Wednesday, June 4, 2008

World Tea Expo, in Vegas Baby!

Having just returned from the World Tea Expo in Vegas last weekend, I finally feel like I'm back in the groove of things again. It took a few days to recover from the work/learn all day & play all night mode of Vegas. There is so much to share, so I snagged personal commentaries from the whole TeaSpot team to share with everyone...

Maria Uspenski - Co-founder, Director of Product Development
In wandering the show floor of the World Tea Expo, I was struck with how unique our product line and concept are to the modern tea industry. To all of us at the TeaSpot, it seems the most natural thing to provide our customers with what Rob has dubbed the “total tea solution”: the freshest, tastiest and healthiest loose leaf teas paired with Steeping tools that extract the maximum flavor and health benefits from those leaves “with elegance and ease”. Yet, even with all the thousands of teas and tea accessories in the marketplace, ours differentiate themselves in their presentation, freshness and functionality.

Rob Cooke - Director of Customer Relations
This year’s World Tea Expo in Las Vegas showcased more science being implemented into the tea industry than ever before. Many of the studies presented at WTE 2008 are challenging and in some cases debunking myths that have been widely accepted in the tea industry for years. These scientific studies are starting to challenge topics such as the varying levels of caffeine in tea, antioxidant/ polyphenol content, and even the “30 second” decaffeinating technique. So what does all of this mean? Well, in my view it means that the tea industry is thriving and that there continues to be a growing interest in the functional health and wellness benefits associated with tea. I can only hope that this proliferation of science will bring concrete and factual information to the table while also bolstering the industry as a whole.

Jared Kochik- Director of Shipping & Operations
Attending the 2008 World Tea Expo proved what we all know to be true: the awareness of specialty, loose leaf tea is growing at an astonishing rate and the proliferation of fun, easy to use Steepware and accessories are helping to break down the barriers to reaching new demographics. It was also easy to notice the amount of amazing and dedicated people who work diligently to educate the masses to the wonderful benefits of whole leaf tea. The 2008 World Tea Expo was a great event not only for importers and vendors, but also for new and soon-to-be tea retailers around the globe.

Jessica Burtenshaw - Director of Tea Sourcing & E-Commerce
As my first time attending the World Tea Expo, I have no gauges to compare it to previous ones - but this one was phenomenal! It was great to be surrounded by other tea geeks and get to revel in tea & tea leaves all day. I met people from all ranges of the industry, from growers & importers, to other tea & steepware vendors, to people looking to open teahouses & retail stores in the coming year. I was lucky enough to try fresh roasted hojicha that was re-roasted on the spot, first flush Darjeelings from this spring, and an array of Japanese teas at a personal tasting with one of the most revered Japanese importers. Basically... I was in heaven. I also finally got to meet all of our tea importers in person, after having wonderful email & phone relationships with them throughout this past year. It's great to now have faces to go along with the people I already adored. I even discovered that our Taiwanese Oolong supplier also studied Marine Ecology in his previous career, like me. And at the end of the day, our whole TeaSpot team became like family sharing a single huge suite at the Luxor - kinda like summer camp for adults.

No comments:

Post a Comment