WORLD TEA EXPO 11-13 JUNE 2010
LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER
It appeared for a long time that the United States, and some European countries, had no exposure to the world tea trade. Perhaps it was the Boston Tea Party back in Revolutionary War days that caused us to avoid tea. For a long time we were only aware of Lipton tea. That has now changed quite dramatically.
We were privileged to attend the Tea Expo and wander down aisle after isle tasting, smelling and just looking at a broad selection of teas from around the world. Tea has not only escaped from the tea bag era of earlier days, but the product has also become a socio-economic liberator for many Third World countries. Teas now come from Africa, South America, India, Russia, China and too many other countries to name. Teas range from herbal, chai, bubble, Rooibos, and many more.
We were offered an opportunity to taste many of them and had a difficult time choosing the ones we liked best. There were companies providing ancillary services: baked good that go with tea, tea pots, and tea caddies — all coming in a broad variety of sizes, colors and shapes. The odor of fresh tea brewing kept us going and exploring this brand new world.
This new world of tea encouraged new ventures, not only into fusing teas into new flavors, but also products that would make the drinking of tea more enjoyable. One new product in this line was the ‘Tea Squeeze”. This was a plastic miniature tea pot which would hold a tea bag until flavor is gone; then could be lifted out without the tea drinker having to hold a hot tea bag. I met a young man who just started out with a new tea company called “Village Tea”. One would not think of Texas being home to these new ventures but he is not the only one who has made tea and Texas synonymous. Another Texas company is “True Brew” organic tea which might very well challenge the larger bottled tea companies. Of course all of these companies realize the importance of water and stress where this product comes from. “Real Water” is special water that will bring good health and great tea. When the book “The World is Flat” came out a few years ago tea may not have been on the authors mind, but the tea producers have learned the books lesson well.
When we traveled in Europe and needed help with stomach problems, breathing clearly, or just R&R the local pharmacy provided us with different packets of herbal teas. They worked! “HELPS” is a new line of tea bags that does the same thing. A branch of a Spanish tea company we wish them luck. We took one sample: for little tummies. We will try this out on a grand child.
Runa Tea is a new product from the Amazon. This great tasting anti-oxidant tea will not only taste great but help the economy of this country. The geography lessons were wonderful. There are different teas from China ranging from province to province. Who knew that there were this many choices?
All of the purveyors of tea demonstrated a passion for their product!
Last, but in no ways least, awesome thanks goes to Aaron Kiel of AKPR Group for doing a great job in putting this show together. He had to handle many languages and the huge varieties of teas and make it work. HE DID! Aaorn also pointed us in the direction of what may have been the highlight of the visit: A beautiful green bench made of green tea leaves.
By, John Lustig, Senior Reporter
Contributing Reporter: Anne Leona, “SeniorScope” Host and “Women’s Weekly” Editor