World Tea Expo 2016

World Tea Expo 2016This time the World Tea Expo was held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s such a fantastic place, no wonder it’s called the entertainment capital of the world.

This was the perfect excuse for a family trip. My mother and two brothers came along and we stayed at the The Venetian hotel.

Day 1 of the World Tea Expo

I took a taxi to the Las Vegas Convention Center. It is located close to the Las Vegas Strip, where I was staying.

I attended two educational sessions that morning.

Re-evaluating tea educationThe first session was about re-evaluating tea education. The panelists included Darlene Meyers-Perry of the The Tea Lover’s Archives, Kevin Gascoyne of Camellia Sinensis, Austin Hodge of Seven Cups, James Norwood Pratt, and Jo Johnson of Scandalous Tea.

The session wasn’t long enough to fully cover the topic, but it was interesting nevertheless.

A particularly controversial statement came from both Kevin and Austin, stating that being certified wasn’t as important when looking for an employee in their business. They would rather train someone from zero, if he/she possessed a genuine passion and curiosity about tea.

The speaker for the next session I attented was Charles Cain, an experienced consultant. He talked about how to achieve scale in tea retail.

This involves finding the right location, the right concept (tea retail and tea beverage are different and require its own strategy) and the right funding.

After that it was time to head to the exhibition floor.

Sugimoto America booth wte2016My first stop was Sugimoto America.

Noli Ergas is a good friend of mine, and Kyohei Sugimoto always greets me warmly. Stopping at their booth is like visiting a friend’s house where I’m offered green tea each time.


gyokuro at Sugimoto America boothTheir iced-brewed gyokuro was just what I needed to start the day, and besides that I also tried the following teas that were under development: yuzu kukicha, sakura sencha, and roasted rice tea.

My favorite was the yuzu kukicha.

Noli gave me three teas that I hadn’t tasted before: shincha fukumushicha, shincha genmaicha with matcha, and asamushi sencha.

I’ll make sure to review them.

Aoi Matcha at WTE2016I needed some more caffeine, so I went to another familiar booth: Aoi Matcha.

There I met Andrew Ge, the assistant manager. He prepared a matcha for me, their matcha supreme, and it was very good.

Aiya at WTE2016How about another matcha? The next stop was Aiya Matcha, they are present at each World Tea Expo.

This matcha was also good tasting. It was just what I needed.

After that I went to another stand that was on my list.

Bitaco Tea WTE2016Bitaco Tea makes tea in Colombia, my home country.

They told me that their new tea processing machinery had been installed a few weeks ago.

I tried their black tea, and indeed it is even better than before.

Nagi at WTE2016I’m not really into coffee, but I had to take a look at Nagi.

The company calls it TeaCoffee, and it’s a blend of coffee and tea. Their blends include coffee with bancha, sencha, and houjicha.

I spoke with CEO Chika Izuta, she was surprised that I could speak Japanese. I really don’t speak it that well, but Japanese people are always thankful for someone that took the time to learn their language.

I liked the blend with houjicha, but still I prefer green tea by itself.

In the next post, I’ll continue writing about my experience at the Word Tea Expo.


  1. Alexsia Wilson
    June 22, 2016

    Yuzu Kukicha sounds so delicious!

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      June 22, 2016

      Thanks for your comment Alexsia.

      The yuzu kukicha had just the right amount of sourness from the yuzu.

  2. lochan
    June 22, 2016

    Great! I have had Yuzu in red (black) tea. A customer in Japan had gifted me one packet last year. Although I am not a great fan of additives I do love yuzu and thought it was pretty decent! Good for summer as a mizudashi tea.

    You met Kevin too I see. Tea world is small!!

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      June 23, 2016

      Hi Lochan

      I’ve tried the black tea with yuzu too, it’s meant to work as an Earl Grey.

      The tea world is small, but hopefully we can make it bigger 🙂

  3. Geoff (Steep Stories)
    June 25, 2016

    Duuuuude, that Yuzu Kukicha was amazing.

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      June 25, 2016

      It sure was!

  4. Raúl
    June 27, 2016

    A great experience, I’m sure. Did you have the chance to taste Bitaco’s green tea?

    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      June 27, 2016

      Hi Raúl

      This time I didn’t, unfortunately.


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