World Tea Expo - I had such a great time. I drank enough tea to swish as I walked, I wore out my back and my feet and I talked with some of the very nicest people. I came home with a number of samples or teas I purchased and over the coming days, I will report on most of them.
What impressed me the most - the interest, kindness and willingness to talk and share tea without pressure to buy or write about them. These vendors, whether they were tea merchants or accessory merchants, were proud of their wares and eager to share them. I really only met one who was unnecessarily unpleasant and it was too bad, as her product had a great deal to recommend it. The well-known folk, like the Harneys, Jane Pettigrew, Nigel Mellican, and James Norwood Pratt were all willing to meet and chat and have their pictures taken and acted as if it were the most wonderful time in the world. In my experience, that is often rare among big name folk.
I talked to a number of people who attended the classes and the Monday all day tea tasting and they were one and all positive about their experiences. That was really good to hear.
I had so many wonderful teas, it was like going from mountain top to mountain top. There was a small company that has just started marketing tea flavored ice cream, Tea.Rrific Ice Cream Company, www.tearrificicecream.com that is just absolutely exquisite. They had 5 kinds there - Chamomile, Chunky London Mist, London Mist, Masala Chai and Ginger Matcha. I tried them all and was so very, very impressed. The London Mist is Earl Grey and the Chunky one has chocolate flakes and pecans added. The others you can figure out on your own. They are smooth, rich tasting and the owners have done a tea-rrific job of blending them just about perfectly, with the tea flavors evident, but not so much that they ruin the ice cream. To date, they are only available in the NY City, Long Island and lower Hudson Valley areas, but I sure do hope they soon spread to other locations. I will be waiting, spoon in hand.
In all fairness, I have to say there were some problems at WTE, but I am concentrating on the good stuff.
Stay tuned for some more wonderful WTE writings.