There was a very broad range of vendors from standard tea bag retailers to those who import tea from their family’s owned tea estates. The later appealed more to us. There was a vendor who imported Chinese teas from ancient trees. Most of the regions that she was sampling are those that I never heard of and although they were black tea they were so distinctively different. Her set up was beautiful with full gong fu cha service. Another Chinese vendor was sampling and selling ripe pu-erh that that was 40 years old. A pair of Japanese ladies donning traditional Japanese kimono were preparing green tea. They specifically varied the temperature of their water from different extremes depending on the green tea type.
There were two Formosa tea purveyors who source their tea directly from Taiwan. One has family roots their and the other creates his own connections by backpacking in the Taiwanese wilderness. The newest trends in Formosa and oolongs as a whole are lighter oxidation. One philanthropist all of 25 years old works with Kenyan Estates and all her profits go to education of orphans.
The highlight was meeting a world renowned author and taster. He said to us that 10 years ago there were only 5 tea vendors out of 60 total, now there are more tea vendors than coffee. After those parting words we then hit 4 or 5 tea cafes in the city. In the end, we were all happy to gain greater depth of something we are already very passionate about.