The Melbourne Tea Festival falls conveniently near my birthday each year, which allows a certain feeling of treating myself. That said, I was positively sensible this time around, and came away with a single jar of tea (and a long wish list of others).
As with any event in Melbourne, going early as possible is the secret to an enjoyable day. We arrived at 9AM, when the doors opened, and spent an hour ambling amongst relaxed stallholders and enjoying generous cups of freshly-brewed tea. I started the day with Love Tea’s Honey Chai, which was made as I waited. There was, though it hardly seemed possible, even more chai than last year. I tried only two, and otherwise kept my tasting cup free of cinnamon. The Honey Chai was quite charming, and I already regret not picking some up.
The stallholders were all lovely, the displays enticing, and the tea was lovely, though some black teas suffered from being a bit over-brewed and bitter.
We spent quite some in the Tea Garden stall, admiring their subscription boxes and bold tea blends. The Maple Chai attracted a lot of attention – smelling and tasting just like pancakes! Lindzi picked up the Vanilla Cream Oolong, and I chose the Espresso Mar-Tea-Ni, a black tea and coffee bean blend. I’ve always been intrigued by coffee/tea blends, and I’ve not had the chance to taste one before. Do they work? Or is it just sacrilegious to even try? (I brewed some up as soon as I returned home, and it was both curious and delightful). I have to admit, I was also greatly sold on the cute packaging!
Also worth a mention, Those Girls Beverage Co. The hot apple cider was heavenly, and I’m a little bit in love with their Pineapple and Sage green tea. If you are in Australia, you can find them here. I’ll be trying to figure out how to make an iced tea even half as delightful in my own kitchen. I was happy to see Perfect South again, with their range of incredibly mellow and lovely Australian-grown green tea. I have the Caramel Genmaicha in my tea cabinet, and the scent is as heavenly as the taste.
The ‘Tea I’d Most Like To Try’ award goes to the Satsuma Raven tea from Storm in a Teacup – I will get my hands on it one day!