Afternoon Tea Re-imagined
News

Tea Biz Podcast | Episode 13

Tea news for the week ending April 16 | India Surpasses Brazil as the World’s COVID Hotspot | The Global Tea Initiative at UC Davis to Host Virtual Event | Tea Imports Spike in Pakistan | Tea Masters Cup Names Champions in Moscow | PLUS — Afternoon Tea Re-Imagined

Listen to the Tea Biz Podcast on iTunes | Spotify | Sounder | Stitcher | Alexa

Hear the Headlines for the Week of April 16

Hear the Headlines


| India Surpasses Brazil as the World’s COVID Hotspot
| The Global Tea Initiative at UC Davis to Host Second Virtual Event
| Tea Imports Spike in Pakistan
| Tea Masters Cup Names Champions in Moscow

Read this in-depth Q|A with ITA Secretary Sujit Patra or listen to this week’s India Price Watch summary below. Click to see China Tea Price Watch.

This week’s India Tea Price Watch

Features

This week Tea Biz offers a glimpse of the many teas of India as Aravinda Anantharaman takes us on a tour revealing there is lot more to savor than chai

…and we travel to the idyllic Summer Lodge Country House Hotel in Evershot, Dorchester for a new take on the old English tradition of afternoon tea.

Smoked Falap
Falap tea in bamboo is of the many teas of India. Photo courtesy Rajesh Singpho.

The Many Teas of India

By Aravinda Anantharaman

The 1.4 billion people who live in India consume about 20% of the tea produced globally, including most of the tea grown there. Consumption averages 840 grams per person annually. Growth slowed to 2.5% in 2020—much weaker than in previous years—largely due to retail closures, but India has not lost its taste for tea, people there just prepared more at home during the pandemic. Aravinda Anantharaman takes us on a tea tour that reveals there is lot more to savor than chai. Read more…

Aravinda Anantharaman takes us on a tour of the Many Teas of India
Afternoon Tea Reimagined
The combination of lockdowns and travel restrictions closed many hotels and restaurants serving afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea Re-Imagined

By Dananjaya Silva

Situated in the rolling hills of Dorset, the Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant is the perfect setting to savor Afternoon Tea in the idyllic English countryside near Evershot. But when the pandemic closed the hotel the restaurant staff, at the direction of general manager Jack Mackenzie, were forced to cleverly design an afternoon tea takeaway so memorable that this old English tradition became an Instagram hit for patrons unboxing their dainties at home.

Jack Mackenzie, general manager, Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Restaurant

Tea News you Need to Know

India Surpasses Brazil as World’s COVID Hotspot

Tea gardens are taking extra precautions as a second wave exceeding an average of 200,000 daily infections forced lockdowns in Mumbai and New Delhi this week and heightened fears across the country. In March, the daily count was under 15,000 across India — last week it exceeded 261,000. Nine states, including tea growing regions Kerala and Karnataka, reported their highest-ever daily count.

The virus is now killing more than 1,500 daily. This week, West Bengal, which includes Kolkata, recorded its highest single-day spike of 4,817 cases. The state’s death count is 10,434, about 10 times greater than Assam. West Bengal is inoculating more than 100,000 people a day. Assam is faring much better with 1,023 active cases. The state reported 221,000 cases and 1,119 deaths since the onset of the pandemic. India has reported 178,793 COVID-19 deaths and 15 million cases since the onset of the pandemic.

A worrisome new variant (B.1.617) first detected in January in Maharashtra, India has been reported in England and California. Learn more…

Biz Insight – India’s second wave will impact distribution and suppress retail sales in urban Mumbai and New Delhi but dry weather in west India is causing greater havoc for the tea industry than the coronavirus right now, driving down yield and idling workers and factories.

The Global Tea Initiative to Host Second Virtual Event

The Global Tea Initiative (GTI) at the University of California, Davis will host the second in its Talking about Tea series from 3-5 p.m. Friday, April 23. The virtual presentation on Myths, Legends, and Anecdotes includes research papers, presentations on tea poetry, and early writings about tea, with a review of tea gardens of London in the 17th and 18th centuries. The GTI website has more than 30 presentations available for viewing. Founding director Katherine Burnett said this will be a more “casual, conversational” event than the first session in January. She said people will be able to chat with each other and comment and network and share ideas, learn from each other and get that kind of personal engagement that you can do onsite.” Admission to the Zoom event is free. Visit globaltea.ucdavis.edu to register.

Tea Imports Spike in Pakistan

The pandemic boosted tea imports by 27% to 171.5 metric tons, for the eight months ending February 2021. The value of tea imports grew 17% compared to the same period ending in February 2020. Pakistan ranks third among tea importing nations, spending more than $500 million on tea annually, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. The bureau recorded a 20% increase in the country’s trade deficit last year, lending new urgency to reducing foreign exchange outflow. Pakistan has grown small quantities of tea since 1958 but until recently it was less costly to import tea from India. Due to border hostilities India no longer ships tea direct to Pakistan.

Biz Insight – Last week the Guizhou Tea Association in China (GTAC) offered to assist Pakistan grow more tea locally, utilizing cultivars, expertise, and machinery from China to produce broken leaf black tea. Five years ago in Morocco, Guizhou began working with local blenders and packers to create a profitable local brand in North Africa. “We can make breakthroughs in technology and increase productivity,” said GTAC secretary general Xu Jiamin. In Guizhou small farmers rely on an enterprise-driven model that could find success in Pakistan.

Tea Masters Winners
Olga-Alecia Daineko, center, won the Tea Masters Cup for Tea Tasting, Alisa Sytina, left, took second place, and Elena Pazhetnykh, right, took third place in the global event held in Moscow.

Tea Masters Cup Names Champions in Moscow

The pandemic forced the cancellation of qualifying rounds and limited appearances at exhibitions to a single event during the 2020/21 cycle, but the Tea Masters Cup concluded successfully at the recent Coffee Tea and Cacao Russian Expo in Moscow. Sixty-one tea masters competed in Tasting and Tea Preparation categories modified to prevent sharing cups.

Nikolai Dolgiy, the reigning tea tasting champion, successfully defended his top ranking by identifying every outlier when presented with six sets of three infusions in three minutes. Olga-Alecia Daineko won the Tea Preparation category, besting 16 contenders in preparing two teas. Learn more…

Copy to share this Tea Biz BLOG|CAST with your colleagues


View the Tea Biz Newsletter Archive


Tea News and Biz Insight – September 17, 2021 Tea Biz

"HEAR THE HEADLINES – Advent International Will Bid $4 Billion for Unilever’s Tea Portfolio | India Considers Halting Imports of Nepal Tea | Sales of Herbal Supplements in the US Reach a Record $10 Billion in 2020 | NEWSMAKER – Rainforest Alliance Director South Asia Madhuri Nanda  | GUEST – Caroline Giacomin, Ph.D., a physicist at ETH Zürich, Switzerland   | FEATURES – This week Tea Biz travels to Switzerland to learn from ETH Zürich physicist Caroline Giacomin the physics of that colorful sheen that rises to the surface of black tea. Is tea scum just that or a revealing indication of goodness in the cup? … and then we travel to New Delhi, India where the Rainforest Alliance’s Madhuri Nanda reveals how practitioners of RA’s sustainable farming methods are evolving toward broader, more holistic ecosystems in Part 2 of our series on Regenerative Agriculture. The Physics of Black Tea Film Have you ever noticed a colorful sheen on the surface of your tea? It appears to break like ice floes in the arctic as the tea cools. Researchers once thought tea film was due to waxy substances contained in tea leaves released during steeping. That is not the case. The delicate film is an interfacial interaction of air, tea polyphenols, and calcium carbonate ions in water. It does not form on white, yellow, green, or lightly processed oolong teas, only black tea. In many parts of the world, soft water prevents the film from forming. Is tea film a fleeting glimmer of color to enjoy or an ugly scum to quickly dissipate with a squeeze of lemon. Caroline Giacomin, Ph.D, a physicist at ETH Zürich, Switzerland joins us to explain the physics of tea film from a study she and colleague Peter Fischer recently published in the Physics of Fluids.  Regenerative Agriculture: A Holistic Approach The Rainforest Alliance's Madhuri Nanda explains that while sustainable farming ensures that agricultural practices do not negatively impact and degrade the environmental, social, and economic aspects of the surrounding ecosystem ̶ the focus shifts in regenerative agriculture toward adopting a broader holistic approach that enhances biodiversity and improves soil health through increased microbial activities that build resilient systems capable of withstanding adverse climatic scenarios."
  1. Tea News and Biz Insight – September 17, 2021
  2. Tea News and Biz Insight – September 10, 2021
  3. Tea News and Biz Insight – September 3, 2021
  4. Tea News and Biz Insight – August 26, 2021
  5. Tea News and Biz Insight – August 20, 2021

Subtext

Avoid the chaos of social media and start a conversation that matters. Subtext’s message-based platform lets you privately ask meaningful questions of the tea experts, academics and Tea Biz journalists reporting from the tea lands. You see their responses via SMS texts which are sent direct to your phone. Visit our website and subscribe to Subtext to instantly connect with the most connected people in tea.

Subscribe to Subtext

Podcast Players

ITunesSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher
Google PodcastAmazon PodcastsTune In Sounder
Download the Tea Biz Podcast weekly on your favorite player. To obtain a text-only version subscribe via RSS

Subscribe and receive Tea Biz weekly in your inbox.