I’ve been a serious tea drinker for several years and the World Tea Expo has been on my wishlist for every one of them. I finally made it out to the west coast this year for the 2014 expo in Long Beach, CA.
There was so much to see and do; I didn’t know where to start. The most exciting part for me was getting to meet some of the people that I’ve talked to online for years.
There were booths representing every tea growing country that I could think of. China, India, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Kenya, Indonesia…I was sipping my way around the world. This year there seemed to be an emphasis on using tea to help improve the lives of the people who produce it. That is one trend I was definitely happy to see. The most unusual tea that I saw was a log of 100 Taels hei cha at Tea Source’s booth that was taller than me. Now that’s a lot of tea!
Another highlight for me was getting to see Alpha Dominici’s Steampunk in action. This high tech gizmo uses steam aeration to brew tea and its controls are powered by an Android application. How cool is that? I have a feeling we’ll be seeing them pop up in more tea houses and coffee shops soon.
I had an opportunity to be on the panel for the Second Annual Tea Blogger’s Roundtable. Public speaking isn’t my favorite thing to do but it went really well. The issues that we discussed were problems that many bloggers face and our audience seemed to really appreciate hearing from us.
Next year’s World Tea Expo event will be a bit closer to home in Philadelphia. I can’t wait to start the fun all over again!