I just finished three more classes at the World Tea Expo. It's barely noon and I've already learned so much! Here's a quick rundown on each class.
The first class was "Pairing Tea with Chocolate." It was very amusing because most of the students were middle-aged women who felt very comfortable making extended metaphors involving chocolate and sex. What a way to start the day! We all laughed a lot, ate delicious chocolates, tasted some very nice teas, and learned about how to taste and pair tea and chocolate well. The seminar was well-organized and the speaker was clear and thorough. Overall, I'd say it was a solid class.
Next, it was time for "Romancing the Leaf," a lecture on using tea myths to increase sales. I was hoping for the focus to be on the tea myths. There were some interesting myths in the lecture, but a large segment was on the selling aspect. The selling bit wasn't terribly useful to me, but I could tell most of the other audience members got exactly what they wanted out of it. It didn't hurt that the speaker was very entertaining; he even went so far as to change costumes as he changed myth origins to set the tone and provide visuals. I'd highly recommend this class to anyone who sells tea, but it wasn't the right fit for me.
The last class was unplanned (for me). I knew someone who didn't feel up to attending their class, so I took his place. It turned out to be the best class yet! It was presented by Anupa Mueller (whom I adore) and it was all about how to conduct a successful tea tasting. She was thorough, precise, funny, and obviously very experienced in holding tastings. Though many people in the class had conducted tea tastings before, the general consensus was that Anupa is the queen of tea tastings and that we all had a lot to learn from her. I am so glad I got the chance to attend this seminar! It may just be the highlight of my trip.
Well, it's time for me to return to the exhibit hall. I have a lot of booths and people to visit! Check back for more on the Expo!