The 2012 World Tea Expo Best New Product Award Winners have been announced and I must say, the level of innovation is wonderful. If you go to the website http://www.worldteaexpo.com/ and click on any of their pictures you can find out more about them.
Speaking of which, The World Tea Expo is June 1-3 in Las Vegas. There is an extensive educational core, a Taiwanese tea ceremony demonstration, many tea tastings, an art exhibit, a tea infusion contest and announcing the winners for best teas of the year. This is a tenth anniversary year, so there are sure to be many special events.
The Northwest Tea Festival is the weekend of the 28th of April in Seattle. The Phoenix Tea Shop folks are having a tasting of some very rare and wonderful teas. If you live in the area, make sure you go to this.
I am waiting for World Tea East in Philadelphia in the fall. I am hoping there are no weather disasters this year so I can attend.
The newest teas have arrived! Right here in my kitchen! I ordered some early tea from Life in Teacup and today I am having 1400m Huang Shan Mao Feng, which was plucked and processed on April 6 of this year. The literal translation of this Anhui Province tea is Yellow Mountain Fur Peak. This is 2 leaves and a bud mixed with one leaf and a bud of the very first plucking of the year. The leaves are mostly a bright green, with some tan and there is some golden dust from the buds lining the packet. The scent is that of hay just beginning to dry in the sun, with the most delicate hint of wood smoke wafting through. I brewed this at 170 degrees for 2minutes and was rewarded with the most beautiful tea color I've seen. It is a light, light silvery green. I brewed it in a glass pot so I could watch the leaves widen and stand up in the water.
The tea liqueur smells of green grass and flowers, very delicate. It tastes of greenness and flowers, as well, with something stronger at the end that somehow reminds me of hard boiled eggs. It doesn't taste like them, it's only a fleeting taste I simply can't place. As it cools, that disappears and a somewhat stronger grass comes through. There is some sweetness throughout. It's a delightful tea. Even if I didn't like it, I would brew it just to look at its beautiful color and to watch the leaves unfurl.