Daniel, Gu and QZ-croppedTo the delight of the general tea-loving public, tea festivals are popping up around N. America. Tea enthusiasts can meet and learn from tea professionals and dealers as well as find new, exciting teas to try. May 7th is the site for the Midwest Tea Festival and one of the many exciting events planned is a Cup Warming (an international tea tasting social) hosted by ITCC – International Tea Cuppers Club. Anyone who has been to the World Tea Expo in past years may be familiar with this event. Tea experts and authorities introduce the basics on teas from several countries and then all in attendance get to sample and taste an example of a tea from each region. Teas on the menu for this event are from China, Kenya, Japan, and India. As always, these events are free and open to everyone though space is limited.

DSC_1129-croppedAs the World Tea Expo returns to Las Vegas this June 15-17, tea business people and enthusiasts from around the world will convene to learn, share and taste. Once again it will be the site of 7th Annual ITCC Cup Warming at WTE. Tea experts from around the world will not only share their knowledge about teas from their countries but also prepare an example of an exceptional tea for our tasting and enjoyment. As last year, ITCC will take the main stage on the show floor. The event is scheduled for Thursday, June 16 from 3:30 to 5:00, and will be the perfect way to top off the day. This year’s presenters come from India, Japan, China, Australia and Kenya. They will be carrying several teas especially for this event. Again, as these events can be very well attended, RSVP’s are appreciated. dan@teacuppers.com.

APC_2647Last August, ITCC was honored to host its first Cup Warming at the Hong Kong Intl. Tea Fair. Director Dan Robertson set the stage which was then turned over to Mr. Wing Chi Yip who introduced a Sichuan Dark Tea and a delicious Dan Cong oolong by Mr. Huang Shuwei. Mr. Joydeep Biswas from the Tea Board of India introduced the tapestry of Indian tea after which a robust, tippy Assam black tea was presented by Mr. Swapan Banerjee of Luxmi Tea and Mr. Madhav Sarda from Golden Tips Tea prepared a delicate and floral Darjeeling. Naomi Komatsu from Kanes Tea Co. introduced a fruity-sweet Japanese black tea and also a unique purple tea the liquor of which changed color with the addition of lemon juice. Mr. C.K. Liew from the Tea Assn. of Malaysia presented a black tea as well as a tea flavored with Stevia. Ms. Peiris from the Tea Board of Sri Lanka introduced the tea growing regions of Ceylon tea and brewed up tasty examples of two different black teas. With better than expected attendance, the organizers were very pleased and have invited us back for a repeat performance. The Hong Kong Tea Fair is August 11-13 and there is a special delegation begin organized by ITCC for anyone interested in attending; 3 nights of hotel is paid for!! Please contact Dan Robertson for more details 630 961-0877.

Lastly, October 20-24 is the Xiamen Intl. Tea Fair and the venue for ITCC’s 4th annual Cup Warming there. With nearly 200 attendees last time, we expect another very exciting program this year. Presenters from around the world will brew up education and share their knowledge while attendees sip up the delicious teas. With teas from Assam, India to Yame, Japan there is something new for everyone. Join our Chinese and other international members for this delicious and informative event (not to mention the scores of tea vendors at the Fair). For those interested, ITCC sponsor World Tea Tours has organized a special oolong study tour that coordinates with the Xiamen Tea Fair with a special discount for ITCC members. Details on that can be found at the World Tea Tours website.