Some of you may be familiar with my tea crush…with James Norwood Pratt.  I had the immense honour of meeting my tea sage at the World Tea Expo last year and I have a confession to make…I read his words sometimes just to be inspired.  He uses words like an artist uses a paintbrush.  Each stroke evoking the perfect image and feeling.

Here’s what I just read:

Tea is …a sort of spiritual refreshment, an elixir of clarity and wakeful tranquility.  Respectfully preparing tea and partaking of it mindfully creates heart to heart conviviality, a way to go beyond this world and enter a realm apart.  No pleasure is simpler, no luxury cheaper, no consciousness-altering agents more benign.  In every culture, taking tea somehow evolves into a ritual re-enactment of communion, a spiritual practice in other words, and by gradual degrees this become a Way – a Mirror of Soul – in its own right

The Tea Emporium took part at the Las Vegas Convention Centre for the World Tea Expo just this past weekend, from June the 1st to the 3rd. Here is a small smattering of the many photos that were taken during the three-day event.

Shabnam Weber delivered a talk on the morning of the 1st. ‘How to Compete with the Big Guys‘ was the title of her presentation,  and her aim was to give those who own small tea shops a leg up against some of the bigger tea companies who want to open a chain of stores in every corner, Starbucks-style.

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One of the highlights of her trip was meeting the legendary James Norwood Pratt of Tea Society Classics. His article, Love the Leaf (Why and How Coffee Shops Should Do Tea), is one of the many articles this widely-read author on tea has written. Julie Beals, editor-in-chief of Fresh Cup Magazine, writes of James, “After a short time with Norwood, one becomes imbued with the notion of tea as poetry, both being art forms that require reverence and reflection to fully appreciate.” A thorough reading of his many articles and literature on tea proves exactly this.

As Shabnam approached James Norwood Pratt to say hello, there was a look of recognition from the man himself, evidently aware of the work Shabnam Weber does with the Tea Sommelier Program in Canada. James has even expressed interest in taking her course, much to an incredulous Shabnam, who exclaimed, “There is absolutely nothing I can teach you about tea! Nothing!”

Laughs and smiles were shared, as evidenced by this very star-struck Shabnam, who describes her meeting James Norwood Pratt as something akin to meeting The Beatles.

🙂

And they say tea drinkers don’t know how to have fun… 😉

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