The workshops and tastings on November 5th were extraordinarily popular. Workshops occurred in the Garden's Hall of a Hundred Rivers; tasting sessions occurred in the Scholar's Study; and tea plant sales and botanical experts were located in the China Maple Hall.

The tastings were so popular last year that people lined up a half hour before each was open to registration. We will be doing our best to double the amount of tea tastings, since they were such a huge hit! Including some very high end, paid tastings.


For the time being, we will continue to present last year's schedule of workshops and tastings. To show you how awesome it was, and that next year will be even better!


All workshops will take place in the Hall of a Hundred Rivers at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden


11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Herbal Tea Making Workshop
Presenters: Tegan Woo, Amoda Tea; Suka Lang & Vivien Hsiung, Accupoint Wellness Centre

In this hands-on workshop, you will learn the art of balancing flavours and combining herbs, flowers, and fruits to create nourishing tea blends. You'll learn the basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine and create a tea blend to take home that is customized to you and your body constitution. This will be a fun introduction to the world of herbs and how you can start making your own warming teas for the winter. This workshop will be led by Tegan Woo, Founder of Amoda Tea, and Suka Lang and Vivien Hsiung, Registered Acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine Practitioners at Accupoint Wellness Centre. 

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Purple Tea: Experience a New Colour of Tea!
Presenter: Paul Bain, JusTea

Make room, Green, Black, and Oolong, because Purple Tea is here! This is an exciting, brand-new category of tea. It is called Purple Tea because purple leaves naturally grow this colour on the tea bush! This is not a GMO plant - it is a rare and natural genetic mutation in the leaf pigmentation that Kenyan farmers have cultivated. Purple tea contains the same super-antioxidant compounds (anthocyanins) that are found in blueberries. It is also a colour-changing tea... squeeze a couple drops of lemon into your tea cup and watch the purple colour intensify. Paul Bain from JusTea will share with you the story of Purple Tea, along with photos/videos from the Kenyan Purple Tea farmers. Come and enjoy a new experience in tea!

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Sado: Lecture and Demonstration of the Japanese Way of Tea
Presenter: Maiko Behr, SaBi Tea Arts

This workshop will provide a brief overview of the history and art of the centuries-old tradition of the Japanese Way of Tea (commonly known as the "Japanese tea ceremony"), accompanied by a simplified demonstration of the traditional art form in the Omotesenke style. Due to the size of the audience and time limitations, we apologize that we will not be able to serve tea at this workshop. Presented by Maiko Behr of SaBi Tea Arts - 

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Wize Monkey and the Coffee Leaf Tea Revolution
Presenters: Max Rivest & Arnaud Petitvallet, Wize Monkey

Let Max and Arnaud, the founders of Wize Monkey, tell you the story how working on a school project in France led to creating a global new category in the tea space after discovering Coffee Leaf Tea and its unique properties. Taste and see how their award-winning "CLTea" is revolutionizing the coffee industry by using a secondary part of the plant and creating year-round jobs for coffee communities. 

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
End the Infusion Confusion: Cooking With Tea
Presenters: Karen Cayen, Aromatica Fine Teas & Carissa Campeotto, Commodity Juicery

Tea can be used in many recipes to enhance the flavours and nutrients of food. Tea can be used to create pairings of beverages and matching foods - think Pumpkin Spice Tea Latte with Pumpkin Spice Scones. Tea is also used to boost the nutritional content of foods, particularly treats - think Matcha muffins, ice cream, fudge, etc. Sometimes tea is used to develop flavours in subtle and surprising ways - think smoky Lapsang Souchong salami. Learn when to cook with tea, how to incorporate it, how much to use, and what foods are good candidates as bases/carriers. Explore the "End the Infusion Confusion" info graphics, tea recipes, and watch a live demonstration.

5:00 PM - 5:45 PM
Tea Cocktails (Ages 19+ only)
Presenter: Michael Menashy, Tea Sparrow

In this workshop, you'll learn how to make your own tea cocktails, with a specific focus on tea infusions. We will mix a few drinks during the sessions that participants can sample, explain the tea infusion process, and show you the formulas for creating your own recipes so you can throw a tea cocktail party this season!

TEa Plants!

All tea plant sales and botanical experts will be located in the China Maple Hall of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

For the first time ever, the Vancouver Tea Festival is elated to welcome botanical experts from Richmond's Phoenix Perennials, as well as Vancouver's renowned VanDusen Botanical Garden!

Phoenix Perennials has graciously made a special order of tea plants just for the Vancouver Tea Festival and at the event will be selling four different varieties of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) that can be grown outdoors in Vancouver, including: 

  • 'Tea Breeze' (40 plants available)
  • 'Blushing Maiden' (40 available) 
  • Korean tea plants (50 available)
  • Sochi tea plants (50 available)

Additionally, the following plants will also be available for sale:

  • Citrus bergamia (Bergamot) - The flavouring for Earl Grey tea
  • Osmanthus fragrans - Three different varieties used for herbal teas and blends
  • Rosa rugosa ('Jubilee') - A rose variety that produces large hips perfect for teas

Come meet the experts to learn more about the tea plant, growing tea in Vancouver, and harvesting tea! Informational handouts will be available to take with you.




All tastings will take place in the Scholar's Study at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden


10:30 AM - 11:15 AM
Teas from the Land of Thunder: A Darjeeling Tasting
Presenter: Lars Nielsen, Palate Tea & Vancouver Tea Society

First Flush? Monsoon Flush? Moonshine? (No, not that kind!)... If these evocative terms have stoked your curiosity, come learn more about - and taste - the teas behind them at this fascinating session spanning a calendar year's worth of tea production from the fabled region of Darjeeling in the Indian Himalaya. As we sip these teas, we will discuss how seasonality and various processing styles affect what you taste in your cup. Suitable for novices and experienced tea drinkers alike.

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Matcha 101 - Tasting Lab
Presenter: Lawrence Au, Ichiyo's Matcha Bar

For those who are interested in learning more about Matcha, this session will cover the basics of what Matcha is an how to prepare it, along with an opportunity to taste teas from different regions and of varying quality.

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM
Discovering the World of Green Tea
Presenter: Lars Nielsen, Palate Tea & Vancouver Tea Society

Looking to expand your green tea horizons? Want to impress your tea-loving friends with your ability to tell a bancha from a bi luo chun? Then this is the session for you! Taste green teas from traditional regions such as China and Japan, as well as more unconventional greens from other areas such as India. Experience the surprisingly diverse range of flavours encompassed by green teas from various origins and production styles, and learn more about the backgrounds from which these teas have arisen. This session is suitable for tea lovers of all experience levels. 

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Oriental Beauty Oolongs: Classic, Aged, and Rare
Presenter: Jenny Lo, Oollo Tea

Join Oollo Tea's Jenny Lo for this exploration of one of the most renowned and exquisite categories of Taiwanese oolong - Oriental Beauty (東方美人). Experience the tea's classic flavour profiles, and taste extraordinary examples of rare and aged versions of this singular type.


2:30 PM - 3:15 PM
The Connoisseur's Choice: An Exploration of Pu'er
Presenter: Lars Nielsen, Palate Tea & Vancouver Tea Society

Side-by-side is the best way to really get to know the differences between and among various examples of the Chinese tea known as pu'er (普洱茶). From oaky to peaty to fertile and honeylike, appealing flavour profiles abound in this extraordinary tea type. We will explore examples from different pu'er factories  and learn to discern the characteristic flavours of each. (Note: This session is best suited to those with a working knowledge of pu'er.)

3:30 PM - 4:15 PM
Kombucha Class: Tea Through Fermentation
Presenter: Taryn McMaster, O5 Rare Tea Bar

Join Kombucha instructor Taryn McMaster and learn how to brew exceptional Kombucha at home. The class will cover a brief history of fermenting tea, the brewing process, and troubleshooting. Taryn will recommend teas specially selected by our brewer to make outstanding Kombucha. We believe in using high quality teas for our Kombucha and letting the ingredients speak for themselves. Kombucha kits stocked with everything you need to start your first batch will be available to take home. 

4:30 PM - 5:15 PM
High Mountain Oolongs: Pear Mountain, Ali Mountain, and Qingjing
Presenter: Jenny Lo, Oollo Tea

When tea lovers think of Taiwanese oolongs, almost invariably their first thoughts alight on the high mountain teas (高山茶)that have long exemplified that island nation's tea production. Let Oollo Tea's Jenny Lo take you on a magical journey through three fabled Taiwanese tea terroirs - Li Shan, Ali Shan, and Nantou County's Qingjing Shan - to gain a deeper appreciation of the depth, complexity, and pure beauty of these exceptional teas. 


Tea LEaf Reading sessions

All tea leaf reading sessions will occur in the Jade Water Pavilion of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Tea leaf readings, conducted by tasseographer Cindy Mochizuki, will take place in three separate one-hour seatings, at 10:30 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:30 PM. During each of these three seatings, eight individual readings of six minutes each will be available, and will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

There is no fee for these sessions, but donations are greatly encouraged and appreciated.