Toronto Tea Festival!

   My good friend Tao of Tao Tea Leaf, has been eagerly pursuing the creation of Toronto’s own Tea Festival.  After a lot of research its happening~
  All the information is at the website (click the logo above). It will  be February 2nd 2013 at the Toronto Reference Library’s Appel Salon (2nd floor). The day will consists of speakers, demos and of course all of the exhibitors. Shop for all your favourite teawares, teas, and related products – this is the perfect opportunity to shop for your Valentine (hint hint).
       Together with help of the team that consists of sponsors and members of the Tea Guild of Canada, this is sure to be an event you DON’T want to miss.  Best part is that if you sign up before the new year you save $5 off your ticket! Great Christmas gift to give to your love ones who also love tea. Get one for your self you know you deserve it, see you all there!

              Here are the speakers that we have so far!

Michelle Pierce Hamilton

Michelle Pierce Hamilton is a Nutritionist, Certified Tea Sommelier, and Healing Arts Practitioner/Teacher. These combined philosophies and disciplines are the spirit behind “beTeas”, Michelle’s unique online tea store where exceptional teas and tea experiences now come alive in London, Ontario.

Michelle also teaches the Canadian Tea Sommelier Certification program now offered at Fanshawe College in conjunction with the Tea Association of Canada. A long-time industry professional in project management, Michelle also continues to work part-time as a Project Management Consultant and Educator for London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

Passionate about tea and health, Michelle believes tea is the world’s healthiest beverage and that it provides doorway to healthier diet and lifestyle.

Gillian Niblett – As founder of “Tea At The White House”, a successful tea room and tea shop in Waterdown, Ontario and current owner of “Niblett and Wiggins – Purveyors of High Tea” in Oakville, Ontario, Gillian Niblett has an extensive background in the world of tea

Gillian is a qualified Tea Specialist, certified by the Specialty Tea Institute of the USA, and an accomplished speaker often called upon to share her expertise about tea at corporate events and educational seminars.

Gillian is looking forward to attending the Toronto Tea Festival where she will share her knowledge of tea gleaned through her education, her business experience, and her travels to the tea gardens of India and China.

Tao Wu – A Certified Canadian Tea Sommelier, is the creator and founder of the Toronto Tea Festival.Tao Wu is a second-generation tea exporter.Raised in the Wu Yi Shan area of Fujian, China, a region known for its oolong and black teas, Tao uses his background and experience to continue the rich history of Chinese tea culture.

Founded in 2009 by Tao Wu, Tao Tea Leaf (934 Yonge St.) is an award-winning, full-service tea store located in Toronto’s fashionable Yorkville area. Best known for it’s extensive loose Chinese tea selection, Tao Tea Leaf also offers a variety of loose teas from Japan, India, South America and Africa, as well as an extensive line of USDA-certified organic loose teas. Tao Tea Leaf hosts regular tea workshops for beginners and experienced tea drinkers, conduct traditional Chinese style tea ceremonies and offer an Annual Tea Tour to China.

Bill Kamula – Tea Sommelier professor, Created the tea appreciation certificate at George Brown College, Tea Guild Co-Chair/George Brown College Tea Sommelier program instructor.

   **Speaker information directly sourced from Festival website November 28th, 2012.**

How tea effects art for me – 2 Year Anniversary for Tea Journey!

For my TWO year anniversary post I decided to put together a little montage to visually show my growth with Tea since I began consuming tea regularly. To do this I used my own art work as they both grew together over these years. Please enjoy~

First step towards my ink style. 
ukiyo-e  with screen printing  ( Abe no Seimei 2008)
Drinking tea regularly and learning new styles around this time. Stopped drinking coffee due to a seizure around Thanksgiving
One of the few first works I have done in ink  at OCAD U  ( Dream or reality 2009)
Regularly looking for new teas in Toronto and regular customer for Davids Tea.
Began to learn other methods of painting with sumi-e ink.
Bought Matcha for the first time and used a fork. Soon after
purchased a chasen to prepare it right. (Fetus Fear 2009)

Purchased first Yixing from Tao Tea leaf. Bought first porcelain gong fu set and a glass gaiwan. Began to understand more about Oolongs and a little about Puerh. Finally moving FAR away from Japanese sencha and genmaicha! Utilized old watercolour skills with Sumi-e, encouraged by thesis professors to  be bolder and less controlling with future work.( Hold 2010, Thesis at OCAD U
Utilized tea in a work for the first time. Visited Majestes regularly for quality teas. And learned of
the Tea Guild of Canada. Joined Summer 2011!
Attained another Yixing from Majesteas. Working for Teaopia for
over a year! Attained more yixings from work. Began tea antique collection
and began to read The Way of Tea. My second tea book after a tea handbook!
Began to work slowly towards the direction I was told to go by professors. Been graduated for over a year.
Started to take Japanese lessons!
(Lace 2011)
Became a Public Relations rep for The Tea Guild of Canada.  Now has too many teas, extensive knowledge
byond what I need for work. Helps out with “World in Your Tea Cup” Event! Great fun.
Now has too much tea ware (no such thing!) and too much tea (blasphemy!).
Began to experiment more with “tea” as tone. (Hair 2011)
Brings tea where ever I go practically! Creating many entries on tea to Tea Journey!
Reviewed Do Matcha! Made more tea friends at the Guild, two I knew from work. Encouraged a co-worker to join Guild!
Began Tea Sommelier classes, been taking Chanoyu classes when able (I love to learn!). Working on promotional materials for the Guild!
Me working in the back in a Sumi-e workshop at the JCCC in March  2012
Tried some amazing teas at Majesteas and Tao Tea Leaf for Spring!
Learning more about processing of teas in the process outside of class. Been
 supporting The Global Tea Hut since February! Enjoying the large selection of spring teas
 and refined taste of my pickings~ My chop for new work, It says ” Guren” Crimson Lotus.
I will have it by next week! I picked these characters as my hair is red and the lotus symbolizes
 growth for me. Growing out of the mud and into the world as a flower.
Been with Teaopia for 2 years (June 10th 2012) and have had Tea Journey for
just as long. Now I work for Teavana, and hope to grow some more as a 
茶 人 (Tea person), Artist and as an individual in
general.  I truely hope to meet more wonderful tea people and have long lasting
 friendships (Tiffany, Grace, Kingkoh,
Brooke  etc <3 Love you all!) I will be meeting with the Guild
board this summer to plan out fall meetings. I can not wait to get things rolling~
  I am on my second tea class
and I am having one more before I start my super summer. After that third class I am
 about half way done the program.
Certification exam to follow there after and my N5 exam for Japanese Proficiency as well!
“Sheng Nong” in progress for 2012!

  


Spring Teas at Majesteas!

I had a great Saturday afternoon last week at Majesteas. Nothing beats sleeping in, small lunch and then a few hours of stories and tea.

     I was very glad that the turn out was intimate, more focus on the tea.
     The set of teas Robert brought back was to die for, especially the Purple Puerh. That which I need to go back for as I did not grab it last weekend.

    I did end up purchasing a set of the springs teas (no Puerh) and I am very glad I have it.

  The teas we had (hopefully in order) were : Jing Ping (Red Tea), Yin Jun Mei (Red Tea), Dragonwell, Bi Lo Chun and Silver Needle. In the set they also included Spring Mist which I got to try earlier this year. I took it to Tea Sommelier class in a glass tumbler, used 60-70 degree water, and it was excellent even after a street car ride to George Brown College. I am very pleased with it as it was not bitter at all when I sat down to enjoy it.

 
  This coming Saturday is when I booked to have a tasting at Tao Tea Leaf with two friends. I will try to post a follow up a few days after to that I can gather my thoughts and drink what I end up with. Both shops are part of The Tea Guild of Canada.  Please support your local shops!