During its last day, I visited the 2013 Tea Expo, held at Daegu’s EXCO. Running for a four days, the Expo was a great way for lovers of all things tea to enjoy a day out. The Expo featured many stalls, offering different brands of tea, crockery, and organically made items.
popular feature was green tea, a product that South Korea is famous for. In particular, we enjoyed sampling the varieties of tea that had come from The Boseong Green Tea Fields. Here the people working at the stall were more than willing to explain to us the processes used to make the tea, and how to ensure the perfect cup! They recommend leaving the tea to steep for at least 2-3 minutes before serving, a difficult prospect for a tea lover like me! We also discovered the large amount of benefits that came with the use of drinking tea regularly, such as the lowering of cholesterol, fatigue relief, and skin treatments.
Among the booths were international tea producers, including companies from the UK, USA, India, and Sri Lanka. These booths featured a much wider variety of tea flavors, which we enjoyed sampling. Many were well known flavors such as Ceylon, Darjeeling, and Assam. However there were a few that piqued our curiosities, especially the toffee and chocolate tea!
The main feature of the Expo in my opinion was the stage area, in which throughout the day tea serving competitions and demonstrations were held. The participants were judged on their traditional tea serving skills, it was particularly interesting to watch as a foreigner, though difficult to spot the slight differences that made one participant better than the other. A group of 20 foreigners made up of students, and teachers living in Daegu took the challenge to participate, and after a month of practice sessions, finally donned the Korean traditional dress and took to the stage.