Prague Tea Fest 2024

The second edition of Prague Tea Fest happened on 24th-25th February. Moreover, many side tea events spread around the charming tea houses of Prague for a whole week. With this festival, the organiser Agha has set the standards very high.

As quite a few of our members were going to join, we couldn’t miss it!

Many beautiful events happened, many high quality tea exhibitors were present and many teaware artists amused the flock of tea lovers that had travelled from all over Europe (and even beyond!) to the Czech Republic. Choices were difficult for tea lovers and there would be much to tell about this festival. But let’s focus on our favourite subject: Japanese tea, of course!

We had the honour to share the table with Ikedoki, whose representative (and GJTea Tea Fellow) Marjolein Raijmakers has been travelling around Europe to introduce the teas from Higashi Sonogi. Tamaryokucha was one of the main actors here, as it is the specialty of the region. Nevertheless, the peculiarity and warmness of different kinds of hojicha conquered many tea hearts. The “tenugui” (Japanese traditional clothes) dyed with “failed experiments” of tea making, were quickly almost sold out!

Marjolein setting up the Ikedoki/GJTea stand

Areek from Rishe Tea, who is a regular of tea festivals in the Czech Republic, and has been travelling extensively to Japanese tea producing regions, had a very nice selection of organic Japanese greens. It was very nice finally meeting him in person!

Japanese tea specialist Areek from Rishe Tea

Our friends Yiling and Patrick from Nari Tea, brought a white leaf sencha, and the very new brewing dripper “Tokine”, that was developed in Japan and apparently gives perfect results. We are looking forward to testing it!

The new developed Tokine

Japanese Tea Instructor and specialist Oscar Brekell, travelled all the way from Japan for the festival. He had a stand with a selection of his own tea brand “Senchaism”. Moreover, he gave four workshops on sencha and amused the participants giving a live demonstration of hojicha roasting, using the traditional ceramic pan – houroku.

Oscar Brekell during one of his lectures. Credit Image Anna Tadewicz

Moreover, Keiko from Germany also had a stand with their selection of matcha and sencha.

Last but not least, Flora Grimaldi, tea practitioner of the Ueda Sōko school, did a talk about the differences between koicha and usucha, together with a demonstration of a thick tea preparation. 

On Sunday afternoon, we had the chance to present the Global Japanese Tea Association. While Anna was sharing our mission, activities and what we have accomplished so far in the past 5 years, some of our members brewed some Japanese teas for the audience. Around 40 people joined in the lovely theatre room. They could all enjoyed 3 different teas from tea farmers we have been collaborating with. First a hojicha by Utena Tea, then a wakoucha by Yoshida Tea Farm and to finish the aromatic sencha by Samurai Tea Farm and the Makinohara cooperative Katsumata Kaitaku Chanougyou Kumiai.

Credit Image: Sofie Vercauteren
Tea Fellow members Martine and Michaela in charge of the brewing station!
Credit Image: Sofie Vercauteren
Credit Image: Sofie Vercauteren
Credit Image: Sofie Vercauteren
Credit Image: Sofie Vercauteren

The festival was very interesting and so much fun. And we would say one of the highlights was the feeling of a warming tea community. It was such a pleasure meeting so many of our members, see the initiative they had and the will to help us, both at the stand and during the talk. A total of 22 GJTea members joined the festival – most of them from other European countries and even one all the way from Canada (one of our first members, Prof. Lee)! Some we had met already before and it was lovely to cross paths again. Some others, we had only met online: so special to finally see in real life! And sharing some time, good talks, a hug here and there, some extra tea time, a dinner, maybe even a beer. We are so much looking forward to the next cup of tea we’ll be able to share together!

Marjolein, Anna and Tea Catalyst in Belgium Cinzia.
Anna with Anna, our Tea Catalyst in Lithuania.
Marjolein and Anna together with Tea Fellow and cha no yu practitioner Antonella.
Japanese Tea Master Course graduates Mirna and Krisztina enjoying tea with another tea friend, Daniela

A special thanks goes to Sofie Vercauteren, Martine van der Nolk, Michaela Scheda, Zita Varga, Lilia Hanson, Lee Joliffe, Anna Tadewicz-Mikenas, Marjolein Raijmakers and Peter Borovicka for taking photos, sharing insights on the festival, helping with the teaware, brewing, serving the tea at the talk, taking over the stand for some minutes here and there, bringing equipment, water and helping us setting up and cleaning off.



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