Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anxi Iron Buddha Tea Ceremony

Day 3 at the fair has tea ceremonies throughout the day. We start our day with front row seats to the Anxi Iron Buddha Ceremony, a Ti Kuan Yin tea is brewed in a traditional ceremony.

It's a beautiful, artful ceremony. I have some pictures below and will have someone post video on the Teas Etc Facebook page asap.

Until next time, Beth

Day 2 Pictures

A First, Being Interviewed by a Chinese News Broadcast

Amy is translating my interview. I wonder if it will be my mouth moving and Amy's voice speaking Mandarin? :)

Enjoying Tea with our Organic White Tea Supplier

Old World Traditional Costume from Yunnan Province

Saturday, August 15, 2009

More Tea - Day 2

Day 2 at the fair went according to plan. We tasted tea the entire day. We met with current suppliers and a couple of interesting new potential suppliers. I have come across some good teas, purchased some gifts to take home and had fun trying new varieties like purple puerh.

I had my first encounter with Guizhou teas, a Chinese province that is situated to the east of Yunnan, bordering Hunan to the east and Chongqing to the north. Not well known Guizhou produces high grown green teas and according to my sources these teas are not commonly exported. Multiple environmental conditions attribute to the teas quality and characteristics primarily the high mountain, moist growing conditions. Look for limited quantities of Guizhou teas in the future at Teas Etc.

By 3pm we are refusing anymore tea and decide to call it a day and get in some sight seeing. We forgo the scheduled tour and head out on our own. After some shopping in HK we jump in a taxi and go to Kowloon, directly across from HK and physically part of mainland China yet considered a territory, to view the "Symphony of Lights". The best view is from Kowloon looking back across Victoria Harbor to HK island. The HK skyline is impressive during the day and even more so at night. The light show is nice but its the skyline that makes this trip worthwhile. After the show we jump on the Star Ferry to cross the harbor back to the hotel.

Tomorrow is another busy day so we call it a night.
Pictures to follow in a seperate update.

Until next time, Beth

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hong Kong Tea Fair - Day 2

Uninterrupted sleep was not in the cards for me. While I feel the jet lag I am anticipating the day ahead and the combination does not equal sleep for me.

While Amy sleeps I head down to the lobby hoping to find something to eat, that's not in the cards either. So I found a confey chair, in the somewhat dark and deserted lobby, knitting and planning the day ahead.

Amy and I will spend the entire day meeting with suppliers, tasting and gathering teas to see if there is anything we want to add to our current inventory. Its rare that I dont find at least one new interesting tea that I have not had before. Once work is finished then we are off to act like tourist enjoying a boat ride in Victoria Harbor and then maybe we will hit one of the night markets, weather permitting.

Until next time, Beth

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hong Kong Tea Fair- Day 1 Pictures

The internet is cooperating so here are the promised pictures.

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Puerh Teas

Puerh from ancient trees

Hong Kong Tea Fair - Day 1

Hong Kong Update

I am sitting in the VIP lounge at the International Tea Fair sipping a cup of oolong tea. There is a range of suppliers at the show. The show is set up by region so you can head to the “Yunnan” area knowing that you will be able to cup a variety of Puerh teas.

They have held tea ceremonies of all types

I watched the Japanese ceremony which was lovely.
(My attempt to upload pictures of the cermony and puerh teas has been unsuccessful. I will upload asap in a separate post)

I am really excited about the “Korean” tea section. I have already made some good connections and hope to offer some Korean tea in the near future.

I am curious as to whether or not the US market will pay the price for Korean teas and if they will enjoy them? They are brewed much lighter than Chinese greens and have obvious differences in processing and subsequently taste.
If you have tried Korean green tea post a comment on your thoughts?

Day 1 It’s a Wrap

Being categorized as a VIP definitely has its advantages. It has helped get decent accommodations, as opposed to the first hotel I stayed in last night. I was able to attend the evening networking reception where tea was abundant.

One thing that struck me funny however is the VIP lounge where coffee is the predominant beverage? You have to search for a teabag to brew and the staff immediately assumes you want coffee…strange for a tea fair I thought.

Amy’s plane was late so we ended up meeting at the hotel around 7. We enjoyed a light snack and caught up on some of the happenings. I am feeling tired so I am heading to bed, hopeful that I will be able to sleep through the night.

Until next time, Beth

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Recent Blog Interviews

I want to take this opportunity to say "thank you" to Jamie at Tea on Tap and Jason at Walker Tea Review for their recent interview opportunities!

Check out their respective tea blogs and other tea interviewees. Tea on Tap and Walker Tea Review.

I am preparing to head overseas for a trip to meet with suppliers and seek out some new tea preparation goodies.

I will also be attending a tea fair with growers from several countries we are seeking sources for tea.

Another highlight of my trip is a visit to a traditional Chinese medicine trade show.

Will be blogging about my travels, tea finds and the latest tea wares. What do you think the US tea market needs in accessories?

Until next time, Beth

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Online Tea Tastings

Teas Etc is pleased to be participating in a unique online tea tasting program that kicks off August 11th!

Our congratulations go out to Jason Walker of Walker Tea Review who developed this unique program in an effort to further advance the understanding of tea to enthusiasts everywhere.

Jason's love for tea began while living and working in China. His travels to various regions afforded him the chance to taste alot of tea while learning from a diverse group of experts. Developing his palate and his knowledge he returned to the US with a passion for tea that was destined to be shared. He began Walker Tea Review with written tea reviews eventually moving into video reviews. The videos feature Jason discussing, brewing and tasting a wide range of teas.

The popularity of the reviews prompted Jason to consider how to reach this vast internet audience with an interactive, educational tea tasting experience of their own. His newly developed concept is unique. Participants will order teas in advance, watch his video to see preparation ideas and tasting tips and then have a chance to interact with other participants, sharing notes and ideas on the teas.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jason at this year's World Tea Expo and have gotten to know him over the past several months. His passion for tea is easily recognized. His soft spoken demeanor and obvious tea knowledge create a comfortable atmosphere for novice and hard core enthusiasts to learn more without feeling intimidated.

Jason with Lisa Richardson of Lisa Knows Tea (right)and Lynayn Mielke East-West Tea Emporium (left), at World Tea Championship, May 2009.

We commend Jason for his forward thinking love of tea and wish him tremendous success. Check out Walker Tea Review and the new Tasting Program by clicking here.

Until next time, Beth