This past weekend, on November 4th and 5th, it was the annual Vancouver Tea Festival – hosted and organized by the Vancouver Tea Society at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden located in the heart of Chinatown in Vancouver, British Columbia. This was also the first year that the Vancouver Tea Festival took place over two days, with presentations and tea tastings happening on both days.
Ticket prices varied from $7.95 to $24.95 depending on the number of dates (and which date), and if you opted for Exhibition Hall admission only or Exhibition Hall and Garden admission. There were children tickets available for free. Attendees also received a white sampling cup to tasting tea.
On the first day that I attended, I focused primarily on the Exhibition Hall where the marketplace was held with all of the vendors. Here are some of the highlights of some of the things that I saw at the booths.
I also took the time to walk through the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. The garden offered guided tours, which I took with some friends to learn more about the history and construction of the garden.
On day two, I managed to take in one of the presentations. I attended Tea Myths & Legends, which was presented by Lars Nielsen of Palate Tea and the Vancouver Tea Society. It was funny to hear some of the myths and legends surrounding the origin of tea names and tea types.
Many of the presentations were free, while some had limited seating at $5/ticket. The tea tastings offered on both days were $5/ticket. I wasn’t able to attend the tastings, although next year I definitely want to schedule my days a bit better to attend more presentations and tea tastings.
Day two featured a few less vendors in the Exhibition Hall, but that meant that some of the tables were being utilized by Vancouver Tea Festival volunteers to offer tea tastings themselves. I sat down to one hosted by a volunteer named Josh, who was quite approachable and was more than willing to share his teas with myself and three others. I sampled a pu’erh, followed by a green, oolong, and black.
I really enjoyed myself on both days of the Vancouver Tea Festival this year. Last year, one of the things I found confusing was how the festival was organized (with things in different buildings) and this year the signage was very clear and it was easy to figure out what was where. The volunteers were approachable throughout both the Exhibition Hall and Garden and I heard them helping festival attendees figure out where to go and where to buy tickets for the tea tastings.
Special thanks to Del from the Vancouver Tea Society for providing me with a two day media pass to cover the 2017 Vancouver Tea Festival and to all the volunteers at the Vancouver Tea Festival for making it a wonderful event.