The (Tea)World is a village

TeaWorld Rendez-vous ©
I had read this name on the Internet but that was all as I had thought “this is probably another American thing, where I will never be able to go.”
But I saw something on several tea blogs that got me interested as I figured out it was in Brussels not too far away from where I live.

So here I was on Saturday, May 5th at Tours & Taxis, a former marshalling yard and import/export hall
The event was hosted in several big white tents and I managed to park nearly in front of the entrance (probably because I was there early in spite of my GPS having troubles to find its way in the tunnels).

After paying my ticket, I received a nice small cup as ticket and to taste what the different companies had to offer.

First halt for Hennessy/Theodor but the tea wasn’t ready yet (remember I was there early) and I am not into cognac, even when it is mixed with tea.

The next stop was for an unknown to me Swiss brand of kettles and such, Solis. I probably would not have stopped by them if I hadn’t seen my “magical” kettle there and heard the sellers saying it was new in Belgium.
I spoke with them and found out that they had just received it and I told them about tea, this product, how I was satisfied, how it worked…
I even tasted their first test (not the best tea made by this kettle) and gave them the name of the brands in France and in the USA that sell this product.

A nice lady then stopped me and said that they were offering a special discount on mint green tea.
I said “Thank you but I don’t like mint.”
She offered me to come back 15 minutes later to see a tea master preparing a “state of the art” tea.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it back in time (too many things to see and too many people to talk to).

I then went to the tea bags corner (I know @thedevotea but I had to go through it) and found pyramidal and square tea bags, with more room than in a normal one.
I had read about both of them but I wasn’t really convinced.
What was more interesting in Lu Lin Teas was their boxes (and trials sessions) of Chinese teas and even more their small 9 loose leaf tea samples boxes

I then discovered African teas from Rwanda and Burundi.
Both ladies were quite informative on the tea, how it was produced and processed.
I tasted teas from both countries and I prefer the ones from Rwanda as they were not as harsh as the one from Burundi but perhaps they were better prepared.

I then stumbled upon a Korean company proposing herbal teas with medicine virtues (not my cup of tea) and a Japanese stand where I tasted two Japanese green teas made in the traditional way.
Speaking of the Japanese, I also witnessed a Japanese tea ceremony and then tasted a Chinese Jasmine tea.
Unfortunately, the Vietnamese were not there but I picked some papers they had left.

At that time, I was glad to have learned Spanish as I was in the Argentinian part of the salon and I talked with a nice lady selling tea bagging machines (now I know how it works), people from the Ministry of the Mission Regions (the former Jesuit Missions where they grow all kind of food stuffs including tea), someone from an Argentinian tea estate.
I tasted their green tea and I think they are probably still too much tea bags oriented but let’s give them some time and I am sure we might be surprised by what they do.

I then got back to the entrance and Theodor where a really nice and distinguished gentleman talked to me about Theodor.
He was quite knowledgeable about his company, where I could find their teas and he even listened to me speaking about how I select the teas I buy (me and my strange “tea-ories”).
I was even more pleased when I found myself speaking 5-10 minutes with Guillaume Leleu about teas.

After that I had to pay a visit to some relatives so I left the TeaWorld Rendez-vous©.
I didn’t buy anything but I was happy to have met people and  to have discovered new things.
In the end, this is what tea is all about.

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