Tuesday, June 19, 2007

World Tea Expo: Best New Teas

While I was at the World Tea Expo, I got to try some new teas that I really enjoyed. Here are a few.

Ito En had some very nice new bottled teas. I had tried two before, but the one that stood out to me at the Expo was their turmeric infusion. In Okinawa, people drink turmeric infusions before a night of heavy drinking to protect the liver and prevent hangovers. Added bonus--it tastes good.

Newcomer Art of Tea not only had the coolest packaging of the Expo (seriously, check it out), they had a tea that won "Best Iced in Show." I've been wondering when people would make teas like theirs. They are compressed (like pu-erh, but not secondary oxidation), so they are easy to package, transport, and use.

A company that has been around in Europe for a while but is new to the U.S. also stood out to me. It's called Keiko. They have very fresh Japanese green teas, some taste matcha candies, and the coolest teamaker I have ever seen. The machine grinds the leaves on the spot, then whips them into a perfectly foamed matcha, matcha latte, matcha soy latte, matcha with OJ, matcha colada, or just about whatever other kind of matcha-based drink you might want. Very fresh. Very cool. (Their site's not in English, but you can still see their teas and their crazy matcha machine.)

Over the next week or so, I'll be posting more about the Expo that I didn't get to cover before. Check back for more!

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