Need to Know (March 31, 2014)

What tea professionals need to start the week —

Capital Teas poised to grow with a $5 million investment…Pure Leaf Iced Tea partners with Food & Wine…TetraPak encourages tea companies to think differently…University of Leicester students seek the perfect tea formula


$5 Million Investment Prepares Capital Teas for Growth

Capital Teas owners Manelle and Peter Martino

Capital Teas of Annapolis, Md. has just raised $5 million in its latest round of funding with Pear Tree Partners. The company intends to expand their reach, opening new stores across a wider region, expanding their wholesale efforts with hotels and restaurants, and strengthening their online shopping program.

The company, founded in 2007 by Peter and Manelle Martino, will continue to operate under their leadership. Manelle’s family has been in the tea business for five generations with her great-great-grandfather growing tea in Sri Lanka. They currently have six stores plus warehouse operations and a seventh store will open this spring.

Pure Leaf and Food & Wine Magazine Partner to Support Sustainable Food

WholesomeWavePure Leaf Iced Tea has announced their efforts to support Food & Wine Magazine’s Grow for Good program. Grow for Good was created by the magazine to provide charitable support for local and sustainable food programs. This year the partnership will focus on Wholesome Wave, a non-profit that improves access to healthy, locally grown food to underserved populations.

“Pure Leaf has always been committed to providing premium taste through tea made from real tea leaves, and in 2014, we want to reinforce our passion for realness and help to provide others with access to wholesome and sustainable foods,” Eric Whitehouse, Marketing Director, The Pepsi Lipton Tea Partnership said in a press release.

Wholesome Wave currently serves 28 states and the District of Columbia. The organization instituted the Double Value Coupon Program which doubles the value of food stamps that are used at farmers’ markets. They work with health clinics and other medical facilities to help ensure fresh foods are getting to the people who need them most. They also help small regional farms get their produce into institutions like hospitals and schools.


TetraPak Encourages Tea Companies to Rethink their Formulas

Suley Muratoglu, Vice President of marketing and product management at TetraPak US and Canada, had some strong words of caution in a recent issue of Beverage Daily. In the article, Muratoglu highlights one of the big challenges faced by tea packagers. Because tea is low acid, it can raise concerns for regulators about its safety when packaged. Ascorbic acid is added to ensure that it meets safety requirements, but then sugar must be added to counteract the acidic quality. In the end, flavor is compromised. He believes that these factors are some of the reasons that these mass-market grocery teas may be seeing stagnant growth while specialty tea is on the rise.

In the story, Muratoglu encourages a reconsideration of aseptic packaging which can safely contain a purer tea product.

TetraPak was founded in 1951 and is currently one of the world’s largest packagers. They produce aseptic packaging for a wide variety of products including tea.

Source: Beverage Daily


Using Math to Find Tea’s Perfect Formula

On a lighter note, students at the University of Leicester decided it was time to find the perfect way to brew tea…using math.

Representatives from building company Jelson Homes asked the team of future mathematicians to try to develop a formula for making the perfect cup of builders tea. The final formula?

Perfect cuppa: 2B + 30R + E(m + q + t) + 10W

B represents the minutes steeped. R is the number of seconds it should rest. W is ml of milk. As for the “E(m+q+t)”? Big mug, quality tea, and a treat.

Sounds like a good idea to me.


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