I tried out many of the different types of tea from green tea, to fruity tea, to British tea, to iced and sweet teas. Some of my favorite exhibitors were Harney & Sons, Honest Tea, Green Cura, T Salon, Tavalon, and Fang Gourmet Tea. One of the most unique but delicious flavor was Matcha Cappuccino tea. I also enjoyed the little nibbles that went with the tea, from Walker’s Shortbread and gluten free cookies.
As for the coffee, I really liked Peet’s Coffee & Tea (which is based in California so I know it well), Teabean White Coffee was interesting and tasty, Think Coffee and European coffees- both hot and iced.
I also had the chance to sit in on a couple of demonstrations. The first was about creating coffee-and-tea infused desserts which was presented by celebrity chef Melody McGinley Whitelaw. She was sweet and charming, and let us try some of her creations: Brown rice with edamame & carrots made with tea; bread with coffee cream cheese but my favorites were the chocolate bread pudding and amazingly delectable coffee-filled brownie.
The other demonstration was about making Tea Cocktails, with Tea Sommelier Chris Cason (co-founder of Tavalon). Chris was dynamic, fun and a great speaker. He showed us several different recipes for tea cocktails, using vodka, gin, brandy and other alcoholic beverages.
One tea cocktail that looked good was made with red tea, orange rind with cloves. Another one was a sweet iced tea and vodka drink. We actually got to try one of the tea cocktails: “SmarTEAni” which is a white mint tea steeped in vodka for 45 minutes with Korean plum sweet flavoring. It was truly delicious and didn’t taste of alcohol at all (a plus for me.)
I had a really good time trying new and unique flavors of teas and coffees, and the nibbles of cookies, cakes, cheese, more. There were a couple of demonstrations I would’ve liked but missed: Green Teas of China, Korea & Japan; Artistry of Afternoon Tea and Coffee Cupping/Tasting. But the ones I did see were enjoyable: Interesting and fun. I would definitely make it a point to go again next time!