World Tea East was held in Boston this week located with Natural Products Expo East. World Tea Expo held tea classes on Wednesday and Thursday to quench the thirst of East Coast tea professionals. Sessions were held on a variety of topics like Nigel Melican’s talk on Tea & Sustainability, Lisa Richardson, of Lisa Knows Tea, presented another delicious Tea & Chocolate Pairing class and Elizabeth Knight infused attendees with her extensive experience with a Tea Purchasing class.
I was pleased to have been included as an educator presenting Holding a Successful Tasting and the session on the Value of Specialty Tea. Both presentations were well attended.
The show opened on Thursday to heavy traffic in the World Tea Pavilion. This section dedicated just to tea was created by World Tea Expo to highlight the importance of tea to the natural products industry.
Teas Etc was surrounded with great neighbors. Village Tea Company, the young hip new line of specialty tea, was bringing lots of energy to the floor with their cool new team and brand. Directly across the aisle was Rishi Tea and East Indies Tea Company was right behind us. We had lots of neighborhood tea gatherings and were definitely in good company.
The pavilion created a real sense of “community.” I had the chance to get to know some tea people that I was acquainted with but had never really had a chance to chat with. We all shared tea, food, supplies and lots of laughs.
I was equally as pleased to meet attendees like GongFu Girl, of tea blogging fame. She shared information on the newly formed Association of Tea Bloggers (ATB) developed to unify communication, information sharing & accuracy. They will foster dialog with the overall tea community and attempt to substantiate factual tea facts and dispel myths by incorporating the expertise and assistance of tea professionals. Look for guidelines at the organizations website.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Cynthia Gold, Tea Sommelier for The Boston Park Plaza Hotel where a tea tasting was held on Wednesday. Unfortunately due to my schedule I was unable to attend but heard from those who attended that it was a delightful event with some of Cynthia’s private tea stash.
I also met tea educators Laurie Bell from DC & Verna Hamilton of NYC. A big shout out to Verna for her help with the comparative cupping’s held in our booth.
We cupped blacks, whites and oolongs and were excited to host all those who stopped in by for the tasting. It was fun reviewing the obvious and subtle differences in the teas. We will hold these events again at World Tea Expo, Las Vegas 2010.
World Tea East gave us an opportunity to connect with new and existing customers. We had fun visiting with David & Anne Walker and meeting Nigel. We had lots of laughs with Matt Papera who stopped by the show to say “hi.” We enjoyed our stay at the Omni and our lobster dinner at “No Name.”
Sunday rolled around with rain from the south which interfered with our plans to walk Boston’s Freedom Trail so I was forced to shop for comfortable shoes before packing and heading home.
Until next time, Beth