Australia’s First Specialty Tea Trade Show and Conference – Need to Know

Australia’s First Specialty Tea Trade Show and Conference – Need to Know

Cunningham Pier, Geelong, Victoria

Cunningham Pier, Geelong, Victoria

The Australian International Tea Expo October 17-18 is Australia’s first specialty tea trade show and conference.

The resort town of Geelong, Victoria, about 45 miles from Melbourne, is the location of the inaugural trade show and conference which includes a tea education program and a black-tie Golden Leaf Awards dinner.

TEABIZ150824_AustralianTeaExpo_FINALTea classes will be held throughout the show from 10 am to 5 pm each day at the Geelong Boat House, according to Sharyn Johnston, founder of the Australian Tea Masters Association, which is organizing the event.

The event is destined to become the “epicenter for tea specialists and tea products in Australia,” according to Johnston. “Industry professionals and tea enthusiasts will connect face-to-face to unveil new products, optimize high quality merchandise, gain in-depth product knowledge, and network with their tea loving peers,” she said.

The Golden Leaf Awards is a new competition, judged by professional tea cuppers, to distinguish the highest-quality and best-tasting teas commercially available in the Australian marketplace. Several categories within each class of tea will be judged during October prior to the expo, and the winners will be notified the day before the event. Winning companies receive a formal announcement letter that includes the tea’s scores, as well as a print-ready seal that can be used for all promotional materials and packaging. For more information, click here.

The awards will be presented during a formal black tea dinner at the Novotel Geelong on Oct. 17. The dinner will feature a delicious menu with each course paired with the perfect tea. The banquet includes cultural entertainment. To reserve a seat click click here.

Johnston said the event will help Australians discover and experience specialty tea while celebrating the cultural diversity of teas from around the world.

Events include:

  • A “Frozen” themed tea party for kids (at the 100 year-old carousel on the bay)
  • High teas on the bay
  • Plus many forms of entertainment including traditional Japanese tea ceremony, Korean Tea ceremony on the main stage, in the middle of the Expo hall.
  • Help support the fight against ovarian cancer by attending our Frocktober morning tea. Find out more here.

To register to exhibit, click here.

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Is that an ant in my tea?

Image property of Sydney Living Museum and Kettle Town

Image property of Sydney Living Museum and Kettle Town

Australia’s Kettle Town tea company made it’s debut last December as a small specialty tea company that developed some unique blends for pairing with dessert. It is unlikely that anyone would have predicted that seven months later they would be getting international attention for introducing a red ant tea.

Kettle Town was founded by Vincent Maneno and Lily Wang. Maneno became enamored with tea when he and his brother launched into a challenge to abstain from alcohol for one year. Wang, who loves to bake, instantly fell in love with the flavors and forms of tea and the ways that they could pair with sweet treats.

They began with a small number of blends. One combined blueberry and almond with black tea and another used vanilla, black tea and peppermint. Then Maneno met Skye Blackburn of The Edible Bug. Blackburn, who has degrees in entomology and food science, is passionate about the ways that insects could be farmed as protein Strawberry Ant Hillsreplacements for traditional meats. Her online shop boasts a range of frozen and roasted bugs for snacking including silkworms, crickets and scorpions. Blackburn asked Maneno and Wang to take a chance on some ants.

She shipped them a vial of dehydrated ants and when Maneno and wang put them in water they were struck by the tart, citrusy flavor that emerged. The result was a blend called Strawberry Ant Hills. It combines black tea with the dehydrated ants, raspberry leaves and some flavoring. Kettle Town describes the tea as having flavors of “sweet strawberry with a smokey citrus tang.”