It’s Tea Time in Ottawa

Annual festival returns, thousands expected
By Chrisy Trudeau, Epoch Times
November 15, 2013 Updated: November 16, 2013

The third annual Ottawa Tea Festival is gearing up for a delightful day of tea, culture, and tasty accompaniments.

On Saturday Nov. 23rd, the Ottawa Convention Centre will become a tea house to an expected 2,000 people.

Tea is the second most popular beverage in the world after water, and has been gaining momentum in the Western world since the introduction of many fine teas, said Kimcha Tea owner and show organizer Kimiko Uriu.

“People have been shifting their interest to specialty teas in the past years,” she said.

That interest has seen the festival double its attendance since its first year. That is exactly the response that Uriu was hoping for, and part of the reason she puts on the festival.

“As a Certified tea sommelier, I wanted to share my expertise and passion with the community,” she said.

“In my travels, I got excited about discovering new cultures. The focus of the festival is sharing these different cultures of the world. The Ottawa Tea Festival has become a gathering place for people from not only Ottawa but from all over Canada for people who want to try new teas or love the performances.”

The festival will feature a huge selection of fine teas to taste, cultural music and dance, award-winning tea experts, and several different tea ceremonies.

The Japanese tea ceremony, also known as Chado or the Way of Tea, has been practiced since the 15th century, possibly earlier. This simple but elegant practice is said to reflect the philosophy of the four principles of tea: harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony creates a relaxed environment to strengthen bonds between the host and his guests. Part of it is based on the etiquette of serving tea but it also includes close connections with architecture, landscape gardening, unique tea utensils, flower arrangements, ceramics, calligraphy, Zen Buddhism, and all the other elements that coexist in the ceremony.

Attendees can also learn how to do Ikebana flower arrangements and attend a truffle and tea-pairing workshop, as well test some of the best teas in the world.

Tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in advance and include all performances, expert presentations, and sampling of teas and other tasty treats being offered. Advance ticket can be found at Facebook.com/ottawaTeaFest.

For more festival information visit: www.ottawateafestival.com

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