Let’s start at the beginning.
As you all know, my trips to expo are never without some sort of drama. Well, I get to the airport with time to spare, only to find I am at the wrong airline terminal and must get clear across to the other side of LGA to catch my flight.
Bags in hand I go to the shuttle bus depot to wait for transport. A steward going in the same direction informed me that he had been waiting for at least 10 minutes for the bus and was somewhat perturbed about the delay.
I noticed the sign behind me stated the bus ran every 15 minutes and mentioned it should be arriving soon. Twenty minutes later no bus and the steward was fit to be tied. He became quite agitated, pacing and swearing about the poor service.
His actions helped me stay calm whilst I prayed he would not be the steward on my plane. I also prayed for the people he would have to serve once he started his shift.
I got to the airline 10 minutes before boarding, just enough time to buy a snack for my long journey.
On the plane I asked the stewardess for a blanket, I was informed that that would cost $7.00 for a blanket and a pillow.
Needless to say I remained cold for the rest of the flight, just on principle alone, the audacity asking me to pay for something you have provided for free, what’s the logic here.
I guess I shouldn’t complain they still serve undrinkable tea from teabags. I am sure they will start charging for these soon as well. Thank goodness I bring my own.
It seems that whenever I go to a tea expo I am always searching for someone I’m anxious to meet. This event was not unlike any others although the missing person was different. I was in search of IHeartTeas aka Rachel Carter and her hubby.
With only 141 character messages as a GPS, I was off to the show floor to start my search.
The expo floor was somewhat quiet; some of the classes had not ended. I took advantage of the uncluttered aisles to get a jump on finding new products and sampling tea.
The first interesting new find was a pure tea extract by Authentea, manufactured by Guangdong Bio-Engineering Ltd. This powdered extract can be brewed in 3 seconds, hot or cold. I was surprised at the strength of flavor having sampled both the Darjeeling and the Jasmine Pearls. This would be great solution for tea in a pinch (I thought about Courtney and the K-Cup tea she recently showed us and thought this would be a good solution for her dilemma) or a need for light packing scenario. We asked for the minimums, oops $10,000 dollars. I guess we will have to wait until someone else distributes this product.
Highwave™ showed a very sleek design tea press, Brewfish Javaale Tea™ double hand walled, insulated glass. This one is on my want list.
Made a pit stop at one of my favorite Matcha suppliers, Aiya and picked up a case along with a sample of Matcha Infused Sencha.
Next stop, to meet Rajiv Lochan of Lochan Tea Limited.
He is as gracious as the fine tea he provides.
The fact that his tea had not made it in from the airport and he was without product during the entire show, a situation which would have sent me into a tailspin, Rajiv handled this unfortunate situation with finesse.
Lochan Tea Limited was to be the provider of the tea for our Tweet-Up later that afternoon. He apologized took the opportunity to speak with us and take photos. He kept a good sense of humor all the while. It was such a pleasure to meet him.
After covering the first two aisles it was time to take a breather and look for IHeartTeas I tweet a message and wait a while, no response.
Oh well back to the Expo floor and there standing in front of me is IHeartTeas and her hubby. There were hugs all around and banter about schedules. I was so happy to see my “Ladies Nite, Teatra.de, “sister” (hope you won’t mind Rachel).
We agreed to meet up later then I was back to scope the floor.
I visited with Harshita of Harshita Designs/Chamong Tea and congratulated her on her new showroom opening. We recounted the number of years since we first met at the expo our first shows 7 or 8 years ago. I applaud her and success she has had in her business. We arrange for a quiet tea day in the very near future.
I stopped by many booths and drank lots of tea.
Rachel and Hubby returned and I shared the dilemma regarding no tea for the tweet-up situation. She suggested we ask Beth of Teas Etc.
We presented Beth with our crisis and without hesitation she agreed to have Newman supply us with tea.
THANK YOU Beth, you and Newman truly saved the day.
More booths more tea, soon it was Tweet-Up time.
We went over to Teas Etc where Newman provided us with a large bag of Oriental Beauty, a featured offering which achieved second place at the 2011 Fall Teas North American Tea Champions, Signature Famous Teas category. In addition he gave us hot water in a Zojirushi. What more could we ask for great tea and hot water. With all in tow we headed over to the designated area.
Rachel’s hubby, a real tea trooper, manned the hot water station. Joysteaspoon got creative with a makeshift brewing and I set up the display. All went smoothly.
In attendance were @joysteaspoon, @lisabraithwaite, @earlsteeper, @oolongofficer, @chrisagiddings, @iHeartTeas, her hubby @ralphcarter11, @teapages and myself.
We talked of tea and many things.
One topic, the desire to get more tea bloggers together in a roundtable format session sometime in the future. Which Chris, Naomi and I will be working on.
Our meeting ended and we all went back to expo. It was so exciting placing real bodies to the tweets Thank you all for coming it was such a pleasure.
Back to the floor and friendly stops and visits
Harney & Sons, Mike Harney,
Serendipi Tea, Linda,
Reflections in Tea, Michele (hugs) and too soon the blaring announcement the show floor was closed.
The announcement was somewhat of a blessing as jet lag had begun to take its toll.
The next segment World Tea Expo Day 2