With so many teas to explore my first tea of the day came from Beth Johnston, Teas Etc.
For a number of years Beth has always been so generous, supplying Expo participants with a delightful morning brew.
Her warm smile and greeting added to the feeling that this event was off to a great start.
Her tables set with a few offerings both single origin, blends and novelties for the most discerning of tea palates.
I took the opportunity this year to try two of the single origin offerings both provided a satisfying aromatic first morning cup.
My first choice Shui Xian Organic, this was one of those tea experiences where at the end of the cup you stop and say, “boy that was good” and have a debate with yourself if you should go back for more.
My second cup on day two was a nice smooth strong Assam Organic, yes; it saved me from myself, and the jet lag that was finally kicking in. Recently, I have developed a new appreciation for Assam.
From this point forward many cups of tea were had as I went through a world wind of tea ecstasy.
Part of the pleasure of World Tea Expo is the fact I am not the one making the tea. In my world, I make tea for everyone else and wish someone would make me a cup every once in a while.
So at Expo my fantasy is realized.
Here are my picks that resonated on my palate and one special tea that brought me to tears.
As you may be aware Matcha is the new “chic” beverage in the New York City area. Storefronts have opened specializing in Matcha service catering to the youth market looking for that “stimulating effect” an alternative to coffee.
Three companies I can rely on that have a consistent quality product and one that is a favorite of my tea buddy Rachel, iHeartTeas.
Harney & Sons
Harney & Sons carries one of my all time favorites Unjonotomo Matcha
Today I tried the Matcha Senjunomukashi that boosted my energy level giving me the added vitality needed to continue exploring the many booths ahead.
Always has many offerings; my focus recently has been on the Matcha To Go, which are individual packets I carry in my purse for that quick matcha fix.
One of my first Matcha experiences has continued to impress with making tea consumption easy and accessible. I am always happy with their assortment of ready to drink products, especially since I can find the sugarless versions. This Expo they featured a ready to drink Matcha Love in a can in both sweetened and unsweetened choices.
Rachel’s favorite, is sourced from tea fields located in Kagoshima and Uji Kyoto, they have quite a few offerings as well as tea bags and tea packets.
New to the Expo, I was given a heads up on the offerings of this company from Geoff, SteepStories/Lazy_Literatus. On one of our fun filled G+ meetings held prior to our trip, he had mentioned that he tried their Indonesian White and that it was amazing. I usually take Geoff’s recommendations, as our palates are similar.
Well Geoff was not wrong. The Indonesian White from Java has a delicate & bright flavor and sweet aroma, with a fuller yet light body, and Grey Dragon with a wonderful floral note and very unique taste stronger than white although not as strong as Chinese oolongs.
There were two offerings from this tea company Green Yaupon Tea with vegetal, malty notes and a Black Yaupon Tea that possessed roasted, sweet earthy notes.
Sara never disappoints. A few years ago I was mesmerized by her Asanoka Sencha, two years ago she featured Japanese Pu’er. This year she brought me to tears with the White (Leaf) Tea – “Kiraka” in 1988 a white leaf that mutated from a green leaf, first flush harvest, has gone on to become an award winning cultivar registered in 2006. So unique only an average of 50kgs are produced each year.
Humor me, as I must tell the story about this tea experience. Earlier at the show passing Sara’s booth it was, as usual, very crowded. I made a point to go back almost at closing to see if a seat had become available. Lucky for me there was only one other person at the booth when I returned.
Sara and I exchanged pleasantries and then began talking tea and of course I inquired what was new. She mentioned this new white “leaf” though she said she had run out of leaves and only had a bit she brewed earlier if I would like to try. I am not sure what my facial expression revealed but the gentleman sitting next to me said, “That must be amazing” and YES! It was. I wanted to savor every last drop in that cup, it blew me away, bringing tears to my eyes. This tea, this tea, such a unique flavor, sweet, soft, mellow, with full body, enveloped my palate with umami. Excuse me I’m salivating as I type. The qi was immediate and sensual (oops, did I type that). This tea, this tea, I must have more.
TEA I MISSED
My tea enthusiast cohorts all raved about the teas from this company though I did not have a chance to sample their offerings.
New to me this company offers Honeybush Tsaine in many forms, loose leaf, bottled and blended.
This company has many offerings and one that I have been interested in for quite a while. I am fond of “instant” tea when I have no other choice. One such offering Authentea I have enjoyed on a few occasions. This product is a tubular sachet of Pure Tea Extract each packet contains 0.6g that makes a good cup that can be enjoyed hot or cold. I think what attracts me the most is the wide range of choices such as oolong, jasmine green, rose black and several herbals.
Sourced in Nicaragua as an effort to create year round harvesting for coffee growers. The brew; a very interesting concept and a very unusual brew.
Overall, many companies have come up with creative ways to promote “heath/well being” and tea. Products with names like “Stress Relief”, “Digestive Remedy”, “Good Night Tea”, “Breathing Tea” could be seen.
Many being blends of single origin and herbs or just herbs. I call this the result of the “Dr. Oz Syndrome”, and yes the consumer may be moved to buy.
Just drink TEA is not bad for your health and when you find one you like it will improve your outlook on life.
Thanks for reading and tomorrow’s we will explore The Tea Equipment