By Dan Bolton
Sparkling tea is on a trajectory akin to small-batch, craft-brewed beer where carefully selected ingredients are individually prepared to showcase their best characteristics. Recipes emphasize balance, with efficacy and taste foremost. Excellence in blending and brewing preserves high concentrations of polyphenols and other beneficial plant compounds with minimum calories, nothing artificial, the convenience of cans – and the fun of fizz. Read more…
Splendid Tea from the Isle of Jersey
By Dananjaya Silva | PMD Silva
Camellia sinensis is a versatile plant that is grown in many parts of the world, observes Tea Biz correspondent Dananjaya Silva. At 49 degrees latitude, Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands situated between England and France, is much further north than traditional tea lands, yet the island is proving to be fertile ground to produce fine loose-leaf tea. Silva talks about the challenges of growing tea outside its comfort zone with project manager and tea maker Alicia Gentili from Jersey Fine Tea.
Logistics Companies Invest to Right the Ship
By Dan Bolton
Shortages of raw ingredients for beverages and higher shipping costs continue the saga of supply chain woes into summer. Last week Starbucks’ customers found green tea in short supply along with chai tea bags and oat milk. No single item has disappeared from the menu, but Reuters found temporary shortages at nine major fast-service chains are widespread.
Less obvious are the costs passed along due to more expensive air and sea transport and a shortage of truckers. Reserving a 40-foot container to ship tea from Shanghai to Los Angeles cost $6,368 in June, according to the Drewry Freight Rate Index. Delivery to Chicago from Shanghai normally takes 35 days (including 33 at sea) but shippers now estimate 73 days for delivery as port-to-destination times have doubled. When premiums are added to secure equipment and vessel space is included, the effective West Coast rate for landing tea from China ends up being about $8,000 to $11,000 per FEU (forty-foot equivalent unit), according to the Journal of Commerce.
At the consumer level, this means online orders for tea must now meet $50 and $75 thresholds to qualify for free shipping and that four-week delays are common. Observers predict that the kinks in the supply chain will persist through 2022.
Biz Insight – Global container fleets are consolidating as shipping companies put new-found money to work acquiring vessels and ordering containers. Swiss-owned MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) has acquired 70 ships since August and has an orderbook of 800,000 TEU for new ships. The buildup in demand shows no sign of abating as consumers spend pandemic savings and economies emerge from lockdowns.
Latest podcast episodes
Episode 27: Defining Specialty Tea
Tea news for the week ending July 23
| The European Speciality Tea Association Adopts New Criteria for Differentiating Specialty Tea
| Walmart Tea is 100% Certified by Rainforest Alliance
| Kenya Sets KTDA Tea Auction Price Minimums
Episode 26: Rooibos Revived
Tea news for the week ending July 16
| Darjeeling is Experiencing a Severe Downturn
| Researchers Discover Expanded Role for Microbes in Tea Making
| Oxfam India Defines Living Wage for Assam Tea Workers
Episode 25: World Tea Expo
Tea news for the week ending July 9
| EU Enforces Single-Use Plastics Ban
| Easing Iranian Sanctions Benefits Tea Trade
| Kenya Tea Auction Prices Plummet
Episode 24: Reviving Darjeeling
Tea news for the week ending July 2
| Logistics Companies Invest to Right the Ship
| Kenya’s Newly Elected KTDA Board Ousts Executives
| Hain Celestial Streamlines Tea Selections
Episode 23: Adaptogens and Tea
Tea news for the week ending June 25
| Sri Lanka’s Clean Tea Ambitions
| COVID’s Toll on India’s Tea Garden Workers
| Tea Day Auction Yields Record Prices | Nayuki’s Lucrative IPO
Episode 22: Spectacular Indian Tea
Tea news for the week ending June 18
| Cold Brew is Trending for Iced Tea Month
| DAVIDsTEA in Canada Settles its Debts
| Kenya Exports Surge but Auction Prices Remain Low
Episode 21: Sustainable Wholesale
Tea news for the week ending June 11
|Food Inflation Dampens Enthusiasm Over Rising Tea Prices
| India’s Tea Industry Under Duress
| The European Union Grants Rooibos GI Protection
Episode 20: Japan Tea Marathon
Tea news for the week ending June 4
| Pandemic Powers Organic Sales
| Tea Cafes Cautiously Re-opening
| Tata Consumer Products Expands Direct-to-Customer Range
| Buyers Spend Big at Chinese International Tea Expo
Episode 19: Himalaya Tea Opportunity
Tea news for the week ending May 28
| Tea History Collection Unveiled
| Indian Commodities Logjam
| THIRST Undertakes a Human Rights Analysis in Tea
| A Series of Major Quakes Rattle Yunnan
Markets today are volatile and confusing – more so due to the pandemic and changing consumer behavior. The best way to respond locally is to keep the big picture in mind. Knowing the underlying trends behind the daily headlines helps tea professionals better interpret the news of the day. This overview is one in a series of 15-minute talks on the business of tea. – Dan Bolton
Click below to view the presentation in Spanish:
Dia Internacional del Te Detras de los Titulares
Tea Biz offers insight in real-time for beverage professionals scanning daily news items about their trade.
Tea is both art and craft. It nourishes and inspires. It is the most ancient of plant-based medicines, simultaneously energizing the body as it soothes the mind. Intimately local in character, the tea trade exerts global influence, employing millions to supply consumers at far greater volumes than coffee.
It is a fascinating, intricate topic… far more complex than one person can master. That is why the Tea Biz Podcast enlists 40 voices skilled in 12 languages to tell the story of tea: authentic reporting relies on the expertise of tea professionals who know the tea lands from birth and speak the native tongue.
Transparency is storytelling grounded at origin.
Tea Biz TEAm
“What came first, the tea or the story? For every tea I drink, there seems to be a story in the wings, waiting for a listener. Tea and stories, can’t have one without the other! I am in search of both.”
“The world of tea has endless stories. Stories of history, culture, business, agriculture and tradition. I feel so lucky to be able to tell some of them.”
“Tea draws us in. The tea itself, teapots, ceramics, and the stories behind the tea’s own books. I can’t resist picking up yet another book on tea and adding it to my tea bookshelf. Can you?”
“Tea is proven to enhance the well-being of those who drink several cups a day. It inspires a process of discovery among imbibers, cultivating a deep appreciation for the growing, crafting, and preparation of great tasting tea. Finding your own favorite tea leads to a daily ritual and, in time, a healthy life-long habit.”