Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Virtual Tea Summit, "What Now?"

COVID-19 has changed the way we do many things.   Virtual meetings have replaced 'in-person' ones.  Such is the case with the three-day Tea Summit sponsored by World Tea Conference/Expo and Questex Hospitality.  I recently received an e-mail inviting me to register for the summit free of charge, so I did.

Monday was the first day of five sessions with informative speakers, and it continued yesterday and will conclude today.   I have enjoyed it immensely.  Approximately 2,000 people are attending from around the world, so the sponsors are very pleased with the response and success.

Prior to the start of the summit, Matcha Organic Japan, Co. Ltd. offered free samples of their high grade Matcha to US attendees who requested it so they'd have it to accompany their presentation on day 1.  I requested a sample, and mine arrived via Elmwood Inn Fine Teas in Danville, KY.  I'm hoping that means they'll be a source for this tea.

During the 2016 Michigan Tea Tour, we visited the Japanese Cultural Center in Saginaw, and were part of a Japanese Tea Ceremony.  That was my first time to taste Matcha and it definitely wasn't love at first taste.  I concluded it must be an acquired taste.  But after tasting Matcha Organic Japan's delicious tea, I now know it's all in the quality of the tea.

Matcha Organic Japan is a group of tea farms in the village of Nabeshima in Shizuoka, Japan that came together to form a cooperative.  Matcha [or Tencha as it's called before the leaves are ground] needs to be grown in the shade and requires a lot more effort than other teas.  The tea is organic and is not grown with pesticides or herbicides.  The founder of the company was the 4th presenter on Monday, and showed how to prepare Matcha [quantity, water temp., whisking, etc].  

I have a Japanese Tea Ceremony gift set that contains a chawan [tea bowl] and chasen [whisk], but I put it in such a safe place, I couldn't find it to prepare my tea sample for Happy Hour on Monday!  Even without proper whisking, it was still delicious.  

We learned that tea consumption is up during COVID-19 for health purposes as well as comfort.  And Millennials lead tea demographics with 87%, and Baby Boomers close behind at 80%.

Yesterday's summit began at 2:00 o'clock and the first presenter was Sebastian Michaelis, Head of Tea at Tata Consumer Products [home of Tetley Tea].  Tata is the second largest tea packer in the world.  As a professional tea taster, Sebastian was incredibly interesting and I enjoyed his presentation very much.  Did you know your taste buds are more astute in the morning, and they regenerate every two weeks?

Fortunately, each day's sessions will be available for attendees to watch online after the summit has ended, which is good for me since I was only able to watch the first session yesterday.

As mentioned in my last post, my 93-year-old maternal aunt is dying of cancer, and I decided I should visit her yesterday while she's still alert.  The cancer is spreading rapidly [it's now in her lungs as well as liver and bones] and she's very frail.  I'm not a tower of strength when it comes to these kinds of situations, and I was really concerned about keeping my emotions in check while in her presence.  But I needn't have worried, because she was happy, smiling and upbeat the entire time I was there and her mood was contagious.  She's the perfect example of what every Christian should strive to be like during their last days on earth.  We sang hymns together and had the best visit.  If this is what's meant by "dying grace" then it's what I want when my time comes - perfect peace, perfect rest, no worries or fears - just ready to meet Jesus.  She's always been a big tea drinker, and I'd like to give some credit to the calming virtues of tea, but in reality it's all about her personal relationship with Jesus Christ and knowing she's ready to spend eternity with Him.

We're continuing to have some beautiful fall weather.  Last Sunday after church we drove by the church property and I took the photo below of a tree across the street.

The windows arrived and are installed, so now the brick can go up.  The architectural design of the building will be Mission style and this is only phase 1.  It's designed so it can be added to when numerical growth and finances increase.

It's time to get ready for day 3 of the virtual tea summit, so I'll sign off for now with wishes that all my readers have a wonderful day!


  1. Oh, lucky you to get to attend the tea summit! Please share more! And while I'm sorry to hear that your aunt's life is nearing the end, I'm pleased to hear of her grace and, most important, that she has a relationship with Christ! Progress on your church is fun to watch, and that tree, wow! We postponed our trip to Wisconsin last week because of COVID, and I am missing seeing the beautiful fall colors (especially that glowing yellow-orange) I find only up north.

  2. I'm so glad you were able to visit your aunt and be cheered by her wonderful spirit. I pray for her comfort and peace.
    The tea summit sounded so wonderful but I knew I would not be able to watch due to my work schedule. I'm glad you were able to enjoy the matcha. I understand about the secret hiding place issue - I have one of those, too, and I wish I'd hurry up and find it!


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