World Tea Expo 2014 | Long Beach, California

Posted on July 08, 2014 by LISA KUNIZAKI | 1 Comment

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. 










Posted in Bkon, California, Elyse Petersen, Jason Walker, JusTea, Kenyan Tea, Long Beach, Takeya, Tealet, Walker Tea Review, World Tea Expo 2014

Sweet Libations | New Year's Eve

Posted on December 30, 2013 by LISA KUNIZAKI | 0 Comments

Here are just a few simple, but elegant cocktail choices for this holiday season. I chose two tea inspired cocktails and the rest use just the right amount of sweet to ring in the new year.

Who doesn't love something bubbly for the holidays? I know I do. 

This recipe comes from the good people at Mason Shaker

Here's a recipe for the Puerh Old Fashioned via Autumn Giles of Serious Eats. Click here for the recipe.


A Holiday Apple & Sage Iced Tea Cocktail from our friends over at Takeya. Who doesn't love chartruse? Click here for the recipe. 

Frozen Cranberry Skewers keep the champagne cold and the cranberries give the drink a festive look. I would sprinkle a little Amber Sugar on the frozen cranberries to give it that extra special something. Photo and recipe idea from Occasions.

Champagne with sugar rimmed glasses. Easy and glamorous. I like to use our Rainbow Sugar for an extra festive, fun look.  

Photo from The Hostess with the Mostess. The original recipe calls for rock candy swizzle sticks, but you can use our Diamond Sugar Stirrers which are made of pure sugar cane and nothing else). They are a quick and easy way to fancy up your champagne on New Year's Eve. Diamond Sugar Stirrers come in brown and white.

And lastly, a recipe from one of our FaceBook friends, Pete Gee. He writes, "This is the Royal Navy version. Don't know how much it differs from the standard recipe: Wine glass, sugar cube in bottom. Two drops Angostura Bitters on cube. Add a shot or two of cheap brandy. Top up with cheap sparkling wine. Then sit back and count how many people drink before they start slurring their words."

Thanks Pete for this simple (and I'm sure fun) recipe. You can use our Mini Cubes or our Sucre Pierre (shown above).

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year's Day!



Posted in Cane sugar, Champagne Cocktails, Cocktails, Diamond Sugar Stirrers, Holiday Apple and Sage Iced Tea Cocktail, Hostess with the Mostess, Mason Shaker, New Year's Eve, Puerh, Puerh Old Fashioned, Rainbow Sugar, Serious Eats, Sparkling Wine, Takeya, Tea, Tea cocktail


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