Some people head to Las Vegas to gamble, other to enjoy the shows, but Tim and Paulette Smith were drawn by the World Tea Expo.

Growing each year and focused entirely on tea, this annual event hosted about 2,600 attendees and 200 vendors. Attendees range from those interested in establishing a tea room, to experience operators.

The quality of the vendors was impressive this year, according to Tim. With the growth of specialty tea in the US, more equipment and services are popping up all the time.

One of the highlights was the chance to meet some of the owners and operators of the tea estates. The families that own Nagri and Rohini Estates hand-carried samples of the first invoice of the First Flush from some of their gardens. Tim and Paulette enjoyed the quality, and as they become available, we will likely include some of these in our offerings.

Paulette commented on the educational seminars: "There were more offerings for experienced operators this year."

Some of the highlights included blending flavors, topics on the health benefits of tea and new trends in the industry, as well as great informative seminars on grading of teas.

Naturally, tea people are very social, and there was plenty of time to enjoy each other's company. Attendees could relax at a reception by the pool and talk tea, sharing experiences from their own businesses.