One of the easiest and most fun ways to get to know, understand, and appreciate tea is through an already established “Tea Network.” Many tea enthusiasts stay in touch through well-known social media sites — FaceBook (www.facebook.com/TheTeaAndHatLady), Instagram (The Tea And Hat Lady), and LinkedIn (http://linkedin.com/in/marcella-farina-11158919). To me the best way to know tea is to attend regional, national, and international tea events. It is at these events that you get to know the tea growers, tea importers, and the developers of tea products and accessories.
My favorite gatherings of tea people are two regional gathers and one National/International event:
PA Tea Festival — held this year in Mechanicsburg PA on September 27 and 28. The setting is in a unique herb/tea room garden filled with vendors and tea educators covering all aspects of the industry. The two-day tea event is one of kind for tea enthusiasts near Central Pennsylvania; although there is talk that other regional tea festivals are in the near future for neighboring areas. If you interested in tasting specialty teas, herbal speciality teas, an outstanding garden themed tea luncheon while highlighting the afternoon with a cup of Japanese Matcha tea professionally prepared —- this is the event for you!
Mid Atlantic Tea Business Association — is a professional association of tea business people from Pennsylvania, DC, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia who meet quarterly to visit other tea businesses while inspiring one another and sharing tea ideas and trends with colleagues. The next meeting will be held on Monday, July 22, 2012 at General Warren Tavern, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. For details on this meeting and MATBA’s activities visit the website www.matba.org. Just a note to perspective MATBA members, you will usually find a MATBA representative at the PA Tea Festival, World Tea Expo, Speciality Tea Classes and several of the other regional tea festivals.
World Tea Expo (WTE) — This is the greatest annual National/International tea event held within the United States attended by internationally known tea growers, importers, blenders, social media experts, and educators — just to name a few that come quickly to mind. Oh yes, and we cannot forget to mention the world renown tea authors — Jane Pettigrew, Norwood Pratt, Bruce Richardson, Michael Harney, Linda Gaylard, and Keven Gascoyne — just to name a few. WTE is the event where tea education certification programs are conducted and graduates recognized for their accomplishments within the world of tea. Needless to say this particular event is knowledge/experience packed three days that is the desire of every tea professional, no matter their function in the industry.
So until the next Net Working Opportunity, I am
The Tea and Hat Lady
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