• 2024.02.13
The Sydney Tea Festival is normally held once a year at different times of the year and I believe it has existed since 2014.
Tea, which arrived in Australia together with the first English settlers, has been growing in popularity in the past years here and it is becoming an increasingly important part of Australian lifestyle.
Maybe in connection to the ever growing interest Australians are showing towards the British Royal family, or perhaps because many Australians are trying to reconnect to their European origins, or yet because Australians are getting more and more eager to travel and Asia is around the corner but, truth is, tea is becoming the afternoon drink of choice and replacing coffee for many.
It could also be a healthier choice, who knows? I personally love tea and coffee both so it’s hard for me to judge…

The Sydney festival has a market section and a workshop section. Better yet, a large market section, and a part reserved for workshops. I felt as if I were in heaven and I returned home with so much extra tea that I didn’t know where to put it or when to drink it all, but I was excited.
I participated in a few workshops too: I had learned about the Japanese tea ceremony in Italy, but it was a pleasant refresher; and then I could learn to recreate the chai blend at home, which among other things I've been focusing on lately: chai is a very particular Indian mix of spices and black tea, tamed by that touch of milk which smooths out the roughness caused by the contrast of the cardamom in contact with the dried leaves in infusion.
I like the idea of the Tea Festival. It seems to me to be an event created specifically to bring the general public closer to a drink that perhaps in the youngest generation is perceived as old, or without its own identity, and which needs to be rediscovered. But, in Australia, immigration with all its cultural baggage has left a strong mark and tea culture is part of it.
There is no street corner in Sydney now without a bubble tea shop or a cafe’ serving a long list of herbal and non-herbal teas.
In this vast and jagged panorama, a tea festival can be the way to unite and differentiate, to make other teas known and appreciated, a place of union and discussion, of meeting and smiles, while sipping, abandoning one's traditions and origins for once while having a cup of tea.

The fact that tea is drunk in Australia is not entirely new obviously, being Australia a Commonwealth country, tea could not be missing from the habits of Australians. I would say that tea has always been prepared, drunk and consumed since Australia was colonized but it is less known that Australia is a tea producer too!
Daintree Tea is the national tea, and is produced in a clearing within the large rainforest that goes by the name of Daintree National Park in Queensland.
I got to visit it: it is an enormous rainforest, the largest and most ancient rainforest in the world, the only one where that prehistoric relic that is the cassowary still manages to live peacefully, and only here does it find the cassowary plant, whose seeds it is greedy for. The river that runs through the forest, the Daintree River, is infested with crocodiles, and due to its conditions as an irregular river, which is subject to flooding during the rainy season, it can only be crossed by a barge that operates continuously between one bank and the other of the river. The road that opens up inside the dense forest is narrow and full of curves until it opens into a clearing that revealed itself before my eyes: the tea plantation!
I had never seen a tea plantation in person before and it was amazing, surrounded by nature, covering a few hectares, immersed in greenery and mist, as one would expect a tea plantation to be.
Of course I also purchased Daintree Tea, black tea which doesn't have to be of the highest quality, given the low cost, and which in fact is not exceptional, but is authentically Australian.
And that's what matters!


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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