You like tea, I like tea, let's drink tea and explore together.

I started this blog in 2009 as a way to help spur me to learn ever more about tea, a product I'd come to love dearly over the previous year.

Through this endeavor I've made friends, learned a whole lot about tea… it's history and the predominant cultures which grow it, been invited to the World Tea Expo, been on panels about tea blogging and travelled the United States sipping tea everywhere I go.

In 2012 I launched Teaity.com, a website devoted to helping other tea drinkers discover the joys of their own tea journeys and build their own new experiences while chronicling each step for themselves.

Followup: 2015 World Tea Expo Foodie Tour

The 2015 World Tea Expo was held in Long Beach, California for the second year in a row. The show itself will be covered in a separate post… but here, I'll provide a simple visual recap of the foods consumed outside the expo based upon my previous post, 2015 World Tea Expo Foodie Tour.

 

Aji Peruvian Cuisine

Yelp Profile

Aji was a wonderful initiation into the Long Beach scene. A nice sized local ethnic diner with a nice ambiance, great wine selection and a bunch of local beer on draught. None of that is what I would go for though. I had been curious if they had Horchata, a traditional latin american spiced milk drink… but they did not. Instead the waitress suggested a traditional Peruvian fruit drink which I instantly acquiesced to. Damn if it wasn't so good that I forgot to take a photo!

All the food at Aji was delicious, but it was the company which truly made the night. Nicole, Phil, Jason, Timmy, Rachel and I had a brilliant time chatting and letting loose a bit after the first day of the expo.

Aji Peruvian's Interior

Aji Peruvian's Interior

Aji Peruvian's Beer List

Aji Peruvian's Beer List

WorldTeaHouse and The_Devotea_USA

WorldTeaHouse and The_Devotea_USA

Jason and Jimmy

Jason and Jimmy

Me and iHeartTeas

Me and iHeartTeas

Aji-Peruvian-006

Aji Peruvian - Warm Caesar

Aji Peruvian - Warm Caesar

Aji Peruvian - Causa Spicy Tuna

Aji Peruvian - Causa Spicy Tuna

Aji Peruvian - Steak a lo Pobre

Aji Peruvian - Steak a lo Pobre

Aji Peruvian - Shrimp Chaufa My Way

Aji Peruvian - Shrimp Chaufa My Way

Aji Peruvian - Arrocito Short Ribs

Aji Peruvian - Arrocito Short Ribs

 

Beautiful Flan

Beautiful Flan

Aroma di Roma

Yelp Profile

Aroma di Roma is how we started day two of the expo. Who can resist such a wonderful breakfast! The service was a bit slow, but I don't believe they expected a sudden troupe of seven invading their space on a Thursday morn. I chose to go with a nice Machiavelli Machiatto, which was much more sweet than I imagine Machiavelli ever truly was. The service was a bit slow, but when the food came to us it was all wonderful!

Great conversation from all in attendance, and a good ribbing here and there made for a lively and relaxing morning.

Rajiv Lochan, Phil Holmans, Michael Petersen, Rie Tulali, Jason McDonald and Timothy Gipson in attendance for the meal.

Aroma di Roma

Aroma di Roma

Aroma di Roma

Aroma di Roma

Aroma di Roma

Aroma di Roma

Aroma di Roma

Aroma di Roma

How cool is this wall graffiti?

How cool is this wall graffiti?

Aroma di Roma

Aroma di Roma

Tealet's Michael and Rie and WorldTeaHouse

Tealet's Michael and Rie and Phil from World Tea House

Oh, delicious noms…

Oh, delicious noms…

Breakfast Panini, Sexy Style, with fruit

Breakfast Panini, Sexy Style, with fruit

Breakfast pizza no Bacon (Raji Lochan's)

Breakfast pizza no Bacon (Raji Lochan's)

Breakfast pizza w/Bacon

Breakfast pizza w/Bacon

Adobo Taco Grill

Yelp Profile

For dinner on the second night the group was split. Many at the expo had arranged to attend the North American Tea Championships award ceremony that evening and so it was just Phil from World Tea House and myself. Not a bad pairing at all if you ask me. We chose to hit a well regarded neighborhood taco place up in Lakewood for dinner and didn't regret one bite!

Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill - Taco Medley, Vampiro & Cucumber Drink

Adobo Taco Grill - Taco Medley, Vampiro & Cucumber Drink

Adobo Taco Grill - Carnitas Tacos (Un-topped)

Adobo Taco Grill - Carnitas Tacos (Un-topped)

Tacos Carnitas @ Adobo Taco Grill

Tacos Carnitas @ Adobo Taco Grill

Adobo Taco Grill - Burrito (Inside)

Adobo Taco Grill - Burrito (Inside) - Shrimp & Steak (Surf & Turf)

Adobo Taco Grill - Burrito

Adobo Taco Grill - Burrito

Blackbird Cafe

Yelp Profile

Friday morning required additional sustenance, but with no other breakfast place on the list this year, I folded back to my best breakfast from last year… at Blackbird Cafe!

Phile, Jason, Timothy and I had a wonderful breakfast, if slow and somewhat imperfect service.

Tropical Toast

Tropical Toast

Eggs

Eggs

Benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold

Blackbird Cafe - Southwest Omelette

Blackbird Cafe - Southwest Omelette

Baja Fish Tacos

Yelp Profile

At the end of the day Friday the conundrum was whether to hit Los Angeles for some Korean BBQ (tasty noms) or to hit Open Sesame in Long Beach for some Mediterranean. With everyone famished from a long final day of expo, and an hour plus wait at Open Sesame for sufficient table space (for a group of nine), the group chose instead to hit a place across the street… Baja Fish Tacos.

I've been craving California's famous fish tacos for a long time, and this joint had decent, but I imagine not great tacos. The interior was a bit fast-food… is, but the quality was great.

The team from The Finest Brew's booth (one of the best in terms of tea quality this year) met us for dinner and one of the brothers was celebrating a birthday! So, naturally… I bought him a beer. He chose Modelo. I went with a Dos Equis. Everyone enjoyed their meals. Natasha's salad looked freaking fantastic! I enjoyed both of my fish tacos (one blackened, one not), and about half of my burrito (chicken)…

I got so distracted in conversation, I almost forgot to eat. I had a great time running through the basics of American Baseball to the Finest Brew family who are all Cricket fans. They now better understand the complexities and need for strategy in baseball… AND why so few runs are scored in the sport.

In attendance: Nicole, Natasha, Rachel, Phil, … myself and The Finest Brew!

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos - Salad

Baja Fish Tacos - Salad

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja-Tacos-006

Baja Fish Tacos - Shrimp Platter

Baja Fish Tacos - Shrimp Platter

Baja Fish Tacos - Steak Nachos

Baja Fish Tacos - Steak Nachos

It was another completely wonderful year at the expo. With 2016 returning to Las Vegas, I am excited to post next Year's agenda and get everyone hyped for the absolutely fantastic eateries Vegas has, off the strip!

What do you think of our choices? Did your mouth water for some of these tasty tasty meals?

2015 World Tea Expo Foodie Tour

Each year at the World Tea Expo I have found a way to explore the local culinary scene. Whether it was in Las Vegas or it's in the Long Beach/Los Angeles areas there's been something special.

In 2014 I had Korean, Japanese, Russian, Cambodian, Mexican, Greek and Ethiopian. You can review last year's tour via my Yelp List.

 

By request of fellow expo attendees and bloggers I am sharing my tour list for the 2015 World Tea Expo from a culinary perspective and not guaranteeing the tea quality. As usual I will try to focus on mom and pop shops instead of chains as that is where my passion lies. While the area is full of Asian eateries with quality… I am going to try and pick from a fair spectrum of culinary interests. After the Expo, you can check this year's list for my reviews of where I went.

 

The following establishments are in alphabetical order, and this agenda does not have dates set. The list is not extensive, and -not- all places will be visited by me while at World Tea Expo 2015. I welcome all to join me for one or more meals.

 

The Choices

Each of these places attracted me for different reasons. Some are up in LA, others are in Long Beach, closer to the expo and where most everyone is staying.

Adobo Taco Grill

This place on the eastern side of Long Beach looks killer! I crave authentic Mexican as well as California's famous fish tacos. What's not to love here? To top it off, the place has maintained a 5 star rating across hundreds of reviews. Not a fluke.

Yelp Profile

Aji Peruvian Cuisine

I always like to discover new cultures through their cuisine. I believe we can learn things about how they are as a people based on how they subsist with food and beverage. I've had Peruvian before, but Aji looks something special and I am very excited to discover the heart of Peru from right in the heart of Long Beach.

Yelp Profile

Araya's Place

This Thai vegan restaurant up in LA caught my eye. I love spicy foods, Thai has that. I love exploring vegetarian and vegan dishes because there's something limiting about always being required to present a meat. And, frankly the reviews of their noodles are fantastic. And who doesn't LOVE good noodles?

Yelp Profile

Aroma di Roma

This little gelato cafe has one of the highest rated breakfasts in Long Beach. That's really all I needed to know.

Yelp Profile

Bacaro LA

I went looking for unique places where I could try a variety of things at a reasonable price. Plating had to be beautiful, reviews needed to be good and the menu had to have things that sounded and looked delicious. Here's Bacaro LA up in Los Angeles.

Yelp Profile

Carreras Cemitas

"A second Mexican place?" you ask! Well, we're in Southern California! Where else but Mexico will we find truly authentic Mexican food? And Carreras Cemitas has a high rating across significant reviews. I'm sold!

Yelp Profile

Genwa Korean BBQ

The Seoul of Los Angeles is Koreatown. No two bones about it. And Genwa is one of the most respected charcoal BBQ locations in Koreatown… which is truly saying something. Certainly a drive from the World Tea Expo down in Long Beach, but… WELL worth the drive!

Yelp Profile

Pier 76 Fish Grill

Pier 76 is a fairly rated seafood establishment with decent prices near the expo. Really… that's all I was looking for here, and I think this should turn out well.

Yelp Profile

Pizza Studio

"Pizza?" you ask incredulously… "I thought we were going on an adventure here!?!" Calm down friend! Pizza has its staples and its adventures. Just like the tea world does. Pizza Studio lets you build your own pizza pie, with unlimited toppings for a flat price. What could be cooler than building a bunch of different pizzas and sharing slices of each others' creations? Nowhere near the expo though, we'll be headed to LA for this one!

Yelp Profile

Open Sesame

Vegetarian friendly mediterranean deliciousness! I always like to have a go-to place for some tasty hummus, fresh baked pita and a well fired shish! Open Sesame is on the southern side of Long Beach, with high quality reviews and delicious looking food.

Yelp Profile