Each year, after attending the World Tea Expo, I come away with an invigorated feeling.
Just attending reaffirms why I choose to be a part of this industry.
Yes, there is a numerous amount of tea vendors offering many cups of fine leaf, in addition to products and possibilities.
I am finding every year holds a different focus for me and I come away with a new meaning.
World Tea Expo originally began as “Take Me To Tea” in 2003 and was rebranded two years later as “World Tea Expo” in 2005. My first attendance at the Expo was in 2006. I have been attending for quite a few years since then have taken maybe 3 years off during that time.
In the beginning as a business start up, my focus leaned toward buying and education, both, that I found plenty of when I attended.
As time went on relationships that I developed over the years became equally important. I have made some lasting friendships on this journey and many are as important as family.
The recent passing of John Harney, Harney & Sons, someone who helped me get started on this journey, was a huge loss. This year I heard so many of my tea friends comment that there seemed to be an emptiness surrounding his booth as he was so influential to all of us and the industry as a whole. I felt no emptiness as I felt his presence and as I stood there drinking a cup of my favorite Matcha, I could hear his exuberant voice asking about my business and then describing his newest creation to me as he did so many times before.
He was missed.
And I digress, as this is a report of the items of interest I found at the expo. There were so many wonderful offerings this year and I will cover my findings in 6 parts.
This is the Overview and in separate posts I will cover as follows:
The Tea (outstanding offerings)
The Tea Equipment (new & notable)
The Core Conferences (I attended)
The Tea Awards (facts & impressions)
Then a wrap up (which is where I will become extremely sentimental)
Hopefully I can get them all done this week so stay tuned.