March 21, 2019
After eating breakfast we took shuttles to Houtu Tea Factory in Shengzhou. They showed us the factory, gave us a talk, set up a mid-day snack, and a tour of there tea museum. It was a pretty rainy morning, so it was nice that we were inside for it. This is a place that produces gunpowder green tea. Not really in a writing mood today, but it was a lovely day. The afternoon will be talked about next week. Thank you for reading my blog and my trip to China.
March 20, 2019
The last day in Yibin was filled with exploring the place we had the 1st Confederation of International Tea Smallholders (CITS) Meeting. The place had a greenhouse and tea gardens. We took a tour and were entertained until the meeting. The meeting was informative because we were shaping the documents and the tone of the CITS. Afterward, we had lunch and went to the airport to get on Tibetan Air to Hangzhou.
Was a little sad because we had to say goodbye to some really nice people who were not going to the First International Green Tea Conference in Shengzhou with us. Once we got to Hangzhou we took a bus to Shengzhou where our hotel was. When we arrived we went to our rooms and went to a dining hall to eat a late meal.
The last two photos are the inside of Yibin Airport.
March 19, 2019
The Raabs and I did go to the Specialty Tea Exhibit again on the morning of March 19, 2019. We were able to see the whole exhibition, the day before we were only there for about a half hour to hour. When you have about eight people it is harder to a quick look at all the exhibitors. We just really went to one booth and only looked at 2 -3 booths. The Raabs and I were able to see all of the booths and taste many, many teas. Later on, we had to get back for the business side of our trip. Learning about tea trends across the world from the heads of the tea industry for each country. It was interesting hearing from the supply side and the demand side. Also, it depends on the wealth of the country what they were looking for too.
One thing I can definitely say is we did not have to worry about having enough food or tea. The dinners pictures below combined, plus add twice as much food. This does not include meals between meals and for the tea as much hot water and tea as you could drink. This was the going away dinner, but all dinners had at least double the amount of food pictured in both photos for 10 people per table. They had to stack the dishes on top of dishes because there was no room on the tables.
I haven’t talked for a while about new teas I blended or got from the farms in origin countries. Actually just looked it up and it has been last year. Yikes! I definitely have been getting more teas and blending. I received some teas from Japan, China, and Taiwan and blended a few teas too. Here are most of them:
Orange Rosehip Hibiscus Rooibos
Alishan GABA Oolong
Golden Lily Oolong
Golden Monkey Black
Heavy Roasted Dark Oolong
Hojicha Dark Roast
Honey Nectar Oolong
Lemon Ginger Rooibos
Lemon Ginger Sencha
Pu-erh in a Tangerine
So I have been having fun with coming up with some teas and tisanes. I have a few new ones recently.
One that went well at my two last events was Autumn Spice. I sold out of at both events. The first event I actually sold out of 7 of my blends, so I felt obligated to drive back to Green Bay and make more bags. I felt odd being at an event with a good portion of my teas and tisanes not available. If I just sold out of 2 or maybe even 3 of them I might not have gone back home. So instead of relaxing with a nice meal in Bayview and maybe a drink or two, which was what I wanted to do, I went back home. I do not regret it at all and am to make sure I am supplied for my customers.
Cat Nap sold out at the first event and the only tisane I did not bring to the second event because I needed to blend it and that would have taken too long. I blended it recently, so I do have it again.
Two new, temporary tisanes made were Cinnamon Plumand Lemon Blueberry Rooibos (below). They are only available at the events I am doing and the next three are Tis the Season Vendor & Craft Event Nov 18, The Small Business Saturday Nov 25, and Christmas at the Railyard Dec 2. I am doing this in limited quantities while supplies last. They may or may not return, so get them before they are gone.