World Tea Expo 2014
The World Tea Expo 2014 just concluded at Long Beach, California. The venue was a new one, moved from Las Vegas this year and all for the better. The highlight of the Expo was, of course, the Lifetime Achievement given to my partner and good friend, Devan Shah, at an Awards Ceremony on the Queen Mary ocean liner now permanently docked at Long Beach. I was part of the Education Conference of the Expo and presented a class on "Keeping the Customer Engaged" which had over 100 attendees. I walked the Expo for new ideas and teaware and noted numerous overseas suppliers had booths at the Show from China, Taiwan and India. Double-lidded Japanese canisters seemed to be everywhere, some in beautiful colors and prints. I noticed several very fancy, complicated tea brewing machines using all kinds of technology to brew tea. Excellent tastings were held by author and tea expert James Norwood Pratt. We are great fans of James Norwood Pratt whose books we carry at the Tea Room. It's always nice to catch up with him. And yes, we were in California so here's a glimpse of living well - the view outside my room on a beautiful, sunny California morning!