Last year, the Taipei Tea expo was held by the City of Taipei and was a nice mix of tea culture and tea merchants. This year, at the Taiwan World Trade Center, it is 95% business. So, if you're planning to go there to repeat last year's experience, you're likely to be disappointed. It is more like a superstore experience. Within a couple of hours you can visit many more shops than you would if you were going from one address to another in Taipei (or Taiwan). It's good for busy businessmen, but not necessarily a plus for patient tea drinkers. On a positive note, this year's merchants were quite different from last year's. And I've also noticed that a strong presence of Mainland Chinese puerh companies.
A Japanese tea company had the good idea to show the different Japanese teas on one display:
I met Steven from Tea Arts and the Lu Yu institute. His group is providing one of the rare artful tea tasting at the Expo:
I also met François-Xavier Delmas, founder of the Palais des Thés (a tea chain in France). He kindly gave me his latest book: "Le Guide de dégustation de l'amateur de thé". He received some of my perfect Oriental Beauty in return.
And below, from left to right: Yunnan ladies making puerh, cold brew tea and buddhist monks making organic tea.
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