There was so much to take in, over a month has gone by before we could articulate what we saw, sipped, and savored about the 2019 World Tea Expo held in Las Vegas, Nevada this year. It was a hot one but this was the last year the event will be held in the desert. Starting next year, the World Tea Expo and Conferences will be held in Colorado.
The first conference we attended was about someone who started an online store. We were interested to see what this person had to say about their experience as they had only been in business within the last decade and we have seen people come and go quickly through the tea industry because tea never delivers on the dream that people come up with for their love of tea. I was shocked at the amount of finances and struggle this particular entrepreneur poured into her business in the beginning. We probably should have taught that class.
The next class was a guy who is revolutionizing the tea world with his methods. Look out for Nathan Wakeford of Somage Fine Foods. He blew our minds with his innovative science on how to brew tea. Heating the cup first, using a lower water temperature (190f) and less time to steep. He suggested a minute and a half. And of course, use filtered water.
The Cocktail Chemist brought up the amazing Butterfly Pea Flower that is all the rage this year in the tea world. The amazing fact about this particular tasteless flower is the color transformation it creates when paired with different organic compounds. You might expect a yellow colored beverage to turn green since the flower emits an amazing blue color. Instead it may turn an amazing hue of magenta. This is when I realized the new trend in the tea world is young men with science labs built at home. These guys are as nerdy as they come and you really have to be a nerd to appreciate tea at this level. If you do get a chance to experience the Butterfly Pea Flower, it will likely be infused in a cocktail. It’s just the latest fad in the world of tea.
By the second day of conferences and classes, the focus was set around the new FDA rules for packaging and labels we were convinced that we would close the doors of Necessitea by the end of 2019. But our supportive tea family stepped up and a few vendors on the floor helped us work out our worries about what these new rules will mean for the tea industry in the future. We can assume that many tea shops across the country will simply close since it will be extremely expensive for some to stay compliant.
By the last day one of the last conferences we attended was about infusing CBD which many of our customers have asked about. By the end of the conference we were convinced that we too would be infusing CBD into our teas. But then we went home and talked to some customers and the consensus was that they didn’t want a new product and to leave the tea alone. So if CBD comes to Necessitea, it will be farther into the future. But you can expect to see CBD’s appearing in future bottled beverages.
We walked the floor one last time and made sure to see the very well spoken James Norwood Pratt and take a few sips of the delicious Kombucha samples that Brew Dr served.