Tea and Travel World Tea Expo

Live from World Tea Expo 2011: Arrival

Thursday June 23rd

Entrance to World Tea Expo

I arrived in Las Vegas today to 110° F  of blasting heat.  When I ventured on site at World Tea Expo to pick up my  badge I saw a hive of busy workers and exhibitors who were no doubt oblivious to the outside inferno as they constructed their booths in preparation for Friday’s 11am opening of the 2011 Expo. Although my schedule prevented me from participating in the World Origin Tasting Tour, I had the pleasure of dining this evening with Michelle Pierce Hamilton, a Nutritionist and Tea Sommelier from Canada who did attend the event and was enthused about the brilliant teas she had a chance to sample. She reported that most of the major tea growing regions were represented. There were so many teas from China that they had to present “Part 1 and Part 2”. The event ran from 8am til 5.30pm.

Some of the highlights:

  • Over 35 spectacularly good teas to taste.
  • Well-produced videos of the regions
  • Nepalese teas
  • “Flying” from room to room
  • Tom, representative from Taiwan growers singing through his presentation
  • Plate of bananas available at the back of the room after each tasting. I remember hearing somewhere that bananas help to coat the stomach and it’s a good idea to eat them before a day of tea tasting. I bought 2 bananas today and plan to eat one before heading over to the Convention Centre tomorrow.
  • Lunch was a delicious array of food from the “World Origin” tea regions

Here are some suggestions that Michelle made for next year: Number one – she really hopes they hold this event again! More printed hand outs would have been great – apparently they will be coming in a day or two. An agenda for the day so that attendees would know what to expect next.

Did you attend World Origins Tasting Tour? What was your favourite tea or region?

Up Next: Friday morning I’ll be attending “Unique Settings: Not Your Traditional Tea Room” lead by Babette Donaldson. I’m looking forward with great interest to hear at 1.30pm, the panel discussion “Japanese Teas Plan B” hosted by Chado-En featuring visiting Japanese farmers. Very timely and I’m sure will be well attended. Then at 3.30, Royal Tea of Kenya is hosting a Private Tea Tasting for media with Renowned Tea Expert/Author Jane Pettigrew. I’ll visit exhibitors and retailers and meet up with friends within this happy tea community. In the evening Chuck Underwood will be the key note speaker. A full schedule but the tea leaf will keep me refreshed throughout the day.