Thursday, June 16, 2016

World Tea Expo: New Product Showcase and Regional Events

I've been in Vegas for a day-job conference, and it happened to coincide with World Tea Expo! Lucky me! I was able to pop in to the Expo Hall for a (much too short) lunch break.  Here are some of the things I found in the New Product Showcase area.

Meet Erica and her team. Erica has begun a lifestyle and accessory line based on tea. She wants to promote the positive aspects of a tea and a healthy lifestyle. I love the idea and wish her much success! (going live later this week). 

This is Thao.  She has developed a line of certified organic tea blends. Her blends are scented and flavored with natural oils and dried fruits, no sweeteners. She's a CPA by educational background and wanted to open a business aligned with her passions of health and being aware of what we consume. I loved chatting with Thao about labeling laws and the importance of transparency for consumers.

Now meet Suil. He is bringing to market powdered Japanese teas (organic), including teas beyond the traditional. There's matcha, of course, but also powdered sencha, genmaicha and hojicha. He brought these teas to market because, despite the popularity of matcha, he couldn't find what he knew as good matcha tea in New York. The combination of his English and Japanese allows him to work directly with tea farms. I enjoyed the powdered hojicha quite a lot. Suil and I discussed the froth-potential of the powdered teas. He felt that matcha was the only one that frothed as it should for a traditionally-whipped bowl. To make the others, he shakes them in a pitcher and that suspends the particles in the water.

At the booth below, I sampled instant teas that dissolve in cool water. While I don't think this product is for me (I'm all about interacting with the leaf), I think that this product has a market. I sampled the pu-erh tea crystals. They also carried rose, white, green and black tea crystals.

This booth also displayed a cool tea canister.  Inside were tea sachets.

And finally, perhaps the most interesting business concept I encountered was that of a tea curator.  I met Izaak and his colleague in the registration line.  They both live in a small town in Wyoming. Izaak curates tea for folks who are interested in drinking the good stuff. Along with high quality teas, he brings tea education to his clients who don't have a local source of good teas.

There were many other interesting new products, and I didn't have time to see them all but you can see the full list here

Also, a word about the World Tea Expo: It's an industry conference for trade professionals and press. It's not open to the public. Most of the vendors are building relationships and hoping to land new contracts. Read more about the attendance policy here. This is an important conference for the business of tea.  For those of us interested in tea conferences that are open to the public, there are a number of regional ones that are quite excellent.  See this list.


Marilyn Miller said...

Thanks so much for this post, Steph! I really miss not being there, so each glimpse it such a thrill to see and read about.

Teafan said...

It's important for the industry to both hold on to tradition AND to innovate. Glad to see these innovative leaders!

Rosemary said...

How fortuitous to be in Las Vegas when WTE was also there. Thanks for your report. Looks like there are a lot of interesting up and coming tea products!

Margie said...

Thanks for sharing these cool new tea products. Hope they make their way north of the border!

Geoff said...

Great seeing you briefly!

Nora @ Teacup Tales said...

I've always been curious about the happenings at the World Tea Expo. Since I'm not in the industry, this is my first glimpse. Love to see the creativity and continued passion surrounding tea. Hope to go to a "regular" tea festival this fall. Thanks for sharing!

Felice Ferenz said...

Superb post.I love tea and your post so nice i like it very much.