Friday, July 13, 2018

World Tea Expo 2018 Day Three

Day Three at the World Tea Expo was spent entirely in the Exhibit Hall.  

ITI Presentation

At the ITI booth, Bhavin Shah (ITI), Vishal Shah (Jay Shree Tea), and James Norwood Pratt discussed 2nd flush Darjeeling teas, accompanied by a tea tasting

Darjeeling makes up less than 2% of world tea production.  Green flies arrive very briefly between the 1st and 2nd flush.  Some crops are lost, but if they can harvest some of the bitten leaves the tea will develop the prized, rare muscatel notes.  Skill and artistry really come into play during the 2nd flush with intricacies like rolling and firing.  Where first flush takes 5-6 hours in the factory, 2nd flush takes 9 hours.  

Someone noted that the Darjeeling is lighter this year and this is due to unseasonable freezing temperatures in April/May.  

Darjeeling 2nd Flush

Mangalam Estate Assam, 2nd Flush

Meleng Estate Assam 2nd flush


All Japan Matcha & Organic is an association of 42 Japanese tea farms and factories that have come together to offer their teas for direct sale overseas.  They accept small and large wholesale orders.  

At the same booth, Yoshimura Package Partners/Japanfan Station's lovely Kawaii Zipper Bags were on display.  They're resealable and airtight, decorated with traditional patterns and whimsical scenes and useful for gift-giving, food storage, or any occasion when you need a decorative airtight bag.  I've used them for tea storage during a tasting event where they added a nice decorative touch to the tea table.  Though I don't have a photo of the display this year, you can view last year's display.

They were also offering samples of tasty matcha flavored roasted soybeans.

Eat More Tea is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and specializes in tea-infused foods.  At the Expo, they presented their tea spice blends and tea-infused baking mixes and their online store has even more to offer.    

Harney & Sons introduced their most recent tea blend, Venetian Tiramisu, which has made its way onto the short list of flavored teas that I enjoy.

At the Guizhou Taicha Tea Co., Ltd. booth, Sheldon kindly offered me a tasting of tai cha (苔茶), a varietal native to Guizhou.  This is sometimes described as purple tea due to the purple tint that develops on the leaves during the summer.  I don't have tasting notes, but I remember being enamored with the flavor and aroma and I would love to see more of this tea reach the US.  I was told that copper tea kettles like the one used by Sheldon are ubiquitous at tea tables in the region.

Sugimoto America has been improving and expanding their line of green tea and matcha blends.  The Hibiscus Matcha was a pleasant surprise, as well as the Yuzu Matcha Kukicha.  I also learned that Sugimoto has begun promoting single cultivar teas like Yabukita.  It was great to catch up with Noli (preparing a bowl of Ceremonial Matcha in the photo below) and Kyohei, and to meet Adrienne.

Kotodo introduced their line of white birch tea canisters which are currently wholesale-only, but will hopefully be appearing in US retail locations.

Onward to World Tea Expo 2019!

No comments:

Post a Comment