World Tea Expo Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary


World Tea ExpoA decade ago the first trade show dedicated to tea opened in Las Vegas, Nev. Today, World Tea Expo is the largest and most prominent B2B event for the industry. This year’s exposition, June 1–3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, celebrates the 10-year anniversary with thousands of professionals for a packed three-day exhibit hall and educational conference.

More than 33,000 attendees have met 1,700 tea and related product suppliers occupying 206,000 sq. ft. of show floor since the inception of World Tea Expo. Registration is now open for the 2012 convention which is expected to draw 4,500 delegates from around the globe.

In honor of its 10-year anniversary, World Tea Expo is promoting a new “No Repeat” policy for its 40+ in-depth, hands-on educational seminars, skill-building workshops, technical seminars, and focused tastings. The Expo’s curriculum covers entirely new ground and the hottest topics facing the industry.

In addition, the show features an updated exhibit floor, more than 200 vendor booths, an exciting new Adagio Teas at World Tea Expolayout and look, and hundreds of the freshest new tea products – all to enhance the tea retail experience. Attendees can learn about hundreds of quality suppliers in just three days, while gathering insights on the latest trends and sipping and savoring the newest teas from across the globe. The show floor also includes unique tea ware manufacturers, delicious baked-goods suppliers, innovative tea product manufacturers and specialized accessory and gift dealers. Overall, delegates gain wide-ranging product knowledge, discover solutions for current business challenges and network and develop new partnerships. The convention also includes the annual Tea Infusion Challenge and the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle.

Speaker Panel at First Tea Expo
Speaker Panel at first show. Most
of whom continued to speak every year after.

“I’m humbled by our 10-year anniversary and the enthusiastic loyalty from the tea community,” says George Jage, director of World Tea Media, a division of F+W Media, organizers of World Tea Expo. “The industry undoubtedly got behind this little event that quickly became tea’s largest and most prominent international exposition. We’re thankful for the many contributions to the show’s success. We’re looking forward to presenting another highly impactful Expo, to continue enhancing and stimulating the business of tea.” 

2012 Expo & Anniversary Thoughts

“When founded, World Tea Expo's vision was to develop and bring greater awareness to the tea

ITO En at World Tea Expo
Rona Tison, ITO EN booth, 2003

industry,” shares 10-year exhibitor and tea expert Rona Tison, senior vice president of corporate relations for ITO EN (North America) INC., a subsidiary of ITO EN, LTD., a purveyor of Japanese green tea products and beverages in the United States.

“It's exciting to see that vision executed through all the training and education that Expo offers each year. It's commendable how World Tea Expo has attracted all of the industry players, to create a dialogue to support the growing trend of tea. Over the past 10 years, the show has encouraged camaraderie – with everyone working together to educate and communicate to the public what the beverage is all about,” says Tison. “Yes, we are all individual companies, but through World Tea Expo, we all join forces to build the industry and various expressions of tea. We look forward to our ongoing support of World Tea Expo's mission to strengthen the message of tea,” she says.

East Indies Company at World Tea Expo
Mim Enck, East Indies Coffee & Tea Company, 2003 with Holger Lohs (left), Haelssen & Lyon NA Corp. and Jim Harron Sr., Simpson & Vail at Take Me 2 Tea Networking Reception

Vendor, expert and 10-year conference exhibitor Mim Enck, president of East Indies Coffee & Tea Company, which has a 35-year history of offering fine teas to retailers, says, “As an agricultural product, tea is always changing. Consequently, the industry has transformed tremendously over the last 10 years, and World Tea Expo has evolved right there with it. The Expo has certainly helped the industry get to where it is today, contributing to tea’s rise,” he says. “To personally experience the growth of the Expo and see what it’s done for the tea community is wonderful. As a comparison, I think of the wine industry. It used to be very stringent in terms of pairing white wine with fish and red wine with beef. The tea industry was a lot like that with its proper traditions, but now we’re not so frightfully serious. The tea community is playful and innovative with its approach to the beverage and the blending of teas and traditions. At the same time, we’re attracting a different generation of tea drinkers, including men and college students. We’re much more approachable. World Tea Expo has done a great job.”

Retailer and World Tea Expo attendee Lisa Baughman, of Take Thyme Today in York, Pa., reflects

Lisa Baughman, Take Thyme Today
Lisa Baughman, Take Thyme Today

onthe Expos she’s attended during the last 10 years. Her retail business offers more than 140 loose teas and shares proper brewing techniques with customers. “When I think of the Expo in the last decade, I think of demographics and how the industry has matured from simply tea rooms to innovative tea retail storefronts and chains. Indeed, tea has a much broader audience now. It’s more available and there’s a wider variety. We’re seeing finer teas and loose leaf teas in the aisles. The flavored-tea world has advanced, and so have methods for brewing tea. And as the industry has progressed, so has my business. I have a deeper knowledge of the beverage and a more successful retail business, thanks to attending World Tea Expo. I’m looking forward to the 2012 Expo this June and moving right along with it, into our industry of tomorrow.”

As the most comprehensive exhibition and educational event in the world of tea, World Tea Expo’s exhibit floor, lectures, tastings and workshops can assist established tea room owners, coffeehouse proprietors, retailers, foodservice professionals, spa managers, hoteliers and grocers, in making key business decisions. Visit to register and to learn more.