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World Tea Expo, 2012

May 30, 2012

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World Tea Expo 2011Later today I board a plane to take me to Las Vegas to attend the World Tea Expo. This will be my third year in a row attending, and I am looking forward to it. For me the Expo is a rare opportunity to focus entirely on tea, tea culture, and tea community, and it’s a refreshing break from the ordinary.

This year I will be helping Royal Tea of Kenya at their booth, and also with the Kenya segment of the Day of Origin presentations. This is the first year that Kenya is featured as a significant tea origin, although it is fourth largest in worldwide tea production. Joy Njuguna has a great deal of fantastic information to impart, about the emerging specialty tea market, and her connection to the lineage of tea production.

One of the things that has become increasingly clear to me over the past several years is that the tea industry is driven in some significant ways by personal relationships. Having so many tea people converge in one place each year allows for reminders of these connections, and in many cases allows for the opportunity to meet people in person with whom I have only had online interactions with. If you’re also going to be there and run into me, please introduce yourself or track me down through social media. I’ll be easy to find.

Up until a couple of years ago I thought I’d be able to avoid the inhospitable crucible of human misery that is Las Vegas entirely, but I found when I visited the first time that it wasn’t as horrible as I anticipated. This was in large part due to the Expo itself, which is such a great experience.

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