LAS VEGAS – The culinary world is gathering at World Tea Expo this May to learn how to showcase and profit from tea on the menu and at the bar, and through hosting tea tastings and experiences.
World Tea Expo (#WorldTeaExpo or #WTE15), the leading tradeshow focused 100 percent on premium teas and related products, takes place May 6 – 8, 2015 in Long Beach, Calif. at the Long Beach Convention Center.
Highlights of World Tea Expo culinary sessions include:
- Where Is Tea on Your Menu? – Raelene Gannon, president and founder of tea and all its splendour, will explore the benefits of incorporating tea into the menu (both hot and iced), and how to engage customers when talking about tea. Restaurants and other establishments will know to increase their tea offerings through specialty tea, and how to increase profits and customer satisfaction.
- The Big Chill in Premium Tea – Maria Uspenski, CEO of The Tea Spot, says many upscale restaurants and cafes now prepare their iced teas using the cold brew method. And foodservice professionals have touted the ease and flexibility of the process, as well as the finesse of the resulting flavor. At the conclusion of this session, attendees will have an understanding of what makes cold brew tea different and how it can play into restaurant and foodservice offerings.
- The Art of Food and Beverage Pairing – Cynthia Gold, tea sommelier at L’Espalier, says there is no food that cannot be enhanced with the ideal beverage pairing. In this session, Gold will demonstrate how finding effective pairings is fun, challenging and delicious. While focusing on pairing tea, the presentation will cover the basic concepts behind pairing food and beverages, and how to use them to guide choices.
- Marriages Made in Tea and Dessert Heaven – Robert Wemischner, food writer and chef, author of The Dessert Architect, says nothing’s better than a properly brewed cup of tea paired with a dessert tailor-made to bring out the best in the tea. In this class, get those taste buds soaring by exploring many felicitous pairings. Recipes and tips will be included with suggestions for specific pairings.
- Tea Moves Back into the Bar & Back to the Kitchen – Suzy Badaracco, president of Culinary Tides, Inc., believes that culinary cocktails are in the spotlight; and they’re ripe for experimentation with tea and everything from bacon and herbs to fruits and veggies. And while tea is showing up in cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks, it’s also showing up in food as a seasoning in desserts, main dishes and side dishes. This session looks at the forces behind the movement of tea in beverages and its move back into the kitchen. The session will conclude with insights on the future direction that restaurants, cafes, bars and other businesses should take.
- The Leaf & The Grain: Tea & Scotch Pairing – Kevin Gascoyne, owner of Camellia Sinensis, will lead attendees through the fascinating flavor complexities of two very distinct spectrums. Pairing rare teas with fine Scotch – combinations that enhance and others that conflict – this session explores subtle details within the flavor profiles of some of the world’s finest tasting experiences.
- Increasing Your Sales with the New Matcha Madness Trend – Rona Tison, senior vice president, corporate relations, ITO EN (North America) INC., says Matcha is the new culinary trend of 2015. In this session, learn to maximize sales with the revered ceremonial green tea that is making its way into the American mainstream market. Learn the expansive world of this growing tea trend, and find out how to integrate Matcha into a business through culinary diplomacy.
- Tea, Bitters and the Science of Taste – Selena Ahmed, assistant professor of sustainable food systems at Montana State University, notes that bitters are botanical infusions that extract the vital flavor and medicinal properties of plants. Ahmed says they can be used to enhance cocktails, tea, soda and meals. This tasting will focus on the use of bitters in tea, as well as the use of tea-based bitters in other beverages, including cocktails.
- Curating Tea Experiences and Tastings – Snigdha Manchanda, founder of Tea Trunk, will share insights on crafting events and experiences that strengthen the “lifestyle” experience of tea. Learn how to create new customer interaction points with events and engaging experiences for audiences from 10 to 1,000.
- How to Conduct a Successful Tea Tasting – Beth Johnston, owner of Teas Etc., will explain how to organize, market and present a successful, profitable tea tasting. This session is designed to provide restaurants, foodservice professionals and retailers selling and serving tea what’s needed. Discover how to present a well-structured tasting that will ring up sales, establish expertise and build customer loyalty. Walk away with details for event marketing, tea selection, handouts, topics, set up and selling.
- Single Serve: Tea in an Instant – Dan Bolton, president of Mystic Media and Tea Biz Blog, says tea in capsules accounted for 10 percent of all bagged and loose leaf sales in in 2014, up from 6.5 percent in 2013 – and it’s growing at a much faster pace than coffee. Bolton says restaurants and foodservice businesses need to understand the competitive advantages of offering this format of tea, as well as the limitations it imposes – all of which will be explored in the session.
In addition to the culinary-themed education sessions at World Tea Expo, the event features a jam-packed agenda.
Key highlights include: a vibrant, product-filled expo; the Best New Product Awards; the World Tea Awards; The North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle; the World Origin Tasting Tour; and the Tea Business Boot Camp, among many other education and networking opportunities.
Advance registration and details are at WorldTeaExpo.com.