Discover the 'sexy' side of tea at a festival of sipping
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Discover the 'sexy' side of tea at a festival of sipping

Corinne Smith is on a mission to shake up the staid reputation of the humble cuppa.

The co-founder of the Sydney and Melbourne Tea Festivals and the Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar says when many people think of tea, their mind automatically jumps to high tea with lace doilies and vintage crockery.

Corinne Smith, The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar co-founder.

Corinne Smith, The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar co-founder. Credit:James Brickwood

"What the festival has helped people understand is that it has a much sexier side than that," says Smith. "We can really look at some interesting ways to brew that aren't relegated to your nan's fine china."

Back for its fifth year, the festival lets tea lovers uncover the latest flavours and trends on offer, such as the unexpected pairing of alcohol and tea. Festivalgoers should keep an eye out for the tea-infused vodka for sale, an Archie Rose Distilling Co. bar serving tea-inspired cocktails and a sold-out mixology workshop with Rockpool Dining Group's Ryan Gavin.

Smith has jumped on the boozy bandwagon, working with a South Australian winery to create what she believes is Australia's only tea wine. Visitors to the festival will be the first to get a chance to taste it, with two red and two white prototypes available for sampling. "People go to tea to unwind and they obviously go to wine to unwind as well," says Smith. "It felt like a match made in heaven really."

Sydney Tea Festival, Sunday, August 19, 9am-4.30pm, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh, $20, sydneyteafestival.com.au