Tea Festival

Saturday November 3 and Sunday November 4; RBG Centre

Warm up with a hot cup of tea and sample different varieties from around the world. From green to rooibos, oolong to herbal and everything in between, learn all about your favourite types of tea with tastings and educational presentations.

TicketsVendorsSpeakersFAQ
overhead view of pouring tea into a cup

Join us for the Third Annual Tea Festival at RBG!

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; RBG Centre

Celebrate the classic hot beverage with live performances and experience its cultural origins first-hand with a traditional tea ceremony. Discover some new favourites while sampling teas from around the world, then learn about tea culture, history, and taste with educational presentations from our special guests.

Looking to get your holiday shopping out of the way? Look no further, great holiday gifts will be available for purchase at the festival.


child pouring tea

Event Tickets

Save by pre-registering for the event! Your tickets includes access to the festival, educational presentations, music and more. Please note: the Saturday Evening Tea Ceremony requires a separate ticket.

Ticket Type Price
Advance Ticket $18 ($28 for 2 days)
RBG Members $6 ($9 for 2 days)
Walk-Up $24/day
Child age 3 and under FREE
Purchase Tickets
  • All prices include HST
  • Tickets are non-refundable and final sale
  • Ticket price includes admission to Royal Botanical Gardens

Special Features

NEW to the Tea Festival this year, we are proud to bring you two special features: an Authentic Chinese Tea Ceremony, and a Tea Tasting Competition! Both programs require registration, and space is limited.

Authentic Chinese Tea Ceremony

Saturday November 3, 7 to 9 p.m.

Fully participate in an authentic Chinese tea ceremony and observe rituals that have taken place for centuries. Divided into groups, everyone learns the correct way to prepare and serve their tea. A tea set is then given to each registrant to take home. This exclusive event is not to be missed!

Space is limited. Separate registration required for this special feature.

Fee: $50 (RBG Members receive 10% off)

SOLD OUT!

Tea Tasting Competition

11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Each Day

Tea sommeliers lead participants step-by-step through the process. No extra charge but space is limited - register when you arrive!


Vendors

Do you have a tea business or other related organization? Fill out the registration form at the link below.

Download Registration Form (pdf)
closeup of chocolates

Althaea Herb Farm

closeup of chocolates

Blair Elements Tea Shop

rows of tea in jars

Blue Mountain Tea Co.

sheep

Chassagne

green tea plant

Chayo Tea House

bottle of green tea

Empower T

scrub with tea leaves

Face & Body Tea Co.

tea spilling out of packet

Genuine Tea

chocolate maple cookies

Heart Industries

closeup of chocolates

Humble Bee

loose floral tea

Infusion Organic Tea

massage

Kevin Kong Wellness Centre

bag of loose tea

Lifestyles for Life

chinese tea setup

MING Tea

loose tea with floral pieces

The Monarch Tea Co.

loose tea with floral pieces

MyTeaBrew

clear cup of tea with herbs in the background

Relaxing Rocco

green tea and leaves

Slothee

tea cup with symbols inside

The Art of Tea & Tasseomancy

grouping of tea products and decorated box

The Sugared Teacup

loose leaf tea in a wooden bowl

Tea-ara

groupings of antique teacups on a table

Teas and Toasts

the tea book cover

The Tea Stylist

formal tea setup with gloved hands pouring

The Travelling Tea Room

spoon of tumeric

Turmeric Teas

groupings of antique teacups on a table

Tea and Herbal Association of Canada

spoon of tumeric

Consulate General of Sri Lanka

closeup of chocolates

Mohawk College


Speakers and Schedule

Learn from our panel of experts about the histories and cultures surrounding your favourite teas, participate in a tea tasting competition, then join us for and an authentic Chinese tea ceremony. Check the schedule below and plan your weekend to see it all!

Saturday November 3

10:30 a.m.

Rooibos the Red Bush Tea – Samantha Payne

Rooibos is not really tea but an herbal tisane made from Aspalathus linearis which grows in South African mountain region of Cedarburg. For over 300 years this “tea” has been enjoyed for its slightly sweet flavour and its many health benefits. The red colour comes from the oxidation process that Tea Sommelier, Samantha Payne will explain to you. Please enjoy a taste of this remarkable beverage.

11 a.m.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Tea Tasting Competition

Tea sommeliers lead participants step-by-step through the process of tasting and identifying teas from around the world. No extra charge but space is limited - register when you arrive.

11:30 a.m.

India: the Land of Many Teas – Michelle Pierce Hamilton

India is the second largest tea producer in the world, and has many different teas to brag about. Assam and Darjeeling are two that grow exclusively in India. Most Indian families use various herb eg. holy basil, pepper, liquorice and cardamon in their teas which often have medicinal benefits. Chai tea which is sweet and milky, has pleasant, calming flavours. Tea Sommelier, Michelle Pierce Hamilton will give an informative overview of Tea From India.

12:30 p.m.

Chinese Tea Ways – Edward Qu

Brewing tea in the western world is timed by minutes, while in China, brewing tea is timed by conversations and tea is always shared among friends or whoever is sitting at the tea table. Chinese tea lovers experience tea and their lives slowly and in the present. Daoists start the day in an unhurried way to enjoy the tea, calmness, and serenity. Let Chinese Tea Sommelier, Edward Qu, and his "MING Tea" guide you through this tea journey.

1:30 p.m.

Social Tea Culture of Morocco - Amy Taylor

Moroccans have embraced tea drinking by combining green tea with lots of mint leaves. Hospitality is most important to this country and serving a sweet mint tea is an act of welcoming visitors at any time of the day. There is a ritual on making this tea just right and Tea Sommelier, Amy Taylor will outline this culture and where this all began.

2 p.m.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Tea Tasting Competition

Tea sommeliers lead participants step-by-step through the process of tasting and identifying teas from around the world. No extra charge but space is limited - register when you arrive.

2:30 p.m.

Korea “Land of the Morning Calm” – Linda Gaylard

The teas of South Korea are not well-known in North America, but its tea culture is fascinating to explore. Dating back to the 9th century and interrupted by wars and occupation, Korean tea has recently been experiencing a renaissance. Author and Tea Sommelier Linda Gaylard, has visited the tea growing regions of Korea and will present an overview of its unique tea history, culture and manufacture in “Land of the Morning Calm”.

7 to 9 p.m.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Authentic Chinese Tea Ceremony

Fully participate in an authentic Chinese tea ceremony and observe rituals that have taken place for centuries. Divided into groups, everyone learns the correct way to prepare and serve their tea. A tea set is then given to each registrant to take home. This exclusive event is not to be missed!

Space is limited. Separate registration required for this special feature.

Fee: $50 (RBG Members receive 10% off)

SOLD OUT

Sunday November 4

10:30 a.m.

Closer to Home: Tea Culture in Europe, British Isles, and the New World – James Cadeau

Many of us here in Canada are descendants of Europeans and more specifically the British Isles where, compared to China, the tea culture is very young. However, we here in the West have taken this ancient Chinese beverage of medicinal, spiritual, and social value and transformed and interwoven it into our own culture with our own nuances, styles and rituals. So much so, the tea masters from ancient China may wonder what this strange beverage is that we drink. Tea Sommelier Instructor, James Cadeau, will discuss the introduction and transformation of tea and tea culture in Western society.

11 a.m.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Tea Tasting Competition

Tea sommeliers lead participants step-by-step through the process of tasting and identifying teas from around the world. No extra charge but space is limited - register when you arrive.

11:30 a.m.

Ryokucha: A Japanese Tea – Crystal Beaudoin

Tea is an important aspect of Japanese culture. A Japanese Tea Ceremony transforms the preparation, serving and consumption of tea into a rich art form. In Japan, there are many kinds of green tea that is consumed and produced. These teas are generally organized by their regions, cultivation and processing methods. Let Crystal Beaudoin educate you on this popular tea and describe the regions of Japan where this plant grows.

12:30 p.m.

Chinese Culture of Oolong Tea – Edward Qu

Oolong is the middle child of the tea family as well as the most complicated processed tea which gives it enjoyable, complex flavours. Oolong means “black dragon” and it actually could be green or dark tan, or naturally twisted, or compressed into small squares, which makes its history and culture fascinating. Let Chinese Tea Sommelier Edward Qu and his "MING Tea" team explain and present the most stunning Chinese tea culture --- OOLONG.

1:30 p.m.

South America Wonder Drink: Yerba Mate – Katie Cyr

Yerba Mate is a herb (Ilex paraguariensis ) made into a healthy caffeine infusion popular in South America. It is said that “Yerba mate has the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate, all in one beverage.” (https://guayaki.com/yerba-mate/) Tea Sommelier & owner of the Monarch Tea Co., Katie Cyr , will educate attendees on this fascinating beverage that is gaining popularity worldwide.

2 p.m.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Tea Tasting Competition

Tea sommeliers lead participants step-by-step through the process of tasting and identifying teas from around the world. No extra charge but space is limited - register when you arrive.

2:30 p.m.

Oh Canada!: We Have Tea, Too – Amy Taylor

Westholme Tea Company, located on the warm land of Vancouver Island in the Cowichan region of British Columbia, has a microclimate suitable for growing Camellia sinesis. The first true Canadian Tea Plantation producing teas, that are as unique in flavour as the tea wares they create on their farm. Another Canadian company is Northern Delights. Inuit people navigate Nunavik during the short arctic summers and hand pick the finest plants. The harvest is then sent to Montreal where the plants are skillfully blended to create unique herbals tisanes. Tea Sommelier, Amy Taylor will explore both of their stories and explain their brave undertakings while sampling the best of true Canadian Teas.


Event FAQ

Have a question about The Great Pumpkin Trail? Click the topics below for more information. If you have a question that is not answered, give us a call at 905-527-1158.

Tickets >>

Tickets are required for this special event. Tickets can be purchased online prior to the event at a discounted price, though walk-up tickets are also available for $24. RBG members receive further discounts for pre-purchased tickets.

Purchase Tickets

You will be required to present your pre-purchased tickets upon arrival, either printed out or digitally on your personal device.

Separate tickets are required for the Authentic Chinese Tea Ceremony event.

Directions and Parking >>

This event in RBG Centre at 680 Plains Road W. Burlington Ontario. Parking is included, available in the large lot at RBG Centre.

This garden is located along bus routs for Burlington Transit, with stops a short distance from the entrance. See rbg.ca/directions for more details.

Food >>

Join us for lunch at the Greenhouse Café! Reservations are suggested for this busy day. Learn more at rbg.ca/dine

Payment Options >>

Major credit cards accepted for online tickets. At-the-door tickets can be purchased with direct debit, credit or cash.

Payment options for tea and accessories will vary by vendor. ATM is located on site

Pets / Service Animals >>

With the exception of service animals, personal dogs/cats/animals are not permitted at this event.

Children >>

Though the speaker content and vendor areas are more suitable for adults, children are welcome at this event. An area will be set up where young visitors can "paint with tea" (accompanying adult supervision is required at all times).


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