The in-person tea events that I had been looking forward to this year have been canceled or rescheduled. On July 26th I attended my first virtual tea event, the Nomad Tea Festival. It was a great event and a much-needed bit of tea socializing. I was honored to be invited to speak but I was also able to attend several other presentations throughout the day.
What is the Nomad Tea Festival?
The Nomad Tea Festival was a virtual event organized by Soo Chung, a digital creator based in Melbourne, Australia. The missing was to build an inclusive tea community by connecting, engaging, and uplifting the diverse tea communities around the world to celebrate love for tea. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m so glad that I was able to participate.
The event was hosted on a unique platform called Hopin. It allowed people from all over the world to view, participate, and interact at the same time. There were presentations scheduled throughout the entire day. The range of topics was truly diverse so there was something for everyone.
I particularly enjoyed A Bridge of Opportunities – Connecting Water and Tea by Michael Hemling. Water is such an important component of tea so it was great to get the perspective of a water sommelier. He recommended using fresh spring water with a neutral pH and low TDS levels. How to Enjoy a Sustainable Cup of Tea with Rui Liu, Elyse Petersen, and Kenneth Rimdahl was also interesting. The discussion was heated at times but it was an important one to have.
In addition to the presentations, there were vendor booths to visit. This part was a little confusing since you had to catch them when they were logged on to chat. I wound up having a nice convo with the guys from Wakoen. Ian from Yunomi joined in for a bit too. I did not have time to participate but there were also rooms where you could chat with other festival attendees. What fun!
I was invited to speak about how to get started tea blogging. I thought this was a perfect topic since I often receive questions about this. Given the goals of the Nomad Tea Festival, I tried to give a quick overview with a few deeper level topics that would help someone completely new. I also wanted to leave plenty of time for audience questions.
Soo assisted me with prerecording my session in order to avoid technical issues on the day of the festival. The Q&A was done live afterward. There were so many great questions! I received a lot of social media messages asking about a replay from those that missed it. You can catch my presentation as well as many others on the Nomad Tea Festival YouTube channel.
I want to give a big shout out to Soo for all of her hard work and dedication. She did everything herself and stayed up for a very long day to coordinate everything. Her love for tea and the communities connected by it really showed.
The Nomad Tea Festival was an amazing event and I hope that it becomes a yearly occurrence, even after we are able to go to conferences in person again. It was so exciting to be able to have a small part in it. This was a reminder of just how much I missed sharing tea with friends and a reminder that I should make more of an effort to video chat when I can.
Did you attend the Nomad Tea Festival? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!