World Tea Expo 2016 in Vegas witnessed a most dangerous disease. After a much-delayed six-flight journey through China, over incessant rain and torrential weather, my right index finger had blood oozing out at the Tealet party. There was a collective sigh of relief when it was discovered to be simply an excessive use of mobile, internet and Facebook. Worrisome? Yes, but the benefits were enormous. It was a GPS guide over the continents when you land like a rudderless Appollo 13 module. This made me luckier than Jason, who took two days to travel 1000 kilometres only compared to my almost 15000.
This year’s expo was a hit, and the biggest feature to me was a lecture on the “Future of Tea by 2050” delivered by Nigel. My personal thinking is that 34 years are not enough to wean away a beverage of 5000-years existence in one form to another. Two great Dans had the Tea Journey magazine launch on the evening before the Expo. I was busy with ITCC Cup warming, where we relaunched Rungneet A.K.A. Kanchanview Darjeeling mark in the U.S.
One grand personality at the show was Australian Tea Master’s Sharyn, whose son was with me in last November’s Chibi, China ITF for a week and it seems there is so much to do in tea marketing as we have just started the game. The need of the hour is to showcase the teas along with their stories and benefits. We have lagged behind over the years to other beverages.
On my way back home, I stopped over in Wenzhou for our Embassy’s China-India Culture Forum and on the 20th of June we showcased the historic ties of our two ancient civilisations and their interactions over tea, which have been continuing for the last 1500 years. Compare that to the 175 known today in western cultures. Prof. Wang Xufeng of the Zhejiang Agriculture & Forestry University presided over the show. The next day I did it in Fuzhou, as the flight rescheduling gave me a bonus day, and what a wonderful medicine bonus days are–they’re especially great at healing the Facebook Finger!