The World Tea Expo was moved from Las Vegas to Long Beach, California this year. I've never been to this area of the country and it holds a great deal of interest for me to explore in terms of its culinary and cultural scenes. I' pretty jazzed to have the chance to be out here for a week.
However, my first few days will be at the World Tea Expo doing tea things and pimping Teaity a bit to those who haven't heard of it yet. While I still feel uncomfortable at times interjecting Teaity into opportunities and conversations, I've learned it's a necessity and I kinda gotta get over it.
Day 1 started with a great breakfast on my way to the Expo at a place called the Blackbird Cafe. Based on some Yelp reviews I determined my best option would be the Dos Caballeros which is essentially as double dose of Eggs Benedict with Mexican flare. It rocked my sox. I think it was the best sunny side up I've ver eaten. If you're in the LA/Long Beach area for breakfast or Brunch, this is where you want to be.
Upon arriving at the expo I collected my badge and set out to gather my blogger Press credentials, now with a little "heart" to signify we're permitted to take photos ?(an improvement over the past two years with a blanket "no photos" policy.
After running in to Jen Piccotti of An International Tea Moment and Dan Bolton of The Daily Tea (who recently had a near death experience of crazy hollywood movie value) I made my way back out to the rotunda. There I bumped in to Newman Johnston from Teas Etc and chatted a bit about Teaity and some of our efforts and upcoming plans.
After a few moments, along comes Nicole Schwartz owner of The Devotea USA and proud owner of the venerable @amazonv handle. We spoke about a bunch of stuff, but had fun early as the doors opened to the show floor and we started exploring. After a while we found ourselves at the Den's Tea booth where we snagged opposing photos of each other with the Den's Tea mascot and I promptly got distracted by some shiny packing options for a feature I've been thinking of adding to Teaity.
Sadly my iPhone ran low on battery and I was unable to take meaningful photos of other activities throughout the day, but I did make many new friends, rediscover some existing brands and open my mind to a couple new possibilities such as Hunan dark tea (similar or the same as a Hei Cha I had at TeaSource while at one of their locations in Minneapolis several years ago) and an interesting hand-rolled tea from Malawi by Satemwa.