Thursday, June 8, 2017

World Tea Expo, here I come again!

Has it been five years already? 

I’ll be off to Las Vegas next week for the World Tea Expo (June 13-15).  It’s gonna be tea, tea, and MORE TEA for three days straight!  Woohoo!  Or even more if you’re going to attend the pre-conferences programs such as the Tea Business Boot Camp.  I can't this year.



The World Tea Expo is an industry only B2B (business to business) conference. It's comprised of Core Conference Seminars, Skill Building Sessions, Focused Tasting and Workshops in expertise levels from beginners to advanced. 
The last time I went was five years ago! I look forward to checking new products, making new contacts, seeing old friends, and meeting new tea friends while I'm learning more about tea!
Still working on my agenda but here is a sampling of sessions and activities that I am looking forward to so far:

Dan Bolton’s What Moves the Needle in Retail: New innovation /Trends. 
Dan is very knowledgeable and experienced in the tea and coffee industry. He’s also the editor and publisher of the Tea Journey Magazine to which I have contributed and am helping with their social media marketing. So of course, I will be there to share cool tidbits from his talk. He looks serious here, but Dan can be a lot of fun...
Photo from Tea Journey Magazine Facebook page
Hawaii- a New Frontier for Tea Farmers.  I’ve never been to Hawaii but a trip is planned for the fall, so I am curious to hear more about tea in Hawaii.

Panel Discussion about Public Tea Festivals (since I am on the organizing team of the Toronto Tea Festival, it’ll be great to get some pro tips from other tea festival organizers)

Kevin Gascoyne’s "Take it to the Field? The Tea Studio Project".  Kevin is a great speaker! 

There will be a networking cocktail reception on opening night and then the World Tea Awards the next day. Some learning, some fun, why not! Might as well make something happen in Las Vegas while I'm there!

There are off-shoot conferences that take place during the expo such as the Tea Bloggers Round table where writers and bloggers will gather, share and learn from each other.

Look closer at the poster, do you see me? I’m on the panel!

I hope to make some time to go check out the Strip, have a really awesome meal or two, not sure if I can fit in a show, though.   

So, excuse me as I need to finish selecting seminars to attend, check out which vendors will be there and start packing!  

See you in Vegas!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Master Class ~ Taiwanese Teas With Tillerman

I am quite involved in the tea industry, especially on the promotions and social media side.  Although I don't have a tea shop per se, I have managed social media for tea companies. I organize and handle social media for the Toronto Tea Festival, I've written tea articles, most recently for World Tea News, and currently I am the PR chair for the Tea Guild of Canada. Now, what is the Tea Guild of Canada, you ask?

Tea Guild Of Canada is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to fostering excellence in the world of specialty tea.  The mandate is as follows (from the website):
        We are committed to
            Educating members and the public;
            Exchange of ideas and sharing of resources;
           The creation of programs and events.

Ever since my tea sommelier classes finished, I have missed getting together with other tea sommelier/students and tea lovers to taste teas and advance my tea education. That's where the Tea Guild has filled the gap. 

Members are tea sommeliers, tea sommelier students and ethusiastic tea lovers in and around the Toronto area. We've brought in some awesome guest speakers for our members, e.g. Kevin Gascoyne of Camellia Sinensis, Raelene Gagnon of Tea and All Its Splendour, podcaster/blogger TJ Williamson of the World Tea Podcast and the latest, David Campbell of Tillerman Tea


David first contacted me through Facebook to ask for some tea shop recommendations to check out while he was in town from California. A Taiwanese Tea specialist, he's been in the tea business since 2007 and before that was in the wine industry for some 30 years...tea and wine, Taiwanese teas... I put them all together and my mind went bing! We should have him join us for a meeting!  I suggested this and he was game!  


A "Teas of Taiwan" evening was created!







I was there too! That's Linda Gaylard beside me! (Photo:Raelene Gagnon)


Map of Taiwan's Tea Producing Area 

Tea Anyone?
Wenshan Baozhong (a lightly oxidized oolong, heavenly aroma) 

Alishan (Meishan District)
Chinglin Gaoshan (Jade oolong)


Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) highly oxidized and roasted oolong
Notice the fuzzy white tip
Loved this one! Fruity, malty like darjeeling 
True Bai Hao has this fuzzy pekoe white tip attached the the leaf, look for this when you are buying Bai Hao
David also generously gave the Guild the Powerpoint presentation of his talk, 
you can view it here. Thank you David!

If you'd like a chance to (tea) geek out:
Join us This Thursday, June 1st at 6:30 p.m. 
at The Chef's House (George Brown College).  

Our guest speaker for this coming Tea Guild meeting will be fellow Certified Tea 
Sommelier, Michelle Pierce Hamilton of the new Tea Lounge and BeTeas of London, Ontario. 
Her topic will be Tea and Health. 



Click here for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

CATCH UP 2017

2017  So far sooo good!

Having a child has really taken the wind out of the sails of my blog writing, Two posts in the last two years!?  I promise to do better!  I haven't been sitting on my laurels in the world of tea however, so let me bring you up to speed.

Since travelling back west last year, I was busy busy at my day job while preparing for the Toronto Tea Festival!  It was the 5th Annual and it went off without a hitch.  I was one of the organizers and also handled social media, while my husband lent a hand taking pictures on the day and distributing posters in the weeks beforehand along with the team.  I love tea festivals and this one did not disappoint.  I bought so much tea!
Tea lovers lining up to get into the 5th annual Toronto Tea Festival
Hard working volunteers
Beautiful gaiwan waiting for tea

Tao Tea Leaf (co-sponsor of the Toronto Tea Festival and one of the best tea shops in town)
The winners of the TTF Tea Tasters Box Competition (#teaTastersBoxTO)
Some tasty tidbits to go with all the tea
Honey with tea? Perfect combo!
Dan Bolton of Tea Journey Magazine (Media sponsor)
Puer tea cakes on display (Jalam Teas)

The real spices that can be found in Chaiwala's chai

More shortbread! I HEARD these were really good, they were sold out by the time I got back to their booth. Sniff sniff...

CBC interviewing Kevin Gascoyne of Camellia Sinensis 
Linda Gaylard, The Tea Stylist & fellow Tea Sommelier 

Old guard and new guard. Laura Byran, retiring co-chair and Raelene Gagnon, new co-chair of the Tea Guild of Canada
 (co-sponsor of the TEA FESTIVAL)




Korean Tea Ceremony


Bill Kamula (co-chair of the Tea Guild of Canada and George Brown College tea program instructor) narrating the Chinese Tea Ceremony 

Japanese Tea Ceremony
Featured tasting competitions! Guess who got to steep, pour and mark papers…

After a busy and successful two days, time for some tea! Ahh....



This post featured photos by me and my guy, Drew Taylor: eclectic artist. You can see more of his work @drewtaylorphotos on Instagram.  What makes him eclectic? Writing, acting, directing, photography... drewtaylor.ca .