Ever growing audience of 60 tea enthuiasts gathered in Hall No. 256 of World Tea Expo this year on the opening 7th June 2013 day in Las Vegas to Cup Warming event organised by Babette Donalson in absence of Dan Robertson of International Tea Cuppers Club and the number of teas grew to five from Japan, Taiwan, India and its new member region Haiwaii.
Going by strength of teas we had first the newly introduced hand made teas from a non-tradional tea growing region of India called Doke from the province of Bihar – the land of Buddha – apropriately called Doke rolling thunder after the name of river Doke flowing thru the most north easternly region called Pothia of the administrative district of Kishangunj there. This is a very slightly oxidized oolong bordering white tea rolled by hand and dried thereafter under the sun and then by charcoal fire. Rajiv Lochan – the pioneer tea planter of this area – presented these teas while the chief brewer of the event was Phil Tea Holmans from Canada.
Then we had one hand rolled Tamomi cha from Japan presented by Sugimoto Corporation when the lady tea master Ms. Sugimoto who hand rolls the tea herself brewed it for the audience this year and son Kyohei explained the tea at length – for cost reasons only few drops per person were available for testing which were hughly enjoyed by the gathering. This tea is real expensive by all standards and is marketed by Sugimoto Corporation in America while the rest of family produces and packs this tea in their own plantation and factory in Shizhuoka area of Japan.
Next was an Alisan oolong from Taiwan produced by Mountain Tea Company – a family owned tea business – presented and explained by Chicco. A very delicate and rare tea – the family produces, packs and markets under their own brand name.
Glenburn was the next from Darjeeling and it was presented by its plantation manager Sanjay Sharma who attended the World Tea Expo for the first time where the famous Glenburn Resort Sudhir Prakash family regularly markets the tea and tea tourism from their booth very very successfully and Glenburn has become the hallmark of tea holiday. This tea was a pure delight and its name was also very appropriately Moonlight Delight.
These above four teas alongwith a presentation by Elyse Peterson of Tealet – the tornado fairy girl of Hawaii – on tea marketing by her revolutionary e-platform took up the total one hour alloted to us from 6.30pm. Her brother Michael documented the event alongwith Katherine Wilson of Word Source International.
On asking for an additional time the audience enjoyed one wonderfully looking silvery tipped clonal tea from famous Jungpana tea estate in Darjeeling which is the official tea of Japan Airlines. There was a scramble to get a share of small sample from the 300g tea pack sent by the garden Manager Mr. Mudgil through Rajiv Lochan of Lochan Tea.
To sum up it was a great event keeping in growing tradition of ITCC’s popularity in World Tea Expo every year since its inception in 2011. And we all missed Dan Robertson this year.