The Australian Tea Fair – Melbourne

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We are excited to announce a brand-new event never seen before in Melbourne. Tea lovers, we present to you the Australian Tea Fair, Melbourne. This unprecedented event will surprise and excite tea enthusiasts of all flavours, and provide tea and industry knowledge to a scale that tackles even the world stage.

The Australian Tea Fair will be hosted by Australian Tea Masters at a currently undisclosed location in Melbourne, and is aimed to be set later this year. Tickets will be available via our website (stay tuned for more press releases here!) and at the door, with exhibiting opportunities open upon arrangement. If you’re interested in having your own exhibit, you can discuss this with the director of Australian Tea Masters, Sharyn Johnston, at sharyn@australianteamasters.com.au. We strongly encourage tea companies to open exhibits and broaden their audiences. Other exhibiting parties will include blenders and masters of all stripes.

In addition, there will also be several tea seminars with well-respected industry speakers. This event is perfect for both those just interested in tea as well as those who make tea their world and business. The event will be ripe with opportunity, and for a tea lover in Melbourne, certainly isn’t something to be missed!

Stay tuned for more information!

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Mastering in Tea

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Last week kicked off yet another wondrous iteration of the Australian Tea Masters Certified Tea Master course. This round’s collective of potential tea masters have attended a three-day intensive, to properly prepare them for the exciting road ahead.

And what a brilliant multicultural group we’ve had! Our training class was filled and brimming with fantastic future tea ideas. Their warmth, enthusiasm and passion for tea was paramount for the success of the very first Certified Tea Master class for 2014.

Each student received 60 of some of the world’s most unique and valued teas, as well as a collection of professional Tea Master tools to begin their journey into tea. Their training was conducted under well-respected individuals in the tea industry, including our black tea specialist, as well as puerh and Japanese tea. We were also very lucky to have our own Honorary Tea Master Steve Carroll present throughout the three days to share his epic adventure throughout Yunnan Province and Taiwan as a roving tea reporter. On top of all this, we also had our very first Tea Master Charity Hobbs take the class to a new level on oolongs, and we experienced new and alternative brew methods for tea.

After our exciting visit to the World Tea Forum in Korea in October and experiencing the amazing teas of Boseong County, it was important to ensure that Korean teas were also included in all future trainings.Over the coming 14 weeks the students will be experiencing Turkish teas as well as other exciting challenges in their weekly classes. They have exciting times to come, and their prosperous faces fill us with the hope that they will each become fabulous, well-trained Certified Tea Masters!Our next Tea Master intake will be in July, with another following in August. You can read more about them (and sign up) here: http://australianteamasters.com.au/become-a-tea-master.

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A Cup of Gold

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There is no reason why customers should have to pay a lot for a good cup of tea. Tea is a relatively inexpensive product and you can get an excellent quality loose-leaf tea for roughly the same price as a quality coffee.

Some inner city tea shops are charging their customers up to $1000 a cup! This came as a huge shock to us. No tea costs enough to warrant charging that much per cup.

Regularly we have seen tea shops charge up to $20 for the same teas that are elsewhere being sold for $4 a cup. Why is this so? And who benefits from this? Not only will it limit the amount of people seeking specialty tea but it will put off the ones who are.

The point of this story is to encourage people to “shop around” for good tea. Just because a tea shop is on a main street and has lovely teaware, it does not mean they have the best tea in town – or the cheapest. If you want to sip your tea surrounded by smoke and mirrors, then you might have to pay five times the amount for the same brew as you would from the quiet tea house down the road.

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A Pot Full of Memories

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Made from a special clay found only in the city of Yixing, China, this extraordinary teapot possesses the ability to absorb the flavours of the teas inside it over a number of years.

Those who have the privilege of owning and using one over many years are said to be able to brew tea simply by adding plain, boiling water to the pot.

Before the teapot is made, the mined-out clay is left in the sun in the form of large rocks after extraction to weather. This process will take in excess of a year before the clay is ready to be pounded into a powder and sieved to remove impurities. The clay is then placed in a large fresh water tank for three days, and is then allowed to dry out under sunlight. Finally, before it is ready to be sold, excess moisture is drawn out of the product using a vacuum processor.

Such preparation seems excessive, but it doesn’t end there. The potter artisan must make time for a further two days of processing, which involves pounding the clay with a wooden mallet while every so often adding some water, until there are no air pockets to be seen.

With such a lengthy process and renowned tea-brewing capabilities, Yixing teapots are not nearly as expensive as they might sound at first glance. The unfortunate truth, however, is that while commonplace in China, much of the Western World is unfamiliar with them.

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