Tea Festival coming


By Miranda Leybourne


Spring is often the season when teas are held -- whether in honour of Easter or Mother’s Day, or to celebrate the season in general. And with the surge in popularity of tea consumption, thanks in part to trendy tea shops like David’s Tea, more people are trading their cup of coffee for a mug of steaming or a glass of iced tea.

ArtsForward in Neepawa is embracing new tea drinkers and faithful sippers alike at its Tea Festival on May 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The organization has partnered with local clothing store It’s Time and will be hosting a tea representative and various other tea-related information at the event. 

Kathleen Guillas of ArtsForward says she’s excited for the festival.

“The accessibility of many new types of tea has certainly helped its popularity, but in rural Manitoba, there’s always been a fondness for tea as well…[And] we’ve had teas here with entertainment, but never an information night about teas,” she explains. “There will be a talk on the history and health properties of different teas, as well as instructions for how to steep tea and what to pair it with. There will be snacks as well as different teas to try and buy.” Festival goers will also learn about how to use tea in cooking and baking.

According to the 2015 Canadian Tea Fact Sheet and Trends, put together by the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, Canadians drank over 10 billion cups of tea in 2015 -- 56 cups more than in 2010. Also in 2015, the Canadian tea market in grocery stores was worth $426 million, with Manitoba and Saskatchewan’s market at $37 million.