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!