We are wrapping up our 2nd day at the World Tea Expo – This event is always a great source of first hand information we can take back to the store –
Yesterday, we attended a panel discussion with representatives of the Japanese Tea Farmers association on the post-earthquake situation and how tea farmers and supplies are being affected – This was current information and helped assuage the fears of many
Kerstin spoke this morning to over 100 tea business owners on ways to improve their operations – here talk was one of the top 5 at this years’ expo
We tasted lots of interesting teas, great pu-erh, marvelous fruit blends, first flush darjeelings, 2nd flush that was picked two weeks ago and (below) an exquisite Korean green tea – we might have to mortgage the store to get this here but it is worth it!
The expo is full of sights , sounds (Taiwanese opera), tastes, and smells
More classes tomorrow and bags of materials to sort through – now If I can just find that sample of Yunnan gold tip…..
On our trip to France, Robin and I visited the beautiful City of Strassbourg. Strassbourg is located in the Alsace region, the Eastern part of France -Â justÂ across Â the German city Kehl. In fact, Strssbourg has a tumultuous history, beingÂ conquered by the Germans, then the French, then the Germans and afterÂ Word War II finallyÂ became part of France.Â It is due to this backÂ and forth thatÂ the two cultures are blended in language as well as cuisine. Today, Strassbourg is the seat of the European Parliament andÂ is one of the finest capitals inÂ Europe, while at the same time still preserving its medieaval charm.
Part of this charm are the many tea houses that are called inÂ France “Salon de The” (pronouncedÂ “tay“). Originally aÂ salon was an exhibit of contemporary artists,Â but today, they areÂ meeting points for young and old who converse and enjoyÂ a fresh croissant or pain au chocolat over a cup of good tea. The atmosphere is cozy and offers a respite from the business of the day.
We found many different salons, from traditional to modern and enjoyedÂ the tea and wonderful pastries as well as the French hospitality!
Tea is probably the second most popular drink here in Germany next to “beer”….and maybe coffee.Â Whether it is tea bags or loose tea, you don’t have to seek out a specialty store to buy tea. You can find it inÂ supermarkets,Â bakeries, department stores, and even in toy stores, where I came across this creatively packaged tea assortment ofÂ herbal teas. “Mary’s littleÂ lamb” seems to have a love for tea and is enthusiastically promoting
– “I miss you tea” – appropriately packed in “blue”. ( even though I have no idea which herb could possibly take care of those feelings…..)
– “Get well real soon” fruitÂ blend withÂ extra power – antioxidant power that is!
-Â “Love Magic” – a blend for heavenly moments. I’d call that “Love Potion No. 9”!
-Â “Feel good wellness tea” to relax body and mind……so you don’t have to count sheep at night!
What a great tea gift for every occasion!
During my exploratory trip through Frankfurt, I came across a “Tee Geschwendner” tea store. This chain of teas stores has been around in Germany for a long time and has a couple of stores in New York as well.Â A few years ago, they tried their luck in Scottsdale, but without success.
Since I am always interested what new and innovative teas and tea products European tea stores have to offer, I stopped in and chatted with the very helpful store manager. Aside from a huge selection of teas and herbals blends, Â I also found a shelf with “tea liqueur”.
I knew that Germans often add a little brandy to their tea during the cold winter months, but had not heard of or seen tea made into an alcoholic product – what a nifty idea!
JustÂ leave itÂ to theÂ GermansÂ toÂ impart a little moreÂ “spirit” to an alreadyÂ spirited beverage……
We are spending some well deserved down time in Germany….where Â a long time ago the seeds for Souvia were planted im my mother’s kitchen.
During our time here we plan on exploring the tea-drinking habits of Germans. (bet you thought they only drink beer!). There are some interesting tea stores here, each with a unique character and product mix. From what I have seen so far, herbal teas are most popular.
While tea was something only consumed hot, the trend has shifted and iced teas can also be found on many restaurant menus. I must say, I was a little amused, when I saw the sign above! Here we had traveled 6000 miles to experience a different culture, only to find that globalization is alive and well…….