Wednesday, July 11, 2018

World Tea Expo 2018 Day One

World Tea Expo 2018 was held June 12th through 14th at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Exhibit Hall has returned to the traditional full-day schedule on Day One after last year's experiment with a (very short) opening day.  In another positive development, porcelain tasting cups were provided to all Expo attendees.


I kicked off the first day in the Exhibit Hall the right way with a tasting of award-winning Dancong Oolong from Chaozhou City Ji Yun Xiang Tea Co.  Tea Spot is providing US foodservice distribution if you're interested.

Kagoshima Seicha prepared chilled matcha using a cocktail shaker and I liked the results enough that I'm willing to step away from my traditional matcha whisking routine and to try it myself.  Their chilled gyokuro was a refreshing and umami-filled treat.

Komaen Tea introduced their green tea produced from 400-year-old trees in Laos.  If you're interested in unique tea tourism opportunities, Ban Komaen village in Phongsali Province is a short distance from a tea plantation with trees that date back at least 400 years.

The Teamosa Tea Maker is due to hit the retail market in September after a successful Kickstarter campaign.  It allows you to use the paper tea capsules which hold mid-to-high grade tea (the Eastern Beauty I sampled had impressively long leaves) or your own loose leaf tea.  It also includes a wash function and optional bluetooth app.  For those who use the app remotely so they can come home to a freshly brewed tea, there's a sensor that prevents the tea from dispensing if you forget to set out the decanter.  No decanter, no brew, no mess.  Everything fits on a tea tray which can catch spills from overly enthusiastic pouring and has a small enough footprint that even a fussy "no kitchen gadgets on the countertop" person like myself would be willing to make an exception.

Zojirushi introduced their new line of stainless steel water boilers.

Bonavita's variable temperature kettles are getting a new color line.

China Hunan Tea Tasting Session

A tasting of three teas from Hunan, China was presented at the Special Events Stage.  Each tea was introduced with a unique tea arts performance, then attendees were provided with samples of each tea and encouraged to provide feedback by way of tasting notes. 

Sangzhi White Tea

Organic Mao Jian

Hei Tea (Heicha)

World Tea Awards & Opening Cocktail Reception

Day one of the Expo concluded with the annual World Tea Awards with cocktails provided by Owl's Brew.  Their Pink and Black (freshly-brewed Darjeeling tea, strawberry, hibiscus, lemon, and red wing) was very pleasant.  The newly relocated event space wasn't ideal for mingling, so I was pleased to bump into and catch up with my tea mentor, Sylvana Levesque (International Tea Education Institute).

Nigel Melican (Teacraft, Ltd.) was the well-deserved recipient of The John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award.  You may find Nigel's recent Facebook Live presentation "Will There Still Be Tea in 2050" valuable.

The Northwest Tea Festival won the award for the Best Grassroots Tea Education Campaign and, as a member of the festival committee, I was ecstatic.  Seeing NWTF founder Julee Rosanoff nearly levitate out of her seat in surprise was a real treat.

Congratulations to all 2018 World Tea Awards winners and to the nominees!

No comments:

Post a Comment