Meet James Norwood Pratt, the absolute KING of Tea in America! I have been a true fan of his since reading his wonderful book "The Tea Lovers' Treasury". His writing style is full of wit and much wisdom, he is a true son of the South, but also a citizen of the world. Everyone loves and reveres Norwood, he is an icon. Each year I hunt him out at the Tea Expo. The first Expo was quite small and intimate in that we could mingle and meet everyone quite easily. I felt like a true "groupie" hunting down Mr. Pratt and having my photo taken with him. My friends Elaine and Emily were with me and we gathered around him for a group shot! Thrilling. He is most gracious and always acts as if he remembers us...Emily, I believe he really does remember, she is young and lovely...but anyway he makes me feel recognized, even if he doesen't...smiling here. He is always a highlight of any event.
The Expo was grand this year. Quite different in that the location was Mandolay Bay hotel in Vegas, which is totally awesome. Had a lovely room, met many dear tea friends, drank copious amounts of excellent tea, had deep discussions on the future of tea and the tea trade in America particularly...it is growing so fast...hooray! Enjoyed myself thoroughly and I believe got some great feedback from people I trust and respect! So, in my estimation, this Expo was a complete success. I am energized and ready to begin consulting in earnest. Also plan on applying to present at next year's Expo.
I am working on some other tea-related endeavors and will keep you posted as the progress.