I just plopped down on the couch in our room at The Hotel in Las Vegas. What a night! We had a diverse, fun, energetic group of people at our table at this evenings World Tea Championship reception at the 2009 World Tea Expo.
We were getting settled in, and to be honest I was in the middle of telling Newman that we needed to get our guests drinks, when they announced the Signature Famous Teas, first category Assam. And first place goes to …….. Teas Etc…..oh s__t I remarked totally off guard. Yes I know I shouldn’t be telling you this but I wanted to tell you before someone else did and honestly it was just my response because I was really floored!! Breakfast tea is next and that went to Lyster Group I believe, truthfully I was still trying to catch my breath. The next category is Ceylon and the winner is Teas Etc! You have got to be kidding me I think to myself.
I was also very proud that our Organic Golden Monkey received 2nd place in the Yunnan category, I can’t wait to try the tea that beat us out! The great thing was that our tea placed higher than a lot of the significantly more expensive teas in the category and we were definitely up against some of the big boys for sure, second place seems a fine achievement to me.
The rest of the night was equally as thrilling especially when folks like Ken from Barnes & Watson won, 2 categories green oolong in the hot tea category and another in iced tea, go Ken! And others that are more from the “under dog” realm like Puripan with their Tartary Buckwheat herbal, interesting.
Anyway, I am really very grateful for the recognition and appreciation that specialty teas are getting in the US. I feel strongly that World Tea Expo and the World Tea Championship has a big part in pushing our industry forward in a very positive direction.
Winning is absolutely fun but win, lose or draw I am privileged to compete and be a part of a competition that will improve the quality and exposure of tea, an industry that I truly love.
Until next time, Beth