This year is bringing something new to the World Tea Expo, which runs in Long Beach, California May 29-31. For the first time, they are holding World Tea Awards dinner and ceremony. The event will take place on the historic Queen Mary, just a short shuttle bus ride away from the Long Beach Convention Center where the World Tea Expo and the Healthy Beverage Expo are co-located this year.
It all begins with a formal seated dinner at 7 p.m. Tea celebrities, social media opportunities, and tea infusions prepared by BKON will also be featured. This will be followed by the awards ceremony
In addition to the presentation of the Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Award to Devon Shah of International Tea Importers and Chado Tea Rooms, the Best New Products will be revealed and several community-voted awards will be given.
"The World Tea Awards is expected to sell out to a room of 300+ tea industry influencers from around the globe," said George Jage, director of The Beverage Group, a division of F+W Media, organizer of World Tea Expo and Healthy Beverage Expo. "Our maiden World Tea Awards on the Queen Mary will certainly be a night of industry-wide celebration and fun."
Gail Gastelu, publisher of The Tea House Times, who's hosting the World Tea Awards along with Jage, said, "The World Tea Awards is a tremendous opportunity to recognize and show appreciation to the industry overall, get dressed up and celebrate what makes our community so special. And it is with great excitement that George and I prepare to host this inaugural event, an enjoyable evening in which we can all celebrate together --- infusing tea and tea cocktails and blending in a bit of glamor."
Also, according to Jage, "We've been looking to create this event for years, and with our move to Long Beach, the Queen Mary provides the perfect setting for a black-tie affair. Our longer term plans are to build the awards around recognizing retailers and businesses on the front lines of the tea revolution. We will expand this significantly in future years, but this first one is not to be missed. I still have people come up to me and proudly say they were at our first expo, and I'm sure this micro-event will attain the same passion as our trade show."
The categories for the World Tea Awards include Best Tea Publication, Best Tea Book, Best Social Media Reach, Best Tea Room Website, Best Tea Retail Website, Best Tea Blog, Best Tea Educator, Best Tea Room Menu, Best Tea Short/Commercial and Best Tea Spirit. Though only registered delegates to the World Tea Expo are allowed to vote on who will receive the awards, the announcement regarding who the nominees are is available for any one to view.