Trade fairs in Hong Kong are a serious business. Throughout a year, there is some trade fair going on at the Hong Kong Convention Centre. There are watches, jewelry, electronic, fashion fairs.....there are so many. Popular ones like the Spring toy fair, is held in January, and will drive up hotel prices a fair bit.
One of my readers remarked on the 'lighter attendence' as she had expected a better turnout of visitors. She is right. The first day of the tea fair was a 'typhoon' day. A typhoon warning alert was sounded out - a level 3. Let me explain.....In Hong Kong, typhoon alerts levels range from low levels from 1-3 to high levels of 7-9. Anything level 8 or more meant that shops, schools and government offices are closed for the duration of the warning. Hong Kong had expected a typhoon during this time and citizens and visitors were generally wary of the weather conditions that few days. I was fortunate that the brunt of the typhoon came and went in the late evening on the 16th and the typhoon did not cause any major damage to Hong Kong.
Another reason for the lower turnout, in my opinion, is that, many tea buyers, for example of Chinese teas, would visit China directly to source the teas. Its just a guess. However, I felt that this Hong Kong tea fair is important as it create an important venue for Hong Kong tea producers and teashops in creating awareness. Visitors, both local and abroad, will be made aware of the existence of these tea businesses and what is on offer in Hong Kong. It also allows tea producing countries like Kenya, India, Sri Lanka to provide exposure of their tea products to this part of the world. The tea market in this region is very big and cannot be ignored. Tea, especially the teabags from these regions have a classical characteristic - consistency. A cup of this tea today, this week, this month or next year will have the same taste and aroma (almost in every cup) anywhere in the world.
I could sample lots of tea at this tea fair. You can observed from one of the pix, that there was the traditional sampling tea in a bowl, where you spoon out some tea in your cup for a sample. This pix was taken a Fujian oolong booth. That booth had different levels of roasted oolongs to suit every palate.
I was even tempted to purchase a scented tea pillow but my luggage was maxed out with tea I had bought in Guangzhou a few days earlier. The last pix shows some dried burdock slices. Burdock is a root, and the Chinese use this root mainly in soups. Dried slice burdock are used in soups and are now sold in teashops in small slices as burdock tea. It is a very delicious toasty drink with a hint of sweetness. I just managed to squeeze a pack of burdock slice into my overloaded luggage.
I had the opportunity to meet up with the famous tea blogger, Marshaln during my stay in Hong Kong. Thank you, Marshaln, for your very generous hospitality and most importantly sharing some of your thoughts (and tea) with me.