Tea shared in person with other tea enthusiasts, meeting old tea friends and making new ones is such a joy and for myself a large part of my love for the world of tea.
It has been fantastic to see tea events and festivals being brought back to life across Europe this year.
The Berlin Tea Festival 2022 was hosted across three days, from 30th September till 2nd October.
This year the festival team (chief operators Yunhui Ma & Yi Yuan) collaborated with t-magazin and C*Space to host a more pop-up style event. C*Space is a beautiful venue, founded by Katja Hellkötter & Jan Siefke. The venue is a coworking space that often hosts events and has regularly been turned into a pop-up teahouse. As Katja and Jan have spent over 15 years living in China, there are east Asian influences throughout the building: the most spectacular possibly being the calligraphy room in the attic where all the walls are covered in bold yet elegant Chinese calligraphy.
The organisation chose a smaller location compared to the previous editions, and to be on the safe side with any possible Covid regulations they limited the number of tickets.
The first day, visited by around 80 attendees, was a conference day for traders, producers and those involved in tea business. The day was moderated by Olaf Tarmas, the editor in chief of the new German tea magazine “t – Das Magazin für Teekultur”. Olaf introduced the wide variety of speakers: from tea producers in China, Sri Lanka and even in Germany, to passionate tea professionals speaking about tea education, tea travel, digital online presence and the role of tea in the hotel & restaurant industry.
The second day was the main festival day, split into two time slots allowing around 400 tea enthusiasts to fill their Berlin Tea Festival cups at all the different stands. With a varied selection of tea vendors and ceramicists the festival offered more than enough choice to excite any tea lover.
Naturally, Japanese tea and Japanese style ceramics were present as well. From kyusu teapots by Andrzej Bero, porcelain shiboridashi by Weis Ceramics, to several different Japanese teas on offer. I saw a good number of visitors walk around with matcha stained teacups!
The day was vibrant and filled to the brim with the cheerful chatter of friends reconnecting, lots of in-depth questions being asked of the vendors and a constant flow of tea.
The third and last day was a tea culture day full of workshops and lectures. Workshops included mochi & onigiri making, the art of kintsugi, tea & food pairing, and much more. This was a quite casual day where several people could also just sit around a long table to share tea, listen to some free seminars and enjoy freshly made onigiri, mochi and Chinese street food.
A big thank you to the organisers for putting together such a diverse and interesting program, spanning 3 very different but inspiring days. It is a great treasure to be able to connect with so many tea enthusiasts and heartening to see the support and passion for tea.
*Written by our Tea Fellow member Marjolein Raijmakers
*Images by our Tea Fellow members Marjolein Raijmakers and Lilia Hanson