tasting notes from the festival written this week in between writing my normal notes – but as you can see it’s a long list, so we’ll see how long it takes. I don’t want to pressure myself into working on them too much.