tea tastingAmong the many exciting activities and events that thrilled attendees of the World Tea Expo at the end of June was a social meet-up for T Ching and International Tea Cuppers Club (ITCC) members and friends.  Billed as a “cup warming,” the gathering drew nearly 30 tea lovers from several countries to enjoy one another’s company at the Zen Lounge in the Las Vegas Hilton.

Besides sharing stories and camaraderie, the group also had the chance to taste several wonderful teas, courtesy of the ITCC and Glenburn Tea Estate.  Three in all, the teas we brewed included a first flush Darjeeling as well as second flush Darjeeling and a second flush Assam that were picked just weeks before.  Those present got a chance to sip and compare the differences between these flavorful teas.  A rare treat, Mr. Prakash, tea expert and owner of Glenburn Tea Estate in Darjeeling and the Khongea Estate in Assam, was on hand to discuss the finer points of tea production.

tea gardenAnkit Lochan, of Lochan Tea, and members of both organizations used the occasion to announce the official commencement of the ITCC’s Darjeeling First Flush Cupping Event.  Cupping Event sample kits will be shipped out from India shortly to 14 cuppers all over the world.  Cuppers will evaluate the samples from 10 different Darjeeling estates and offer their comments to the other members as well as to the suppliers and tea estates for their use.  It was revealed that the next Cupping Event will be of Assam Second Flush teas, with registration open for ITCC members at www.teacuppers.com.