Well, this is the final installment and there are some additions and mentions I must include.
I think Linda Gaylard, The Tea Stylist put it very well in her recent post, I take the liberty of quoting here “I wish I could reconstruct the experience of World Tea Expo in order to give you a picture of what actually happened and when. At moments it was elating, challenging, fascinating, funny and puzzling”.
This truly sums up what it was like this year.
I have neglected to mention a few highlights, so I will begin.
There is a member of our group of tea enthusiasts that I hold in high esteem. We communicate most regularly on social media keeping up with many items of interest and especially tea. We had not seen each other in a number of years and her presence at #WTE2015 gave us an opportunity to exchange a long awaited hug and a moment of catch up. Katrina Avila Munichiellio, Tea Pages states in her recent blog about #WTE2015, “ I remember that the tea community is among the warmest, most generous and kind collection of people I have ever had the good fortune to be a part of”, I so agree. You hold a special place in our tea world adding a foundational grounding to all that we do. It was great getting that much needed hug.
There are also surprise attendees, you know, those to whom you may have mentioned your attendance to, though you are surprised to actually see them there.
Leo, Brooklyn Tea Company; you came, you saw, and you left a lasting impression.
Dan Bolton, another most recognized figure in the tea world keeps us abreast of the happenings in the industry with “TeaBiz” great seeing you.
Angela Strach-Gotthardt, “Secret Tea Society” great to finally meet you. Hope we can meet for tea sometime soon.
Dr. Selena Ahmed, I am in awe of your work and your willingness to share the valued information with us all. Those of you who are not familiar with her work can view the Michael Coffey & Eric Scott, Tea Salon interview YouTube video.
Elyse Peterson, TEALET; Congratulations on achieving “Best Tea Industry Innovator” award this year. I remember our first introduction a few years ago, you were a fledgling in the industry, you have come so far and with earned merit. Thank you for all you do. I am also looking forward to attending the “After TeaTime” events at your place In Vegas next year.
To the lovely ladies from Tealicious Catering , hope we can get together soon.
TEA PLANTING TECHNIQUE TRAINING
Jason Mc Donald, The Great Mississippi Tea Company, took us through training on “Growing Tea” at the TEALET House.
We got a up close and personal examination of seeds and the prep needed for pre-planting, as well as, the different components of the soil mixture and planting levels.
Cynthia Gold (Tea Sommelier and author of several books on cooking with tea) volunteered to help blend the mixture. Brave lady. And no the last photo does not reflect our tea drinking but cups filled with tea seeds and soil.
We all left much more informed and as a bonus takeway, seeded soil to return home with to start our own plantings. Thank you so much Jason & Timothy.
As bloggers and social media mavens, there were times that we were forced to sit to re-charge our batteries (wish their was a caffeine charge for smartphones)
To all that attended, I am sure I have forgotten many, please forgive.
A few products seen and I neglected to mention
I have two sizes of their “Travel Buddy” and find them convenient when I need a lightweight brewer. And the story goes, when I was going through my unnerving trials traveling to Long Beach, I neglected to check if I had liquid in my Travel Buddy. As my bags went through the scanner I prayed they would not confiscate my brewer. I found after the fact, that like any avid tea drinker, I had exhausted the contents and only the leaves remained “whew”.
Fresh Origins; Flower Crystals®
One of the loveliest displays at the Expo, the array of edible, dried flowers amazing. I have used this product, freeze dried crystals, to enhance some of my blends and have gotten great results. The varieties of flavor choices are also impressive.
Also created a very welcoming display and treated us to a cup of one of their delicious infusions.
All in all, this years Expo ranks among one of the most satisfying for me. The knowledge attained, the relationships solidified and expanded have had a great impact.
Thank you to: Gary Lynch, Beth Dean, Sam Hammer Mitchell, the hosts, facilitators, coordinators and volunteers who all go above and beyond to make this event special for the attendees.
A special Thank You to Monique and Aaron who make it even more special with their attention to detail and professionalism.
If you would like a different perspective and more information about the Expo check out Nicole Martin’s “Friday Round Up” where she lists links to quite a few tea bloggers who have written their stories.
Thanks for reading and following me on this journey.
Oh, and by the way, for the “foodies” out there, here are some shots of the food we enjoyed.