There’s more to a cup of green tea than meets the eye.
That’s what a group of tea enthusiasts found when they explored the rituals and experienced the benefits of the centuries-old drink. And since 2016, they have passed on their knowledge at the Belcarra Seasonglass Tea Festival.
This year, it runs over a pair of three-day sessions - July 12-14 and 19-21 at Camp Howdy in Belcarra where the 8 Corners Organic Tea Room provides the setting for not only drinking tea against the backdrop of a lush, soothing environment, but a place where appreciation and learning about green tea’s benefits takes place.
“We chose a space we felt was less of a concrete jungle and more in tune with nature,” says Daniel Kim, general manager at Camp Howdy where the tea room is located and one of the tea lovers that helped establish the site.
During the group’s first festival they ran the tea room, which was so popular many visitors asked if it was open year round.
Now, it operates seasonally, hosting tea workshops, with the aim to serve tea all year.
Those taking in the tea festivals over the years generally came based on curiosity, says Linda Ko, one of the directors who runs tea room.
“But when they arrived, they realized there’s more to simple tea drinking than meets the eye,” she says, adding the health benefits differ from person to person, but remain numerous and effective.
For her, the symptoms of hay fever abated over time. In Kim’s case, green tea’s natural diuretic properties were a solution to quelling kidney stones.
And the overall sense of calmness and clarity that descends when consuming green tea is a unique experience.
“Many people start their day with a cup of coffee,” Kim says. “So, to change peoples’ minds about what they are drinking is a very big undertaking.
“But we’re not trying to convert people to drinking tea instead of coffee. We just wanted people to try a really premium green tea.”
“I think if you offer people alternatives that come with health benefits, people seem more inclined to search things like that out,” Ko says.
That, and more is what the Belcarra Seasonglass Tea Festival and 8 Corners Organic Tea Room promote.