And with that, the 2013 World Tea Expo has come to a close. Bill, Michael, and I are all back in Minnesota, the booth has been torn down and packed away, and we're all looking forward to a really good night's sleep and to see our families again. That's not to say we didn't have a great time, and we certainly managed to make sure our last day was eventful. As mentioned in yesterday's post, Bill taught a two day course on tea processing using freshly plucked tea leaves flown in just for the class. Not only were the participants satisfied with their experience, but other WTE attendees were impressed with the logistics of getting fresh tea to Las Vegas and producing it in a convention center room. Quite the experience for everyone! Michael and I spent a little time walking the show floor and chatting with some of the other exhibitors before the Expo opened for the day. The variety of teas and tea accessories available on the market today is impressive, and it was nice to have a chance to talk to people about the growing tea markets all over the country.
The big event of the day, however, happened at our booth. Bill brought along a portable, variable-speed bandsaw and a log of 100 Taels Dark tea which was cut into pieces right on the Expo floor. After a short talk about Dark Tea, we pulled names from a basket and gave the pieces to the winners (we were in Las Vegas, after all). About 50 people crowded around our booth, clogging the isles and generally creating a scene. It was an experience I'm not likely to forget! We didn't have time to take too many pictures while we were here, but we did get a few and we'll post them on Facebook [and the blog] in the next few days. We're already looking forward to our next trade show, so be sure to check Beyond the Leaf often to catch all of our updates! -Timothy Otte Assistant Wholesale Manager