This post is dedicated to the World Tea Expo. It was, as usual, fantastic. Here are a few highlights from my week in Vegas, from the Expo and otherwise:
Seeing so many tea people -- I love learning about what everyone is up to, talking tea and connecting with people and ideas in the industry. Connections took the forms of chatting between classes, touring the show floor, interviewing like mad, holding a TweetUp, sending the obligatory "where are you now" texts to find fellow attendees... I only wish I'd had more time to spend with everyone!
Trying new teas -- ITO EN's new shincha (sold out already), Hawaii-grown teas from Sherri Miller, oolongs from Teas, Etc. and much more... Along with the people, this is one of my favorite things about the Expo each year!
Interviews -- I held about two dozen interviews over the course of the Expo. Some were informal talks, some were sit-down-with-a-recorder interviews and some were video interviews. The videos were with notables like James Norwood Pratt, Jane Pettigrew, Bruce Richardson, Kevin Rose and Steve Schwartz. They'll start showing up on World Tea News soon.
Classes -- My favorite class was Rona Tison's Japanese green tea cupping course. Tasty! A few of my other favorites were with Charles Cain (TeaGschwendner USA), Michale Cramer (Adagio) and Elisabeth Knottingham (The Teacup in Seattle, WA), who held a fantastic class on hiring and keeping great employees.
Leaving the Strip -- Sometimes Vegas is just so... Vegas-y. This year, I got off the strip on a few occasions. Downtown Vegas' First Friday with my husband, my World Tea News boss and her husband (and his beautiful flower shop, set to open soon) was fantastic. Red Rock Canyon was gorgeous! And tapas with the Gamila Teastick crew was was tastier (and cheaper) than most of the strip fare.
What was your favorite part of the Expo? What are you looking forward to about next year?