The Sydney Tea Festival took over the Carriageworks in inner-city Eveleigh for the second year last month, drawing crowds of tea lovers to the area to celebrate tea culture.

Renee Creer, co-founder of the event and owner of Perfect South, said the event was created because it was something she would like to attend herself as a tea lover and tea company owner, “It just bothered us [to] no end that it didn’t exist, so we thought, ‘Well okay, we’ll start it ourselves’ so that’s what we did.”

The festival has almost doubled in size since beginning in 2014, attracting close to 10,000 people this year, around 3000 more than anticipated. “We knew it would be popular, and we thought it was the right event at the right time, and people would be interested. And we certainly didn’t anticipate it would draw quite the number of people that it did,” Creer said.

People are becoming more interested in tea in a connoisseur-sense, according to Creer. “They’re appreciating different kinds of tea, they’re more aware of different kinds of tea, [and] they’re trying things that aren’t in tea bags.”

Peter Aftanas, of The Little China Company, says from a business point of view, the festival is important to attend, “It’s a matter of seeing how excited the public is about tea and you can see from the amount of people here that it’s drawing a very, very strong crowd, so it’s in very strong demand.”

“Aside from the health benefits, just having a relaxing daily ritual that makes you feel good is another thing. One of the benefits is just flavour, we…talk about the adventure of tea,” Creer said.

Planning for next year’s Sydney Tea Festival has already begun.