Friday, May 22, 2015
A Business Trip with Benefits
Bitter Gourds and No-Pants Awards
World Tea Expo 2015
World Tea Expo 2015 Part 2
World Tea Expo 2015 Part 3
World Tea Expo 2015 Part 4
World Tea Expo 2015: Random reports, Pt. 1
World Tea Expo 2015 Highlights
Oolong Owl at World Tea Expo 2015 – Day 1
World Tea Expo 2015 Day 2
World Tea Expo 2015 – Day 3
Oolong Owl’s World Tea Expo 2015 Haul
A World Tea Expo 2015 Moment - Day 1
A World Tea Expo 2015 Moment - Day 2
+Katrina Ávila Munichiello
One Word at a Time - Passion Rediscovered
World Tea Expo 2015 Day One
World Tea Expo 2015 Day Two
World Tea Expo 2015 Day Three
+Rachana Rachel Carter
Tea-Ceré Matcha Making Magic
2015 World Tea Expo Foodie Tour
Followup: 2015 World Tea Expo Foodie Tour
Tea and Tweezers
World Tea Expo 2015 Overview
World Tea Expo 2015 - The Tea
World Tea Expo 2015 - Tea Equipment
World Tea Expo 2015 - Core Conferences & Affiliate Programs
World Tea Expo 2015 - The Awards
World Tea Expo 2015 Day 1
World Tea Expo 2015 Day 2
World Tea Expo Tea Blogger Roundtable
World Tea Expo Banquet and Awards
World Tea Expo Day 3
Tea Seed Planting Workshop
WTP @ The 2015 World Tea Expo: 3 Days in 30 Minutes
Thursday, May 21, 2015
The guys at +The Finest Brew promised to share some 28 year old "pocket oolong" if I won an award so their booth was one of my first stops. +Geoffrey Norman and +Chris Giddings had already been there for some time (not that I'm surprised!) but we were soon joined by +Rachana Rachel Carter, +Nicole Schwartz, +Ricardo Caicedo, +Charissa Gascho, Phil from +World Tea House and TJ from World Tea Podcast soon gathered around. Ghi brought out a 25 year old oolong to compare this one to. It was great to have a crowd of bloggers to compare notes with. Most of us preferred the older tea, making mention of the notes of pipe tobacco.
+Charissa Gascho, otherwise known as Oolong Owl, is well known for her knitted feathered friends. We all took the opportunity for a photo shoot with some of them.
Being sufficiently tea drunk, we went to go drink even more tea at the ITCC Cup Warming. Phil skillfully brewed teas from around the world. Assam, Japan, China and Bihar were all represented.
Having visited almost everything on the floor, I reached the point of inevitable trade show overload. My solution to that, just as it was last year, was to go for a nice walk by the waterfront. A cup of chocolate chip mint ice cream also helped.
Now that another World Tea Expo had come and gone it was time for the after party. We kicked things off with a backyard tea planting workshop led by Jason and Timmy of +The Great Mississippi Tea Company. They were so knowledgeable and gave us many tips that I'll be using with my own plants at home.
+Jo J, +Darlene Meyers-Perry and I were hungry so we ducked out to grab dinner at a local chicken and waffles spot. All I can say is, they don't make chicken like that in New Jersey! We were all very full but very happy by the time all of the food was gone.
On the way back to the beach house there was a bit of an adventure. You can read more about +Geoffrey Norman's daring rescue here: World Tea Expo - Being Rescued by The Lazy Literatus.
By the time I got there I missed some party guests that I was looking forward to seeing but there was still plenty of fun to be had. At one point there was even an Irish folk song written about me. You can read the lyrics on +Geoffrey Norman's Teaku Tuesday.
Lots of tea drinking (accompanied by some cognac) and laughs made for a long and memorable night. Not everyone stayed up to the wee hours but those that did played Cards Against Humanity until around 5am. That is not a memory I will soon forget!
+Rachana Rachel Carter had the brilliant idea of reserving a table for all of us. Everyone looked fabulous, particularly +Geoffrey Norman who had borrowed a festive hat from +Michael Petersen. I had a bit of nervous excitement because I was nominated for two awards, Best Tea Blog and Best Social Media Reach. Our hosts Kevin Gascoyne and Bruce Richardson wrangled the crowd well, peppering in plenty of laughs. I couldn't help but smile at the camaraderie among all of the industry greats. It was especially significant for me to be aboard the Queen Mary. I wasn't aware of it last year but my great grandfather worked on the grand ocean liner. How cool is that?
Dinner was served speedily as everyone eagerly anticipated the announcements. Best Social Media Reach was the first to be called and I was in a bit of shock when I heard my name. As I made my way up to the stage the only thing I could think was, please don't let me fall! My heels and those high gloss hardwood floors were not a match made in heaven. I just want to say a big thank you to each and every one of my readers and social media followers. Your enthusiasm for tea makes it very easy to do what I do. Who wouldn't want to engage with such awesome people? Congratulations to all of my fellow nominees and winners! It was an honor to be on the same stage as all of you.
|Thanks for snapping this picture of me +Rachana Rachel Carter!|
I didn't win Best Blog but I was very glad that +Tony Gebely did. World of Tea provides a wealth of information for tea lovers, something that we all strive for. +Elyse Petersen won the well deserved award for Best Industry Innovator. She's a mover and a shaker, exactly what this industry needs! The Cha Ching Lifetime Achievement Award was officially renamed in memory of John Harney. Many of us felt his absence this year and it made me a bit misty eyed to hear so many wonderful memories shared. The award was presented to James Norwood Pratt this year. I could truly listen to that man talk about tea for hours and his acceptance speech was one for the ages.
Although there were several mentions of John Harney's passing, I was disappointed that not a single mention was made of Steven Smith. He was an industry innovator in his own right and his legacy deserved recognition. The rest of the night was a whirlwind of warm hugs, congratulations and fun photo booth moments.
|Some of my favorite tea bloggers|