Tuesday, June 3, 2014

World Tea Expo 2014: Day 2

The first thing that I did in the morning of my second day in Long Beach was make tea. I was staying with a bunch of tea friends so we all enjoyed a bit of Rou Gui. I'm not a coffee drinker but a nice roasty cliff tea will usually do the trick. The show did not open until 11:00am so I took my time getting ready and grabbed a bus to the convention center.

Before getting to explore the expo much, I had a chance to grab some afternoon tea on the Queen Mary with +Nicole Schwartz+Jen Piccotti and Tegan of +Amoda Tea. Their full tea service didn't strike my fancy so I opted for a gravlax sandwich, corn chowder and crème brûlée for desert. The room was elegantly appointed and our view of the waterfront was every enjoyable. However, I was sad to see that the tea was served in a fold over tea bag and left to sit the whole time. We fished our bags out with spoons even though it felt a bit uncouth so that we could avoid having a bitter cup.




Now that I was recharged, it was time to hit the show floor. I had a bit of a different strategy for this event because it was my first World Tea Expo. Rather than spending the entire time snapping pictures and cataloging things, I decided that I would focus more on the people there. Bloggers sometimes forget to live in the moment because we are so busy chronicling our experiences. Not to worry, there will still be plenty to report.

The show was large but manageable in size. I've been to trade shows that were dizzyingly large but this one had a good balance. I really loved how wide all of the rows were. This kept things from feeling crowded even at the busiest moments. I ran up and down the aisles a bit just to get a feel for what was there. To be honest, nothing really grabbed me as particularly innovative. Of course there was still plenty of tea to sample so I was a happy camper.

After the show ended everyone started migrating to the networking reception. After hearing stories about last year's awkwardness I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Much to my surprise there was a disco cover band and a convoy of local food trucks. Ever a sweet-tooth, I ordered a grilled smores sandwich. The music was a bit too loud to really be able to network but there was lots of great conversation once their set was over.

If you missed it, make sure that read about Day 1!

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