Sugimoto America opened a booth for Japanese green tea education at the annual World Tea Expo. Our Tea Maestro Hiroyuki Sugimoto and his wife, a hand-rolled tea artisan herself, Kazue Sugimoto, were both in attendance and talked tea with people from around the world. We invited people to our booth to learn about the different varieties of Japanese green tea, best brewing practices, and growing regions in Japan. We also showed pictures and videos of tea farming and manufacturing, and of course served people tea! The highlight of the Expo was certainly the Temomi Cha (hand-rolled tea) cupping event where over 30 people from around the world were able to try Temomi Cha that Kazue made in Japan and served right there in Las Vegas.
The SA booth this year was a little different from previous years with tables and stools to sit down and talk about tea, do tastings, and look over literature on tea with our visitors. Many people learned about tea varieties new to them and became more familiar with tea growing practices. We also had a chance to share the story of our farmlands’ designation by the United Nations as a GIAHS region. (For more information on the sustainable farming practices that garnered this honor, please see our previous blog post).
On Friday night of the Expo, SA was featured in the ITCC‘s (International Tea Cupping Club) Cup Warming Social, a special event where attendees had a chance to try exceptional teas from around the world. Our very own Kyohei and Kazue Sugimoto were asked to demonstrate Temomi Cha (hand-rolled tea) for the eager audience. Kyohei explained how Temomi Cha production requires artisans with years of experience. Eleven such artisans gathered in Shizuoka for the annual Temomi Cha making event, and, after working a 10 hour day, only four pounds were produced between all of them. The cost of Temomi Cha is thus ~$1,000/lb! Attendees had the opportunity to be have tea served by one of those artisans, Mrs. Kazue Sugimoto. A very small stock of Temomi Cha from this year’s event is still available on our online store. Act soon!
Thank you to everyone who came to our booth or talked with us elsewhere at the show. We hope to see you again at next year’s Expo!