Tea and Travel, Tea Culture, Tea Knowledge, World Tea Expo

World Tea Expo 2015: Random reports, Pt. 1

Like a dream it arrived and then was over and now I’m home. 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. Every time I try to reassemble the days chronologically, however, my brain resists. This year, my reports will be based on random observations, capricious interludes and impressions. Quite unlike me really not to […]

Tea Knowledge, The Tea Book

Announcing: The Tea Book

The Tea Book, DK Publishers This year has been devoted to research and inspiration for The Tea Book, a collaboration with DK publishing (a division of Penguin Random House). Famous for their Eye Witness Travel books and many and varied guides to culinary pursuits, DK chose to publish a book on tea at a time when the world’s favourite hot beverage is poised to gain even more ground in markets around the world. This comprehensive primer for tea lovers will […]

Tea and Travel, World Tea Expo

Gathering of the Tea Clans 2015

World Tea Expo is in its thirteenth year – this will be my sixth. When I first attended in 2010, I promised my calendar that the dates would be secured for attendance every year thereafter. Although it doesn’t compare to a trip to a tea country of origin, it is a chance to taste spring teas from tea regions and meet those closely connected to the source. I mostly go to learn more and build on what I’ve been pursuing […]

Social History of Tea

Upcoming Event!

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been invited by The Tea Guild of Canada to give a talk – “Form, Function and Style: A History of Teaware”. This event will be held in Toronto at George Brown College. Those of you in the vicinity and interested in attending, just rsvp to me. There will be tea! Hope to see you there.

Social History of Tea, Tea Cuisine, Tea Culture

Revising Afternoon Tea

Tiered cake stands, white linen, dainty sweets and bone china teapots are well-worn symbols of Afternoon Tea, – the popular, more formal approach to serving a cuppa. To that end, hotels and other venues have dreamed up all kinds of themed afternoon teas – the edible garden, Asian-inspired and ultra chic! Afternoon Tea is often erroneously called “High Tea”, a name which originally defined the meal that was served at a high (dining) table close to the supper hour. In […]

Tea Cuisine, Tea Culture

Cheers! Tea with Spirit

In Celebration of a Good Year The events of my 2014 were exciting and life-changing. Work in the tea world was plentiful, which explains dear reader, why posts have been spotty at best. One of the projects I’ve been working on has allowed me to explore tea mixology (the craft of cocktail blending using tea as a flavour ingredient). I’m not actually a fan of spirits, but I have loved learning about the interplay of flavours to create the right […]

Tea and Travel

Tea in the Great Canadian Wilderness

We just spent a vacation week in a relatively remote area of Northern Ontario’s lake country. It’s an annual escape to see the sun set on the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Known as the first day of summer here in Canada, it is referred to in England as mid-summer solstice. The birds sing into the night with the whippoorwill and loon having the last say. I enjoy tea in the canoe, on the granite rocks […]

Tea and Travel, World Tea Expo

Aromas, Blends & Lattes! Touring QTrade Teas and Herbs, Cerritos, California

One of the perceived advantages of holding World Tea Expo in Long Beach, California was its close proximity to importers and their businesses. The town of Cerritos is a half hour ride from Long Beach and home to QTrade Teas and Herbs, a major player in the tea industry. Taking advantage of the convenience of their location, QTrade had arranged an early morning tour of their facilities for several of their customers and a few tea media. Located on a […]

Tea and Travel, World Tea Expo

World Tea Expo 2014: Day One, May 29th

Current Trends and Future Outlook for Tea: The first session of the morning featured a panel of leading industry market analysts. They presented their research on areas for potential growth in the tea industry. David Sprinkle, Jonas Feliciano and Lynn Dornblazer had their own take on how changes in the market would affect tea sales. Here were some of the take-aways: Growth expected in the Restaurant industry Never underestimate the importance of convenience for the consumer Growth opportunity for premiumization […]

Tea and Travel, World Tea Expo

California Here I Come! World Tea Expo 2014

For some reason the song “California here I come, right back where I started from”, was popular in our household when I was a kid – not because we missed California. We had never been there, but perhaps because my Grandmother used to make the trip by plane in the 1940’s and 50’s to visit her brother in Turlock and would go on to Laguna Beach for some of the winter. She missed that casual artsy life in later years […]