In addition to being Easter Sunday, last Sunday, 21st April, marked National Tea Day in the UK, a day I’m sure many of you can agree is of great importance. To honour this special day, I decided to attend FesTeaVal, a two-day long event over the weekend prior to celebrate it along with my fellow tea-lovers.
The festival was held in Tobacco Dock, located in the East End of London and was mainly centred in one of their spaces, similar to most conventions and there was an entry fee of £15. There were various stalls set up, both from big brands, such as Clipper and Volvic, and smaller independent businesses, however one theme prevalent in all the stalls was that everyone there was so nice and lovely, and obviously, their love for tea.
The various independent stores’ stalls mainly focused on black and green teas, with the occasional white or other variety, and the opportunity to taste what teas they had on to sample. As someone who mainly drinks the same regular cup of tea day in and day out, it definitely broadened my horizons, as well as defeating my previous opinion that herbal teas taste of the ground (that being based on my experience with chamomile which I continue to dislike). In addition to tea there were stalls selling food such as handcrafted doughnuts, cupcakes, brioche and fudge, the latter having a tea-infused variety that I was particularly fond of and surprisingly actually tasted of tea and lived up to its name. There were also stalls for non-tea drinks such as kombucha and ginger beer, which although were good, were no competition for the main-focus.
During the event I bought several items to take home with me to try out, the first and probably most exciting item out of the lot being a Jasmine Green tea ‘tea-pop’. I’m sure many of you know what a cake-pop is (*enters 2012 nostalgia*), that being a small ball of cake on a lollipop stick, and the tea-pop looks very similar however instead of cake, you have tea (I mean who would have thought). The idea is that you pour boiling water over your tea-pop and stir and leave for a minute or so and then you’re left with a perfect, ready to drink cup of tea. Unfortunately, mine got a bit destroyed in the transit back home so it’s in a less than picture worthy state, but they have images and videos aplenty on their website, so make sure to check them out!
Along with the tea-pop, I picked up some Black Dragon Pearl tea to try out from Team Tea as I’m quite fond of Dragon Well tea and made a connection between the two, hoping that they either taste similar of that I’ll like it, and also the ‘Wake’ tea from Free Soul which I bought because their packaging is just so gorgeous I couldn’t not.
In addition to what I bought, I managed to bag a notebook and some tea from Clipper, as they were handing out goody-bags if you won in their game of ‘throw the counter in the tea cup’ which was surprisingly harder than it looked.
Overall, FesTeaVal made for a really fun afternoon out in London and if there’s similar events in your local area in honour of National Tea Day next year I would highly recommend it, as not only can you bask in one of the world’s best drinks, it also provides the opportunity for you to discover and support small independent businesses!