Two weeks ago, the Aiya team had the chance to exhibit at the annual World Tea Expo. This show was held at the Long Beach convention center - only a short commute away from our office. As Platinum Sponsors of the show with a large 20’x20’ island booth, this show was very eventful and exciting for us. Not only did we have a huge booth, but we also held a Matcha seminar and participated in the show’s Winner’s Circle tasting event.

Speaking of excitement, there was an obvious trend this year at the World Tea Expo, and it was—you guessed it—Matcha. There were way more exhibitors, compared to last year’s show, displaying their Matcha powders and products. Even the attendees were more knowledgeable about this beautiful jade green tea.  Everyone seems to be hopping on the Matcha train and we couldn’t be happier!

Because of our brand new booth, we also had a new counter thrice the size of our usual. Because of this, we were able to sample out more drinks than we normally do. Alongside our usual hot Ceremonial Matcha, Iced Matcha to Go and Matcha latte, we also sampled out a rooibos latte made with our Rooibos Zen Café Blend, a black tea latte made with our Black Tea Zen Café Blend, and soft launched our brand new product: the Aiya Taster’s tea bag line. Our newest line of tea bags consists of three organic flavors: Gyokuro, Matcha Infused Sencha, and Matcha Infused Genmaicha. The tea bags received tons of compliments on their quality and full flavor, with our favorite being: “Wow! This much flavor from a tea bag?”

Aside from making new friends and chatting with our existing customers, we also participated in some fun events at this show. First, our very own Michael Kaneko held a Matcha introduction seminar in which the participants not only learned about Matcha, but also had the chance to make their own bowls of Matcha. This seminar was a huge success, with a full room of attendants, and a surprise session at the end on how to make Koi-cha with our Premium grade Matcha. Another event we participated in was the Winner’s Circle, where winners of the 2014 North American Tea Championship had the chance to sample out their winning teas. From there, attendees stopped by to try out and vote for their favorite teas from the competition. We were very excited to hear that our Matcha Infused Genmaicha had won the blended green tea category.

The World Tea Expo has always been a fun and eventful show for us, and this year was no exception, especially with our new booth. Next year, the show is heading back to Las Vegas – its previous home. We can’t wait to see what this show has in store for us in 2016!