I am extremely excited to announce that the American Specialty Tea Alliance has partnered with the World Tea Expo to hold the first U.S. national qualifying round of the Tea Masters Cup at the expo this year in Las Vegas! World Tea Expo will take place June 11 – 13, 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and the competition will take place June 11 – 12 on the expo floor.

I think that the start of the Tea Masters Cup competitions in the United States is a landmark movement and we’re thrilled to bring this event to World Tea Expo and to the USA.

The demand for an international platform for the professional growth of tea specialists has never been greater. Having served as a judge at Tea Masters Cup International 2017 in Hubei, China, I believe that Tea Masters Cup serves as that platform. 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.”

The American Specialty Tea Alliance will work to secure a panel of judges and the first US competitors for this inaugural event over the next few months. Those interested in competing or for any questions related to the Tea Masters Cup USA competition, please contact me, Tony Gebely at tony@specialtyteaalliance.org.

For questions related to Tea Masters Cup USA sponsorship opportunities, please contact Susan Leiterstein at susan.leiterstein@informa.com.

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. To learn more about Tea Masters Cup, see their website and Facebook Page where you can find the rules of the competition and photos and videos from past events.

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. 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).

Here’s a highlight reel from the 2017 finals: