07 June 2015

6th Press Pass: World Tea Expo 2015

At World Tea Expo 2015 on my 6th press pass
With the World Tea Expo taking place in Long Beach last month, I figured it would be a great opportunity to learn about teas. Yes, that's right: learn about teas.  As someone who has had very little tea in one's life, I was nevertheless curious to experience and learn about tea.  Fortunately, I was able to secure a press pass to attend the World Tea Expo, which made it my sixth press pass, having received three in 2014 and my third press pass of 2015 (as well as my third press pass not at a comic convention, along with the LA Travel and Adventure Show and US Coffee Championships).

Teas available for tasting by Teas, etc on the first morning
The first morning, I was only able to be there for a couple of hours, so I was able to start off tasting some teas by a few vendors, which was great to be able to experience how different styles of teas tasted and broaden my palate, as well as to understand how they taste.  I had arrived early that morning to try attending a session given, however, I was told that I would have to seek permission from anybody giving sessions if I could attend, since I was press.  That seemed a bit strange, so I just avoided sessions altogether.  Another instruction was to not take pictures unless I had received permission first.  Apparently, this proscription against picture-taking was primarily on account of fear of vendors having their products being widely being seen before they were ready to go to market.  So, I made sure my picture-taking was done with caution and with permission.
Tasting some Waterfall Teas on the second morning

On the second day, I tasted some more teas by the same vendors with their offerings out, which once again provided a nice buzz to carry me throughout the day.  This was great to get some more tasting in and to expand my knowledge of teas.

I then stayed long enough to also catch a bloggers panel!  Yes, my people - fellow bloggers!  I knew I had to attend (yes, there was a bloggers panel the first day, but I was, sadly, unable to attend). (Yes, I realize I'm blogging about my blogging about a bloggers panel.)
Bloggers Panel at World Tea Expo

I thought having a bloggers panel was a brilliant idea and I'm glad such a space was carved out for tea bloggers at the World Tea Expo.  Of course, it's great for various tea bloggers to catch up and to connect with each other, but it's also great for people who are not into blogging to gain an insight into this demographic. I thought it was good, although it would have been nice if there was more time allotted for them to deal with more questions.  But it was interesting for me as a blogger to see how this particular topic of bloggers considered their subject.
Also, I appreciated that one of the panelists considered it a "wonderful write-up".  Also, there were some folks, including panelists, who thanked me on Twitter for the write-up (see here and here (and also here), which makes me so glad that I was able to positively contribute to such an event and to its attendees through my blogging.

International Tea Importers teas on the expo floor
On the final day of the event, I was not able to try the various teas available out in the walkway as I had the first two days, but that was no matter, as I was able to taste many teas [finally] on the main exhibition floor of the expo. While I didn't taste all of the teas available for tasting on the exhibition floor, I was still fortunate to be able to taste many of them.  (Also, I should mention that there were some cool products available for viewing, including Alpha Dominche's Steampunk MOD..)

Tasting tea and Scotch was a blast!
A definite highlight of that day, however, was undeniably attending a tea-and-Scotch-tasting!  This was really cool!  Although you can read more at the link I shared, basically,  there were three Scotches and three teas that were paired with each other and we got to experience how their pairings enhanced each other and contrasted them with each other.  It was eye-opening - I would never have thought to put these two beverages together! Update: that post got mentioned in a post by World Tea News.

I am grateful to have received this press pass and to have learned a lot about teas!

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