Live from the Expo: Tuesday
a long o), kimono is Japanese." I've corrected the information below. Many thanks to my friend Jan for emailing the information! :)
My taste buds were happy when I sampled some Korean tea from Hankook Tea USA, Inc. This was my first time trying Korean tea, and it was quite pleasant. I tried a green and a heavily oxidized oolong that had just been prepared. My experience with greens is limited, but the delicate airy feeling of this was wonderful. The oolong was different from the Taiwanese and Chinese oolongs (for that matter, it was different than Indian oolongs). It’s hard to describe without having a cup in front of me, but it was slightly floral with a very smooth character. The women working at the booth were charming and full of great information. Their manager and resident tea expert was wearing a beautiful han bok. She and another woman explained the different characteristics of the teas they had along, which were displayed in rough-hewn ceramic bowls. They aren’t set up yet for online ordering, but hope to be soon. Korean tea can be tough to find in the U.S., but anyone who is interested can check out their website and order via phone or email.
I picked up a few free copies of the Country Register. This is a free newspaper that is available in regional editions throughout the U.S. and Canada. I wasn’t familiar before with this publication, but my friend Marilyn (aka Marmalady) has an article in the April-May 06 Annual Tea and Food issue of the Arizona edition. If any Arizona readers pick up this issue, look for Marilyn Miller on page 6.
I never was able to get to a Chado Chef demonstration (other than eavesdropping a bit on the outskirts for a few minutes). The recipes were available in a handout, though, and here’s the one I want to try:
Yunnan Dip for Vegetable Crudités
(chef Wm. Jarvie of Johnson & Wales University)
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk/sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Yunnan tea leaves
It doesn’t say how long to let it sit, or if the leaves need to be chopped/ground (I’m assuming not), just to whisk it all together. I’ll make an attempt soon and report back.
The winners of the iced tea competition were announced, and I noticed that Adagio, Cha Dao, and Rishi Teas all did very well. ITO EN also had quite a presence. If I read the winner’s label correctly, they took overall and won a couple of other categories. I posted about the Adagio bottled tea yesterday, and today I tried the Cha Dao bottled tea – the oolong and sencha teas were my favorite (very pure and clean) but it was their jasmine green tea that took 2nd place. Never got a chance to sample ITO EN’s teas, unfortunately.
I visited another acronym company’s booth, INT Co. Ltd., and was able to watch the Japanese tea master do his thing today, and it was quite interesting. There was a flat heated surface (about 3 or 4 feet across) with a large pile of fresh green leaves that he was gently lifting and sifting through his fingers. I heard someone nearby refer to this loose shaking as the drying and evaporating process.
The Tea & Coffee Trade Journal had a booth reserved that was just for attendees to sit and read (they had free copies of their journal available). I really appreciated having a place to sit, since finding a chair was difficult. It isn’t just the Tea Expo, it’s Las Vegas – if you’re not in front of a slot machine, it can be tough to find a place to rest your tired feet.
Something very new to me was finding out more about packaging and containers. There are companies that specialize in machines to boil large amounts of water, bag teas, or create boxes and tins that are personalized to one’s tea business. I stopped by the FUSO/NASA booth this morning to watch a spiffy tea packaging machine. They asked if I wanted a bag of tea, and I said “sure” thinking that they were going to give me one bag of tea. To my surprise, they handed me a sackful (big bag!) of bagged tea.
For those who’ve asked, I finally figured out a shortcut between my room and the Expo that takes me outside, so I can avoid the smoky casino stroll – yay! Still tough to find food, but I scoped out where the bagels are (breakfast tomorrow) and then had a nice veggie Sulu Stirfry at the Star Trek Experience.
I’ll post more either Wednesday or Thursday about my two favorite events of the day: one tea tasting with the Tea Board of India (a wonderful treat!) and another tea tasting with James Norwood Pratt. My schedule tomorrow is a seminar on Ancient tea forests in China -- then quickly checking out and catching my flight home.