Preview: 2011 World Tea Expo

By Cynthia Fazekas


Our trade show booth detail.

June is very special to tea people, for later this month the "who's who" of specialty tea will gather in Las Vegas for the World Tea Expo. It is a business-to-business trade show, devoted solely to specialty tea - the good stuff! For three days, industry veterans and "newbies" will attend classes, sample products, and discuss industry news.

While not a large show in comparison to a monster such as the National Restaurant Show, the World Tea Expo is quite an intense three days of information exchange for those of us in the industry. We will get to see competitors, customers and tea-friends. The best part is being completely immersed in all things tea!

This year events include:

The Educational Conference - Offered are a New Business Bootcamp for start-up businesses, an Executive and Technical Series for industry veterans to fine tune skills and gather latest info, and Core Conference Seminars, Focused Tastings and Skill Building Workshops.

A Cooking With Tea Workshop at the famous Aureole Restaurant conducted by Executive Chef Vincent Pouessel and Pastry Chef Megan Romano will demonstrate. Attendees will then get to enjoy a four-course luncheon! The Tea Infusion Challenge Ė This contest to find the best Infusionist - a tea professional with the knowledge, skill and talent to bring out the best a tea has to offer. Last year our own Suzette Hammond was judged Best Infusionist! Go Sooz!

There will also be a Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle where the winners of the North American Tea Championship will offer tastes of their fine beverages. Three of Adagio Teas' Anteadote unsweetened bottled tea varieties will be offered in this Winners Circle: Jasmine, Black and Oolong! The Adagio Teas team will be exhibiting, teaching and generally enjoying the fun! Charles Cain our director of new business development will be teaching Tea 101: The Basics of Tea Business in the New Business Bootcamp, and Tea Business 201: Next Steps.

Of course, our Suzette Hammond will be there to teach a skill-building workshop: Professional Cupping Techniques & Protocol. This is a must attend for anyone new to the tea biz. Lastly, yours truly will be conducting a blending workshop: Creating Exotic Signature Blends. There we hope to launch two new summery blends!

The most exciting part of the Expo is new products! Last year we were happy to try Guayusa (a distant cousin to yerba mate), Zealong (New Zealand Oolong) and some promising teas from Hawaii. It will be interesting to see if this year will have as many new developments.

We are looking forward to a good show and promise to report back in July!