On the 6th of April 2018, Sharyn Johnston, CEO of Australian Tea Masters, was invited to Nepal by the Nepal Coffee and Tea Development board for an unforgettable tea experience, which included cupping teas at Mount Everest base camp.
The 3rd International Tea Expo was held in Nepal from the 6th to the 8th of April, with a primary focus to promote Nepalese tea and encourage international trade especially for small growers. 29 delegates from 13 different countries attended the show, including Geelong based Sharyn and Nathan Johnston from Cartel Roasters
Based on the theme “discovering hidden treasures” of Nepalese tea, the event featured many activities but most notable was the launch of the new Nepal Tea trademark, which was also launched at the cupping session at the Base Camp.
“We are still pinching ourselves,” said Sharyn Johnston, “It was probably the most unique, unusual and unforgettable tea event anyone is likely to experience.”
To get there the group was taken by an army rescue helicopter. At the end of the cupping a tea auction was held and a world record was made, with Sharyn winning the auction with the highest price ever paid for a Nepalese tea as well as being at the highest tea auction event in the world, at 4,000ft above sea level.
Like all amazing experiences, unfortunately it had to end. The attendees were only allowed to remain at Base Camp for a maximum of 3 hours, before the effects of altitude sickness would begin. The cupping kicked off the event, with 2 full days of the conference to follow which featured exhibitors and speakers from all over the world.
Sharyn also was a key note speaker for the event, delivering a talk on the trade opportunities for Nepalese tea, particularly with the Australian market.
The three day event came just as Nepal signed several national initiatives which will further open the landlocked nation to trade opportunities. There is around 28,000 hectares of tea plantations in the country, which produces over 24 thousand tonnes of tea annually.