Kyoto International Infused with Tea Expo, November 2017

Tea Gardens of Scotland was invited by Kyoto Prefecture Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Division to attend this event in November 2017. Beverly-Claire Wainwright and Catherine Drummond-Herdman represented TGS. The delegation from Scotland included the Depute Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Joan Griffiths and Anne Marie MaCaskill, Senior Officer of Investment and International Affairs, celebrating 20 years of Kyoto-Edinburgh international relations.

The aim of the International Tea Drinking Expo was to promote international exchange and create tea-drinking culture by experiencing international tea culture and tea-drinking customs. To promote Uji-cha tea to get it inscribed on the world cultural heritage list, by studying the features of international tea production as comparisons with Uji-cha tea.

Kinnettles Gold Tea was taken out for tasting at the stand, leaflets and other promotional material and traditional Scottish gifts were given to the many exceedingly kind people that helped our two delegates at the Expo and also organised many visits to tea factories, plantations, ancient tea houses and temples.

Countries represented at the Expo were China, Scotland, Taiwan, Thailand, Yunnan Province China, South Korea, and Sri Lanka. There were approximately 5000 visitors through the Expo over the two days. Beverly and Catherine presented separate talks on making and growing in Scotland, as well as serving tea tastings paired with Scottish shorbread from Stag Bakeries, Stornoway.

On their return to Scotland, Beverly and Catherine concluded that:
The value of being exposed to other tea cultures, growers and producers can not be emphasised enough. The experience has added to our overall knowledge of tea culture and given us increased confidence in the international tea business arena. Meeting with other tea growers, processors, being out in the field and visiting small and large factories has increased our technical knowledge and given us ideas for our own future production from which the group will greatly benefit. Contacts made from the Kyoto Infused with Tea Expo and field visits organised by the delegates will foster international skills and knowledge sharing. We feel it is likely that future exchange visits and educational programmes will result from this visit.