Tea Education Sessions Cover Top Trends and Markets, Ready-to-Drink Teas, Organic Teas, and a Social History of Tea in the UK and United States, Among Others, May 6 – 8 in Long Beach, Calif. World Tea Expo will explore the state of the tea industry, trends and hot topics in more than 60 education sessions. The conference and expo, which gathers attendees from more than 50 countries, takes place May 6 – 8, 2015 in Long Beach, Calif. at the Long Beach Convention Center. To register, visit WorldTeaExpo.com. Howard Telford, senior industry analyst of beverages, Euromonitor International, will present “Global State of the Industry: A Review of the Top Tea Trends and Markets Around the World.” Telford’s World Tea Expo session will focus on the largest and fastest growing tea markets around the world and provide insights into the top trends that are driving sales from Istanbul to Brazil, using Euromonitor’s latest beverages data. He’ll discuss the latest drivers for consumer demand across the globe, and what it means for producers and distributors in the upcoming year. World Tea Expo speaker Jack Groot, founder and creator of JP's Coffee & Espresso Bar and the Midwest Barista School, says it would not be a stretch to say there are literally thousands upon thousands of tea variations served in the world. Groot’s session will look at a myriad of selections, countless flavors, and numerous styles that all boil down to four basic teas and one plant: Camellia sinensis. Groot says that by understanding tea varieties, processing methods and brewing procedures, a company’s tea program and profits will improve – no matter how simple or how sophisticated it is. In his session, Groot, a coffeehouse founder, coffee consultant and coffee businessman, will share his “Ah-Ha” experience with tea, and how everything changed from that day on. Anton Angelich, group vice president of marketing, and Rob Bent, business development manager of beverages, both of Virginia Dare, will speak on “Ready-To-Drink Tea 101 – From Concept to Consumer.” The two experts say the popularity of tea beverages has been soaring as consumers become more aware of tea’s health benefits. In this session, attendees will learn how to interpret consumer insights and turn them into commercial ready-to-drink tea beverages. The session will also identify ingredients, processors and how to find sources of development support. The session will also look at how tea beverages are made, with a hands-on demonstration and tasting. Greg Lui, vice president of product development and marketing at Garden To Cup Organics, will present “The Organic Tea Ecosystem.” Lui will take conference delegates on a 60-minute journey into the world of organic tea as he sees it. He’ll discuss the production and marketing of organic teas and offer insights, little known facts, trade secrets and original ideas that only he could bring. In the World Tea Expo Skill-Building Workshop, “Advanced Blending: Single Estate Ceylon Teas,” David De Candia, senior manager of tea and master tea blender at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, will focus exclusively on blending the various leaf grades from Sri Lanka, to create unique blends without the use of flavors, botanicals or other origin teas. Of note: In 2014, the Sri Lanka Tea Board named De Candia its first ambassador of Ceylon Tea for the United States and Canada. Sarah Scarborough, founder of Firepot Chai, will explore “The Many Tastes of Chai” in her World Tea Expo Focused Tasting. The class will review various modern takes on traditional Indian masala chai, along with recipes, know-how and inspiration to craft a Chai. Scarborough has been exploring Chai since 2001. And to coincide with the publication of the new edition of A Social History of Tea, Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson will tell the story of tea’s rise in importance in the culture and commerce of Great Britain and the United States. Pettigrew is an international tea consultant and writer, and Richardson is owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas/Benjamin Press. Their session, “A Social History of Tea in the UK and the USA,” will look at how tea has grown from its initial role as an expensive aristocratic luxury beverage to become an essential part of everyday life. Register at WorldTeaExpo.com. Questions? Email [email protected].