This year's World Tea Expo was in Long Beach, California. It was a refreshing change from the previous years where it was held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
My good friends at Takeya, Stuart and Caroline. Always great seeing Takeya there. Takeya's teaware has won for Best New Product at the World Tea Expo.
They just released an Iced Tea recipe book full of creative recipes.
My explanation would not do Bkon justice so I will leave it up to a professional. Jason Walker, of Walker Tea Review, published an article in World Tea News titled: Rise of the (Tea) Machines. I thought this was a brilliantly written article.
New teas released by Elmwood Inn Fine Teas, Bourbon Black Tea and their Labyrinth Blend.
These were just too cute! They are made by a Korean company.
This is an aged pu'erh from 1991 that I was gifted by one of the vendors. I haven't had the opportunity to try it, but I really can't wait.
What I love most about attending the World Tea Expo is meeting people from all over the world and of course drinking and learning about tea. There's always something new to learn.
Did you know that Kenya’s teas are naturally pesticide and herbicide free? Hence, making Kenyan teas organic by default! Of course, they can not just claim their tea is organic based on this fact, but it's true. And their terroir plays a huge role in this. The Tea Star (seen above) consists of oolong tea leaves that are hand-tied together on a string for easy steeping. Convenience of a loose leaf tea without the mess. Brilliant!
I had the pleasure of sharing a few classes with the guys at JusTea so I just had to stop by their booth.
They carry the world's first Direct Trade handcrafted Kenyan Black and Oolong Teas.
And then there was this lovely pu'erh I came across. I just had to buy a few to take home.
And here is Elyse Petersen's team at Tealet. She is the founder/CEO at Tealet. It is such a privilege to meet someone as passionate about tea as Elyse. If you've ever met her, you know what I mean. Her energy is infectious. We connected at World Tea Expo 2013 in Vegas and then again when she came to visit NYC that same summer for the Fancy Food Show. Good times were had at a beer garden in Astoria and she even got to share a couch with my dog, Jay.
Read all about Tealet here. Elyse was a nominee for two 2014 World Tea Awards this year; Best Social Media Reach and Best Tea Spirit. She took home the award for Best Social Media Reach! It was so well deserved.
Rie Tulali recently joined the team and is the general manager. She was kind enough to serve us multiple cups of tea.
Making more tea friends...Ty and Rajiv.
And Elyse gifted these beauties to me. They are seeds of the Camellia sinensis sinensis (aka: tea) plant and have since been planted and are growing comfortably on my windowsill in NYC. I am happy to say that they have since sprouted and are looking beautiful.
I feel privileged to belong to the tea community. It feels like one big happy family.