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Prague Tea Fest: Overview & Impressions


The second edition of the Prague Tea Festival, held on the 24th-25th of February at Karlinske Spektrum DDM, was a splendid gathering of tea enthusiasts from all corners of Europe and beyond. The festival, expertly curated by Agha Mithra, unfolded as a week-long celebration with various side events hosted at Prague's charming tea houses.

Prague Tea Fest pages:

At the heart of the festival were the high-quality tea exhibitors who showcased a diverse range of teas, attracting attendees with discerning palates. The festival sought to distinguish itself by focusing on knowledge exchange, offering insightful lectures and seminars instead of the conventional competition format of tea fairs. Agha Mithra's vision was to deepen the understanding of tea's rich culture and heritage, encouraging participants to delve into the profound world behind each cup. One of the festival's highlights was the sense of community among attendees and exhibitors, fostering connections and creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Prague, already known as a European hub for tea enthusiasts, reinforced its reputation during this festival.

Photo: Pavel Gelnar.

Now, longtime European tea enthusiasts, accustomed to the annual summer outdoor tea festival Čajomir in the Czech Republic for 15 years, have an additional delight—an indoor winter tea festival. This trend mirrors the emergence of various tea festivals across Europe, including the Berlin Tea Festival and the Vienna Tea Festival, offering an expanding array of opportunities for tea aficionados to immerse themselves in diverse tea cultures throughout the year.

The Prague Tea Fest commenced with a ceremonial flourish – the Tea Opening Ceremony featuring the rare 80’s Si Jin Qian (4 Gold Coins) Liu Bao with Lao Tea Shop. In a nod to tradition observed in tea expos across Malaysia and China, this unique tea, packaged in the inaugural white plastic bags of its time, was unveiled. The ceremony, shared with Agha (Fluffy Tea), founder of the Prague Tea Fest, was a momentous occasion. Attendees had the exclusive opportunity to purchase and savour this exceptional and rare tea, a fitting start to a festival dedicated to the art and culture of tea.


Tea


The festival's exhibitors showcased the global diversity of tea culture. From pu'er tea producers from Yunnan, like Farmer Leaf and Eastern Leaves, to the release of the first International Edition of T-Magazin, the festival brought together a dynamic array of participants. Tea enthusiasts could explore teas from different regions, participate in tea tastings, and gain insights into unique tea cultures. Exhibitors like Satemwa Tea Estate from Malawi, Lumbini Valley from Sri Lanka, Global Japanese Tea Association, Senchaism and Nagasaki Ikedoki Tea from Japan, Tea Gardenia from India, Lo Artisan from Iran, and Mogok Tea from Myanmar added an international flavour to the festival. So many blissful cups were shared!


Exhibitors:


Lao Tea Shop from Czech Republic
Mogok Tea from Myanmar
Shimal Tea from Germany
Klasek Tea from Czech Republic
Banna Tea House from Czech Republic
Farmer Leaf from Jingmai Mountain, Yunnan, China
鷥茶 (Si Chá) from Germany
Eastern Leaves, Yunnan in China & Italy
Keiko Tee from Germany
Xin An Chu from Spain
Lo Artisan from Iran
Rishe Tea from Czech Republic
Swiss Tea Club from Switzerland
Cha Camellia from Portugal
Tea Bud from Hungary
Lumbini Valley from Sri Lanka
Senchaism from Japan
Moychay from the Netherlands
Nagasaki Ikedoki Tea from Japan
Global Japanese Tea Association from Japan
Nari Tea from Finland
Chinese Tea Master, Mei Lan Hsiao, from Belgium
Satemwa Tea Estate from Malawi
Tea Gardenia from India
Puerh.pl from Poland
TheTea.pl from Poland


Pottery & Crafts


The festival was not just about sipping tea but also appreciating the craftsmanship associated with it. Teaware artists showcased their skills, captivating the audience with their exquisite pottery. The Kurinuki Yunomi workshop by Atelier Hlina (Ovidius Karolina Obr) allowed participants to create their own tea cups, adding a personal touch to their tea-drinking rituals. Additionally, plenty of breath-taking tea-themed crafts by talented artists added an artistic flair to the festival.


The Exhibitors:


Unearthed Gallery from Germany
Krajna Pottery from Czech Republic
Andrzej Bero from Poland
Oyu Ceramics from Poland
Fabienne Haber from Czech Republic
Zimmerman Pottery from Czech Republic
Jana Matiscik from Slovakia
Fluffies and Tea from Czech Republic
Sigita Hjort (Soil Songs) from Denmark
Hanka Vrbicova Pottery from Czech Republic,
Vlastimil Hanuš from Czech Republic
Petr Sklenička Pottery from Czech Republic
Aino Nebel and Tomasz Niedziolka (Sevinc.pa) from Germany
Dan from Czech Republic
Eliška Jindrová (Oriolus Studio) from Slovakia
Weis Ceramics from Poland
Terracotta Gryf from Ukraine (now Portugal)
Iris Weichler (Thee Muze Atelier) from Belgium
Marketa Kazdova (Keramika z Lesa) from Czech Republic
Vaclav Dušek Pottery from Czech Republic
Jeremy Keala Ceramics from the US (now France)

Workshops & Activities


The festival was not just about tasting tea; it was a journey of exploration into various aspects of tea culture. From traditional Chinese painting exhibitions to in-depth lectures and tea tastings, the festival offered a diverse range of workshops and activities.

Attendees were treated to an array of immersive experiences, ranging from the Mandala Tea Experience Lab, where tea transformed into a canvas for artistic expression, to Flora Grimaldi's (Gaufrette Matcha) insightful presentation on two distinct ways to savor matcha within the Japanese tea ceremony—thick and thin. The program boasted an impressive lineup, including Qigong sessions, tea and chocolate pairings, and enlightening presentations on topics such as rock tea (yancha) and Tibetan dark teas (zang cha).


The Konfuciuv Institut hosted three captivating presentations by Di, covering the Song Dynasty Tea Ceremony, a Green tea ceremony in glass, and Chao-style Gongfu Tea with a tasting of Phoenix Dan Cong Tea. Tea Gardenia provided insights into Indian teas through a presentation by Praveen Sirvi. Mariella Erkens, author of "Tea, Wine's Sober Sibling," explored tea and food pairings, while Stijn Van Schoonlandt led a masterclass in tea and chocolate pairings. Miranda of "Flavours of Tea" delved into the medicinal aspects of puerh tea, and Wouter Verelst of Satemwa Europe showcased specialty teas from Africa. Prof. Lee Jolliffe, Routledge Handbook of Tea Tourism, together with Katrina Wild did a tea tasting of Ahpa Tea, northern Thailand teas made by the Red Lahu tribe in Doi Mu Puen, who also run sustainable tea tourism activities. Vincent Liu of MyTeaPal App also held a virtual tea tasting and presentation.

The festival also served as a platform for captivating exhibitions, such as "Inspiration of Blue - Cloud in Water," a unique Chinese painting style by Mr. Xu Zhen. Derek McCabe's photo series, "Tea for 2 in Taiwan," adorned with words by Monica Griesbaum of Windy Hollow Farm in Scotland, provided a visual journey through Taiwan's tea landscapes. The festival truly encapsulated the essence of tea culture in its various forms, engaging and enlightening enthusiasts from around the world.

Workshop by Japanese Tea Instructor and specialist Oscar Brekell, Senchaism.

Photo: Sofie Vercauteren. Global Japanese Tea Association.

Higashi Sonogi, Nagasaki tea workshop by Ikedoki Tea's Marjolein Raijmakers in Meetea.

T-magazin presentation for the release of the international edition in English: “ Europe’s New Tea Culture - What Is That?". The panel was held by Olaf Tarmas with Mette Marie Kjaer (Sing Tehus, Denmark), Yiling Wu (Nari Tea Lab, Finland), and Sergey Shevelev (Moychay, the Netherlands).

Tea House Visits in Prague


Prague's enchanting tea houses played a significant role in extending the festival beyond the main venue. Events like tastings, presentations, and workshops were hosted in iconic tea houses like Lao Tea House, creating intimate settings for tea lovers to connect and learn. Prague definitely is a heaven for any tea lover, confirmed WanderlusTEA team Lorela and Katrina.

Dobra Čajovna



Tea Mountain



Meetea



Orijin Tea



Lao Tea Shop



Klasek Tea



As the festival wrapped up, the announcement of the next edition marked an exciting prospect for tea lovers. The Prague Tea Festival is set to return for its third edition on the 22nd-23rd of February in 2025, promising another immersive experience for those passionate about the art and culture of tea. Save the date and get ready to embark on another journey into the world of tea in the heart of Europe! We look forward to seeing you again, thank you for such a magical tea festival, every single person made it special and forever memorable.

Photos by Lorela Lohan and Katrina Wild unless specified otherwise.
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