International System of Professional Tea Competitions to Hold the First U.S. National Qualifying Event in Las Vegas, June 11 – 12, at the Leading Tea Tradeshow NEW YORK and CHICAGO (Feb. 19, 2019) – World Tea Expo (#WorldTeaExpo or #WTE19), the leading tradeshow focused on advancing the business of tea, has partnered with the American Specialty Tea Alliance (ASTA) to hold the first U.S. national qualifying round of the Tea Masters Cup (TMC) at the expo in Las Vegas. World Tea Expo will take place June 11 – 13 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and the competition will take place June 11 – 12 on the expo floor. “The start of the Tea Masters Cup competitions in the United States is a landmark movement,” said Tony Gebely, the executive director of the American Specialty Tea Alliance. “We’re thrilled to bring this event to World Tea Expo and to the USA. The American market is one of the most valued markets in the world, and the development of global tea culture is largely due to the development of trends here. Moreover, the demand for an international platform for the professional growth of tea specialists has never been greater. The Tea Masters Cup serves as that platform, and the United States serves as beacon for tea style and trends; thus, U.S. participation will drive momentum in the wave of popularity that this historical drink, tea, is currently experiencing.” Samantha Hammer, the World Tea Expo event director and World Tea brand leader at Informa Exhibitions, said, “Having the United States be a part of the Tea Masters Cup – especially at World Tea Expo and within that community – is an important step toward furthering the art and craft of professional tea preparation in our country and abroad. World Tea Expo is excited to be a part of the team making this happen, and we’re proud to host the competition this June in Las Vegas.” ASTA, which recently took over the functions of the national body of Tea Masters Cup (TMC) in the United States, focuses on growing interest in specialty tea, in both the tea industry and the public, through education, collaboration, research and communication. Tea Masters Cup is a unique international system of competitions for tea professionals held in four different categories since 2013: tea preparation, tea pairing, tea mixology and tea tasting. Currently, 22 countries are registered to hold national TMC competitions. The international final of the Tea Masters Cup is held annually, following a series of qualifying championships in the participating countries. The 2018 finals took place Nov. 23-25, 2018 in Hue, Vietnam. Previous international finals were held in Turkey, South Korea and China. See https://teamasterscup.com to learn more, or visit the Tea Masters Club group at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/teamastersclub. World Tea Expo is the preeminent, global event for the tea community and vertical markets that sell, serve, manufacture or distribute tea. Each year, more than 3,000 attendees from 50+ countries gather at the conference and expo to explore the latest tea innovations, trends and business-building strategies. World Tea Expo features a product-filled exhibit hall with hundreds of new teas, tea wares, brewing accessories and related products and services. The conference program also includes 50+ business-building educational sessions and pre-conference workshops, and a new educational track focused on tea and hospitality/foodservice. Additional highlights include The Global Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle and The World Tea Awards, among other highlights. See https://www.worldteaexpo.com to learn more and to register (register early for the best rates). For questions related to the Tea Masters Cup USA competition, or to learn more about competing in the event, please contact Tony Gebely at [email protected]. For questions related to Tea Masters Cup USA sponsorship opportunities, please contact Susan Leiterstein at [email protected]. About American Specialty Tea Alliance (ASTA) ASTA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association that launched in 2018 by a number of tea professionals to represent and grow interest in specialty tea, in both the tea industry and the public. The alliance does this through education and community, by facilitating collaboration between its members, by bolstering the quality and tenability of specialty tea through research and communication, and by promoting these goals worldwide. For more information the American Specialty Tea Alliance or to become a member, visit our website: https://specialtyteaalliance.org. About Informa Exhibitions Informa Exhibitions, the global exhibitions division of Informa PLC, enables communities across the globe to engage, experience and do business by providing them with powerful platforms to connect across key regions and market verticals. Industry insight, coupled with an innovative and customer first approach, provides Informa Exhibitions’ customers and partners with the opportunity to create business advantage and access markets, both digitally and face-to-face, 365 days of the year.